Apply varnish with a new, clean, natural-bristle brush. Use only new varnish. Varnish that’s been used several times may contain lumps of hardened varnish from around the sides and rim of the container. These lumps can really cause trouble. If you plan the job properly, you probably won’t have enough varnish left to be wasteful. Leftover varnish can be used on parts that won’t show or projects where the finish isn’t critical.
Bare wood to be finished with varnish must be properly prepared, and sanded. Finished wood to be top-coated must be cleaned and lightly sanded. Immediately before applying the varnish, clean each surface thoroughly with a tack cloth.
It’s much easier to apply varnish to horizontal surfaces than vertical surfaces. Before you start to work, turn the piece of furniture so that its major surfaces are horizontal. If the piece has drawers, doors, shelving, and other removable parts, take them out or off and finish them horizontally. Work on only one surface at a time, and work on large surfaces last. Follow the obvious varnishing techniques and you’re ready to go!