Answer for Another painting over varnish question.

Sounds like sanding is in your future. It would be nice to simply rub on a liquid sander, but if acetone won't touch the finish then sanding is the only alternative.

Try some hand sanding using 180 grit sand paper. You can do this on the back of a door for practice. All your after is dulling the sheen and producing some fine powder from the sanding. If the 180 doesn't do much use 150 or 120 grit to start. You will have to do a final sanding with 180 or finer or risk seeing the rough sanding marks through the paint.

If this works, and it should, use a palm sander on the flat areas and hand sand the hard to get areas. If you start with a rough grit, like 120, make sure to progress through an ever finer grit until 180 or 220.

After the sanding, dust off all surfaces with a vacuum and use finish with a tack rag. Now you can prime with a good primer.

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