Perfect finish: paint over water-based varnish with clear varnish

All paints that largely dispense with organic solvents are referred to as water-based paints. A distinction is made here between water-soluble paints and water-thinnable paints. In the past, such lacquers left a lot to be desired in terms of quality, today the highly developed substances are hardly inferior to solvent-based lacquers. You can find out how to paint over a water-based varnish with clear varnish in our guide.

Water-based paint: properties

Water-based paints form a chemically and mechanically highly resilient surface. The paints have little odor and are significantly more environmentally friendly than solvent-based paints. In addition, water-based paints can impress with their low water hazard (mostly hazard class 1). A small minus compared to conventional paints, such as acetone paint, is that it is more sensitive to frost.

Water-based paints are basically divided into water-soluble and water-thinnable paints. With water-soluble paints, the binder is dissolved in the paint, with water-thinnable paints, on the other hand, it is evenly distributed in the paint. Such paints are also known as dispersion paints.

Water-based paints are available in different degrees of gloss. The spectrum ranges from dull matt lacquers to high-gloss variants.

Process water-based varnish

When painting with water-based paint, the substrate must first be prepared for painting. Remnants of old paint must be removed and the surface must be sanded off if necessary.
If you want to treat wood with the water-based varnish, you should first brush, roll or spray only a thin layer of water-based varnish. The water in the paint can cause the wood fibers to stand up and form a cracked surface. In the case of heavily roughened types of wood, you can also treat the surface with water before applying the first coat. This causes the wood fibers to stand up and swell, the water-based varnish can then form a nicer surface.

Paint over water-based paint

As with solvent-based paints, painting over water-based paints requires a little preparation.

  • Stay in the same system, use paints from the same manufacturer if possible.
  • Do not mix water-based paints with solvent-based paints
  • Allow each layer to dry thoroughly, observe the manufacturer's instructions on drying times.
  • Sand each layer with fine sandpaper before applying the next layer of varnish.
  • Stir colored varnishes well before applying them. Brushes, rollers or spray guns are suitable for application.
  • For a high-gloss finish, you can coat water-based paints with a layer of high-gloss clear lacquer.
  • Polish the clear coat with a very fine sandpaper (P800-P1200) to achieve a particularly beautiful, high-quality finish.