Common Door Varnishing Issues and Solutions

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Varnishing your doors can greatly enhance their beauty and durability, but it’s important to be aware of the common challenges that may arise during the process. This includes uneven finish, bubbles, drips, runs, roller marks, weak varnish adhesion, discolouration, and rough textures. 


Uneven or Streaky Finish


One of the most common and frustrating issues encountered when varnishing doors is an uneven or streaky finish. To ensure a smooth and even result, proper surface preparation is crucial. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the door to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Next, gently sand the surface to create a smooth base for the varnish. If the door has previous layers of varnish, consider stripping them before applying a new coat.

When it comes to varnishing wood, it’s important to employ the right technique. To achieve a smooth and even finish, begin by applying a thin coat of varnish. Work in long, smooth strokes, following the natural grain of the wood. It’s important to avoid overloading the brush or roller with varnish, as this can result in streaks and unevenness. Once the first coat is applied, allow it to dry completely before proceeding to apply additional coats using the same technique.


Bubbles or Air Pockets in the Varnish

The formation of bubbles or air pockets in the varnish is another common issue encountered during door varnishing. These imperfections can detract from the overall appearance and make the finish look unprofessional. However, there are preventive measures and removal techniques to help address this problem.

To prevent bubbles, ensure a clean and dust-free environment when varnishing the door. Dust particles can become trapped in the varnish, causing bubbles to form. Additionally, avoid vigorously shaking the varnish container, as this can introduce air bubbles into the liquid.

A tip when varnishing your door and bubbles appear is to allow it to dry completely first. Once dry, lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to remove the bubbles. Be cautious not to sand too aggressively as this can damage the finish. After sanding, wipe away any dust and apply a fresh coat of varnish following the proper technique.


Drips or Runs in the Varnish


Much like other varnishing jobs such as table and chair varnishing, drips or runs in the varnish can be eyesores and can compromise the smooth finish of a varnished door. However, with the right techniques, it’s possible to prevent and rectify this issue.

To avoid drips and runs, apply thin and even coats of varnish. Generally, whatever type of door varnish you used, you want to avoid overloading the brush or roller. This is because the excess liquid can result in dripping or running down the door. Try and work in small sections so that each area is properly coated before moving on.

In case drips or runs occur, let the varnish dry completely. Once dry, gently sand the affected area with fine-grit sandpaper to level out the surface. Be careful not to sand too aggressively, as this can remove too much varnish and lead to a patchy finish. After sanding, wipe away any dust and reapply a thin and even coat of varnish, blending it seamlessly with the surrounding areas.


Brush or Roller Marks on the Varnished Surface

Brush or roller marks on the varnished surface can give an unprofessional and uneven appearance. In every varnishing job from balcony decking varnishing, to table varnishing, and door varnishing, it is important to select the right tools. To achieve a smooth and flawless finish, begin by selecting the right brush or roller for the job. Choose a high-quality tool designed specifically for varnish application, as this will minimize the occurrence of brush or roller marks.

When applying the varnish on the wood, use long, smooth strokes in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid going over the same area multiple times, as this can result in visible marks. If necessary, lightly sand the surface between coats to smooth out any imperfections. Following these steps will help you achieve a professional-looking finish as long as the they are done properly.


Varnish Not Adhering Properly or Peeling


There are many reasons why door varnishing is important. Improper adhesion and peeling of the varnish can be frustrating issues that make people dread performing door varnishing. To ensure proper adhesion and prevent peeling, it’s important to follow specific techniques. First, ensure the door is clean, dry, and free from any previous coatings or contaminants that may interfere with adhesion. Afterwards, gently sand the surface to create a rough texture that allows the varnish to grip the wood effectively. Moreover, consider using a primer or sealer before applying the varnish to enhance adhesion.

When applying the varnish, follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying time between coats. Additionally, avoid extreme temperature fluctuations and excessive exposure to sunlight. These can affect the performance of the varnish and contribute to peeling over time.


Discoloration or Yellowing of the Varnish Over Time


If you don’t know how to maintain the varnish on wood floors, the varnish on your door will develop discolouration or yellowing. As a result, this can detract from the door’s appearance. However, there are preventive measures and solutions for this issue.

To prevent discolouration or yellowing, select an appropriate varnish formulation designed to resist these effects. Additionally, consider using a clear UV-protective topcoat to shield the varnish from the damaging effects of sunlight.

Regular maintenance plays a vital role in preventing discolouration. Thus, make sure to clean the varnished door regularly with mild detergent and water to remove dirt and grime. You should also avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the varnish and contribute to discolouration.

If all else fails, consider polishing the wood again. Otherwise, it’s better to contact a professional door varnish service instead


Rough or Grainy Texture on the Varnished Surface

A rough or grainy texture on the varnished surface can make the door look unfinished and unrefined. Fortunately, employing the right techniques can help achieve a smooth and polished finish. Generally, every wood polishing process starts with properly sanding the surface before applying the varnish. Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the wood grain to smooth out imperfections and create a uniform surface for the varnish.

When applying the varnish, use a high-quality brush or roller and work in long, smooth strokes. Avoid overloading the brush or roller with varnish, as this can result in a rough or grainy texture. If necessary, lightly sand the surface between coats to further refine the finish. It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying time between coats. This is because rushing the process can result in a rough texture and even potential damage which can greatly affect the cost of professional door varnishing should you choose to seek professional assistance.



A key benefit of door varnishing is it can enhance the door’s beauty and durability. To achieve this, however, addressing common challenges is crucial. To attain an even finish, clean and sand the surface. Before applying the varnish, make sure to clean the surface and sand it for better adhesion. Once the surface is clean, start applying thin coats of varnish to prevent bubbles and drips. When applying the varnish, use smooth strokes to minimize brush or roller marks. You should allow sufficient drying time between coats to ensure proper bonding. To prevent discolouration, consider using UV-protective varnish and regular cleaning. Lastly, for a smooth texture, sand the surface as recommended and follow the recommended drying times. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a beautiful, durable varnish finish on your doors. 

For professional door varnishing services and other floor polishing services in Singapore, consider contacting DW Floor Polishing Singapore. Our experienced technicians ensure a beautiful, durable finish that enhances the overall appeal of your doors, all at a transparent and reasonable price


DW Floor Polishing Singapore is your trusted floor polishing and floor care specialist – providing reliable professional floor polishing and floor deep cleaning services for all types of floors such as marble, wood, vinyl, and tile. Our services range from marble floor polishing, wood floor polishing, parquet floor polishing, and tile floor polishing. Moreover, you can also trust us to provide quality floor cleaning, vinyl floor deep cleaning, tile floor deep cleaning, and terrazzo floor cleaning. We also provide other services such as timber decking, balcony decking, wood varnishing, door varnishing, and epoxy grouting services – all at a reasonable price. We pride ourselves in providing our customers with the best services to meet your every floor polishing and cleaning needs. 

DW Floor Polishing Singapore is a company that is built on trust, with a track record of successful projects and positive reviews. Feel free to contact us via WhatsApp at +65 8241 0032 for any queries. Alternatively, you can browse our articles for a myriad of information about every type of floor.