How to Fix Varnish Drips? (3 Best Ways)

Having trouble with your varnishing work? You’ve probably done your varnishing. But I’m not quite satisfied with it. Because you see a few varnish drips here and there. 

You now desire to know if it is repairable. Well, we’re here to help. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur we have a solution for you. 

So, how to fix varnish drips?

There are 4 ways you can fix varnish drips. The First method is by using a chisel or razor blade. The second method is by using sandpaper. The third method is using a heat gun. And finally, the fourth method is using a varnish stripper. These are the best techniques for repairing varnish drips.

Do you want to know how to put these techniques into practice? The specifics have been covered in the article. Read it to find out more.

Let’s begin. 

Fixing Varnish Drips

Fixing varnish drips could sometimes take a lot of labor. But what’s more important is that it should be done with precision. 

You don’t want to damage other parts while fixing the drips. 

Let’s have a look at how you can fix varnish drips. 

Method 1: Using Chisel or Razor Blade

Using a chisel or razor blade is one of the best ways to fix varnish drips. 

However, you must exercise caution when using these tools. Because you can easily harm the furniture if you’re not careful. 

This is how you do it.

Step 1: Identify the Varnish Drip

When you have a varnish drip first you need to test the drip. Lightly touch the drip with your finger. If the varnish drip is soft then you should not start using the chisel or the razor. 

You should wait until the varnish is dry enough. Once the varnish is dry enough then you can begin the next step. 

Step 2: Scrape Off the Drip

When you start scraping off the drip with the chisel you should go at a low angle. 

Use the chisel or the razor lightly over the drip. The scraping process should be slow and steady. 

Keep chipping until the drip flattens. 

Step 3: Recoat 

After you are done scraping off the drip then you’re ready for this step. 

This process is simple. All you must do is grab some cotton or a Qtip. Then dip the cotton in the coating. 

Then finally apply the cotton with the coating over the scraped area. 

Carefully applies the coating. Because you don’t want to drip the varnish again after all the hard work. 

That’s how to fix stain drips on wood. 

Method 2: Using Sandpaper

This procedure is quite comparable to the scraping technique. You’ll simply be using sanding paper instead of a chisel, which is the only variation.

Here’s how.

Step 1: Identify the Varnish Drip

As we’ve mentioned before. First, you need to identify the varnish drip. 

Use your finger and lightly tap over the varnish drip. If the drip is soft then you shouldn’t start sanding just yet. 

If the varnish is dry enough you can start the sanding process. 

Step 2: Sand Off the Drip 

In this step, you need to take sanding paper.

You can take 150-grit sandpaper. Then cut out a small piece. Could be about 2 to 3 inches in length and width. 

Then gently rub over the varnish drip you want to treat. Keep rubbing until the varnish drip becomes flat. 

Step 3: Recoat

Once the drip is flattened then you are ready to recoat it. 

All you need to do is grab some cotton or a Qtip. Then dip the cotton in the coating. 

Then finally apply the cotton with the coating over the scraped area. 

Carefully apply the coating. Because you don’t want to drip the varnish again after all the hard work. 

And that’s how to get rid of varnish drips.

Method 3: Using Heat Gun

If you have a heat gun lying around then we’d suggest you use that. Because using a heat gun to remove the varnish drip is relatively simpler. 

The heat released from the heat gun loosens up the drip.  As a consequence, removing it is made simpler.

Here’s how you can use your heat gun to remove the varnish drip.

Step 1: Clean the Surface

The first thing you must do is cleanse the furniture’s surface.

It is crucial because heat may cause dust or other surface particles to react. Which may damage the wood. 

Thus, you need to make sure the surface is clean before using the heat gun. 

You can use warm or soap water to clean the surface. Apply the soapy water to the surface you want to treat. 

After applying soapy water you need to dry it. To dry the water off, use a cloth free of lint. 

Step 2: Use the Heat Gun

Now using the heat gun could be confusing if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

To use the heat gun you need to set the gun at low or medium-low heat. Then apply heat to the varnish drip area you want to treat. 

Get the gun as close as possible without touching the surface. 

This’ll loosen up the varnish. 

Make sure to use the gun patch after the patch. Meaning, apply heat to a specific patch. Then when the varnish of that particular patch loosens, scrap it off. After that move on to another patch. 

In this way, you should use the heat gun patch after patch. 

