How can you tell if surface you want to restain was originally varnished or lacquered? I want to restain the window sills and woodwork in my kitchen, but am not sure if they were originally varnished or lacquered.
In either case… it doesn't matter… you cannot "re-stain" them without removing the finish completely with either a Stripper or Refinisher Product…
Lacquer is easily dissolved with lacquer thinner then re-hardens undamaged. Varnish will get sticky and be damaged.
It is possible to "tone" pre-finished cabinets without stripping. Take a look at this page I wrote about restaining with a gel stain; <a href="http://www.house-painting-info.com/restain-cabinets.html">Restain Cabinets for a New Look</a>