Painting over varnished or waxed wood

Hi
Just moved into a house with lots of wood that is either varnished or waxed. I want to paint some of it. Do I need to strip the varnished wood before priming it or can I prime directly on the varnish (or even paint). Will a simple light sand of the varnished surface do? What do I do about the waxed sufaces?
Thanks
Jim
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I doubt you can paint on wax, not if its anything like my waxed furniture, you can buy special wax remover and alot of hard rubbing with wire wool i believe!

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