Hey I’m really new to the DIY club and have no idea what I’m doing, so just looking for some friendly advice on what the best and easiest way to repaint my dinner table all white
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @HamideR. It's fantastic that you've joined us, and many thanks for your question about painting over varnish.
I'd suggest you start by cleaning down the entire table, including the intricate feet, with Selleys Sugar Soap Wall Cleaning Wipes. Then take a cloth dampened with fresh water and wipe away any remaining sugar soap. Once the table has dried, you can apply Flood 500ml ESP Easy Surface Paint Preparation. Once applied, you need to wait for 5 minutes and then wipe it off. After 90 minutes, you can paint the table.
You'll want to use a water-based enamel paint coating similar to Aquanamel as it results in a harder finish than ordinary paints and is compatible with the ESP. Make sure to apply up to three coats, allowing sufficient drying time between coats and don't place anything on the table until the paint is fully cured a few days later. Since you'll now have a painted tabletop, you'll always need to bear this in mind. You can't scrape things across the surface, and I would recommend using placemats on it. Due to a tabletop suffering more wear and tear than items such as a bookshelf, the paint coating can easily be scraped off by sharp objects. The only way to get the paint coating to adhere better would be to sand the varnish coating off the table before you paint it. Since you're asking for the easiest way to paint the table, I can't imagine you are looking to spend hours sanding the coating off.
Let me mention @redracer01 to see if he has some tips or other recommended products.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you that does sound much simpler then I thought it would.
what would be the process with sanding it down too ?
Welcome to Bunnings Workshop. These are all excellent steps that @MitchellMc 's given you to prepare your table for painting. However if you are planning to sand down to timber or remove the hard coat of varnish on the table I suggest to do the following. After full and final sand down to use a Tack Cloth . The UNi-PRO tack cloth is designed to remove surface contaminants such as dust, dirt and lint before finishing with paint or other coatings. You may also use a vacum cleaner with the soft brush attachment head. I suggest careful use of the vacum to avoid scuffing or denting the timber that may show up after the paint job. Use a Zinsser-1L Bulls-eye-123 undercoat primer sealer stain blocker This particular primer will hide any stain or hard to remove blemishes from the timber table. A minimum of 2 coats will be necessary to hide the dark color of your stain. Upon placing the second coat you should not be able to see the stain color or tone color to shadow up to the top coat. It should be just the neutral color of the primer. Once this is achieved you may now put your first coat of water based paint on. Please remember to give adequate drying time between coats, that includes the primer. After you have placed the second coat on I suggest trying to get the table in to the sun to get a hard baked finish. A minimum of one hour will give you a very tough finish on that final coat. As @MitchellMc mentioned as it is now a painted top it is now prone to scratches due to items being dragged on top of it. In order to give your self a coat of protection I suggest using Cabot's 1L Water Based Satin Cabothane Clear Polyurethane Timber Varnish This is a water based varnish and will not give you that yellow tint that oil based polyurethane sealers often do. How ever please be warned, although the sealer is water based it will have a tonal effect on the finish of the top should you paint it white. Like all sealers it tends to dull the color that it goes on, If you wish to test it out first you can paint a piece of flat timber with your choice of paint and let dry then apply the polyurethane coat to see the final result. In my last paint project I made the mistake of painting a table in low sheen, it immediately got scratched and stained. I then attempted to coat it with a water based clear spray coat. The results were less than satisfactory as I did not let the clear coat harden and I ended up with cup and saucer marks as the paint was too soft. I'm in the middle of sanding it down "again" and once I'm ready to repaint it I will post my results here on workshop. Please keep us updated with your project and if there is anything else we can help you with please post it here on workshop.
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A detail sander will be quite helpful for the sanding process. The flat tabletop portion will be quite easy to sand back, but the intricate details on the feet might take some hand sanding. You don't need to remove all the varnish, just enough so it no longer has a glossy shine and you've keyed the surface with scratches. You can then follow @redracer01's advice above.
You should also find this step-by-step guide useful: How to paint over varnished timber.
Please let us know if you have any questions.