Removing yacht varnish and paint over it

Hi! I have just finished a quick sanding and revarnishing (polyurethane yacht varnish) my iroko front door..and the result is HORRIBLE! My fault methinks, for not sanding the door well and leaving unsanded bits which looked fine..now the door is all blotchy, with various shades of brown! I know I know...mea culpa! Anyway, since wife is now making life hell about it, I need some help! Preposterous question maybe, but do you think I could just lighly sand the new finish (to prime it) and paint it over (not varnish) to cover up the different shades? Or do I still need to sand/strip/heatgun it all over again? Any help would be appreciated because after trawling through the NG, I still didn't find an answer. Cheers! Adrian
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My experience is paint doesn't attach well to varnish. It will sluff off. If you sand it, degloss with liquid sander, and prime with oil based Kilz (while the surface is still soft), you might have a surface paint will stick to. Good luck :-) .

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Thanks for the info..I'll have a go at it then. Or else wait until time does its bit and you start getting used to it! :D
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So, if I have this right, you did a half assed job, your wife is on your case, and you want to know if you can cover it up with another half assed job.
Sure, have at it. It'll look like it just came from the factory.
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Mike G.
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You have such a delicate way of stating it Mike. :-)

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Mike's description is "elegant" but also right on. If you are painting with a color or opaque anything, you can go ahead. But if you are really varnishing and you want the clear wood finish, there is no choice but to remove all previous stuff, sand to bare wood and then start over.
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Even if painting, it is a front door. The odds are that at the very least there will be a fair amount of witness lines telegraphing through the paint.
Elegant? Yes, I like that.
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Mike G.
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It wasn't too subtle was it?
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Mike G.
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Well. I can tell you that I have been were Adrian is and I sympathize with him (with some amusement I admit). I've been there, done that, and started over doing it right.
I will say that I might consider replacing the front door it the effort is too great to strip and re-varnish. Varnish on an exterior door requires annual maintenance, and just like on a boat, if you sand it in the spring and apply a coat of varnish that contains a UV filter, it probably will always look nice. If you don't do it, well, . . . . .

now
I
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Thanks for the sympathy!...since i'm not getting any from the wife! (or from Mike for that matter...) I think i'm done with varnishing...the slightest defect will show right through, and I certainly don't fancy having to do this every year. So paint it is, eggshell or gloss, white or blue. The door itself is in very good shape, and replacing it will cost far too much. And iroko, I'm told here, is a good, strong wood, unlike the pine doors most people have here. So I guess I'll have a go at it with either paint stripper or a heat gun, then sand it lightly all over to get a smooth-ish surface before painting it over. Won't use the sander again...can't afford to lose any more wood! Errmm, stupid question maybe, but it needs to be primed before painting, right? Thing is I have to work with the door in place because we the door is right on the road (no front path/garden), so I cannot afford to remain without a door.
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Adrian, if it is any comfort, my wife gets on my case if I don't put a hand rubbed finish on the outside back of a wall cabinet.
Good luck
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Mike G.
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ooooh...you poor man!
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