Reader Question: How Can I Paint Furniture Covered in Wax or Varnish?

Real Living consulting style editor and design consultant Issa Villar reveals how you can reinvent your old pieces


Q: I would like to paint my furniture, but antique wax was previously applied to it. I have another piece that was coated with varnish. How can I paint them? — Marilou Tinio Lagundino via Facebook

A: Wax and varnish are coatings that do not allow paint to adhere so you will have to first remove that coating by sanding the furniture down until that layer is removed. Wipe the surfaces clean, then apply an oil-based primer. Once the primer has dried, follow with a coat of oil-based paint. Let the first coat dry before adding a second coat.

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Read the original article ("Ask It") in the October 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 

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