It is possible to re-varnish a previously varnished floor which is good condition, however, if the previous varnish has started to wear in some areas, its flaking or cracking, the only good option is to peel the original varnish and start again.


Any other finishing on the floor need to be removed prior varnishing so that the timber is freed from all the dirt, polish, and oil. Once the removal of the old finish is done, the timber is now sanded and if necessary stained.


How to Varnish Timber Floor


Application of the First Layer of Varnish

The the first layer of varnish is applied and thinned using the appropriate thinner, often between 25 to 50%, but the manufacturer's instructions need to be checked. This first coat acts as a sealer on the timber, providing a bond between the timber and the subsequent layers of varnish. Floor Varnishing Baltimore is typically water-like making it easy to work with but also easy to splash about.


Using a 4 inch or 10 cm brush, the thinned varnish is applied along the length of the floorboards, there should be no need of applying the varnish across the timber grains. It is important that you first work on a couple of the floorboards before you can move to working on the next ones. As much as possible try to avoid spreading onto the edge of the next floorboard since any overlapping may be visible when the job is done.


How to Apply the Remaining Varnish Coats

The remaining coats of varnish will be applied using the 10cm brush, and the varnish is first spread across the grain and then along the grain. Once the varnish begins to dry, do not go over it with the brush to avoid leaving the marks of the brush.  First complete the length of a few boards before moving on to the next ones. Try to avoid spreading the varnish to the adjacent boards as overlapping will show in the final job.


Wait for the Varnish to Cure

Don't be in a hurry of moving into the room, there is a recommended time for allowing the room to dry. The recommended cure time is three days (Plus); this is however different from the dry for overcoat time which means that the floor is ready for the next coat but is still soft and easily marked by furniture. The longer one can wait before using the varnished room the better.




In a case where the varnished floor is in a reasonable condition, it is possible to have it freshened up without peeling off the original finish. The final look may not be as appealing as if the whole floor was stripped, sanded and re-varnished since any damage on the original floor may remain visible. Click here if you have questions.