Step 3: Final Touches

After you’re done you’ll find that some portions of the varnish stain are still remaining. Like very few stains between the treated patches. 

These remaining spots are maybe difficult to treat. Or too stubborn to scrape off. For these spots, the sandpaper should do the trick. 

And finally, recoat the area you treated. 

That’s how to fix uneven varnish.

Method 4: Using Varnish Stripper

Using a varnish stripper could be a little technical. 

There are several types of varnish removers for various uses. Such as indoor use, outdoor use, etc. 

Here are some of the varnish strippers that we recommend. Do check these out. 

These are some of the best ones in the market. You can check out their prices by visiting the links that we provided. 

Make sure to utilize the one that is suited for your task first. 

You should keep in mind that varnish strippers are applied to remove varnish. These are very strong chemicals.

So, you need to be careful while applying the stripper. Because you don’t want to remove varnish from a portion you might not want to. 

Additionally, remember that Danish Oil shouldn’t be used over varnish that already exists.

Here is how to use

Step 1: Prepare the Area

As we mentioned before, varnish stripper is a very strong chemical. So first you need to protect your surroundings from it. 

For example, if you’re working indoors take the necessary steps to protect the floor and the walls. Also, make sure the room has decent air circulation. 

Step 2: Apply the Varnish Stripper

For this step, you need a brush. 

The Brush must be dipped in the chemical’s container partially. Then apply the varnish stripper to the area you want to apply it to using the brush. 

Apply a good amount of varnish stripper layer. 

Step 3: Scrape Off the Varnish Drip

After applying the varnish stripper you should wait for some time. The recommended wait time should be mentioned in the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Make sure it doesn’t get dry. 

After waiting, use a chisel to scrape off the varnish. After scraping off for a while the wood should be exposed. 

After the wood has been exposed, it has to be varnished again.

That’s how to remove varnish drips from wood. 

Tips to Prevent Varnish Drips

Trying to remove varnish drips is a difficult job. Additionally, it takes a lot of work. Therefore, it is preferable to stop this from happening. It’ll save a lot of work. 

That is why you should know how to prepare the wood before varnishing. 

Here are some tips to prevent varnish drips and apply varnish perfectly. 

Tip 1: Perfect Temperature for Varnishing

It is very important to consider the temperature you’re working at. It should not be too hot or too cold. 

Don’t start your varnishing work in humid or cold conditions. Because it’ll take longer for the varnish to set. Which may result in imperfections. 

You also shouldn’t do the varnishing in hot conditions. Because it’ll make the varnish dry fast. Which will result in some bubble formation. 

See varnishing is a good option for the workbench top. It’s one of the 5 best finishes for the workbench too. But you should be aware of the proper technique.

Tip 2: Light Usage of Varnish

Apply varnish lightly. Spread in a light, even coat while using a delicate touch. 

Dribs and drabs are often created by thick varnish’s tendency to bubble and slide. Lightly brushing the varnish over the wood will finally yield a smooth and even finish.

Tip 3: Light Stirring of the Can

Lightly stir your varnish once you open the container to check for sediment. It’s crucial to avoid overmixing because doing so will cause bubbles to form.

Prior to application, you must always strain your varnish.


Can new varnish be applied over old varnish?

No, you cannot apply new varnish over old varnish. Generally speaking, if a new varnish is to be applied to the surface the surface must be spotless. Hence, even the old varnish must be removed. Along with any kind of dirt, wood stains, oils, etc. Varnishing should be done on a clean surface. 

Is vinegar able to remove varnish?

Yes, vinegar can remove varnish. You may use vinegar to get paint off of wooden surfaces. And the same chemicals insert the varnishes and also help remove the varnish. Vinegar basically loosens the chemicals that help varnish set on the wood. Which makes the varnish get removed. 

Is one coat of varnish good for tables?

No, 1 coat of varnish is not good for tables. It is not advised to varnish tables with only 1 coat. For coffee or kitchen tables the top should be varnished at least 3 times. Additionally, the remaining body parts are varnishable twice. 1 layer of varnish isn’t enough for such a regular-use table.


By now you should be clear on how to fix varnish drips. 

A bonus tip for you is to use acetone to remove varnish remnants from the wood. 

That’s all we have to say. We appreciate you taking the time to visit with us.

Kevin Smith

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