HomeTriangle Guides: Painting Wood - A Ready Reckoner

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Painting wooden surfaces is very different from painting a wall because wood acts like a sponge and absorbs paint. Make sure the paint crew follows the steps listed below to give you perfect results. The complete process is described in detail below to help you along the way.

Painting wooden surfaces is very different from painting a wall becausewood act like a sponge and absorbs paint. This is the reason why wood needs more surface preparationwork. Make sure the paint crew follows the steps listed below to giveyou perfect results. 

The complete process is described in detailbelow to help you along the way.

Pre-Prep Work

Identify the area thatneeds to be painted or polished, wooden surfaces that have been stained ordamaged. Start with covering the work area to avoid any splatters on walls andfloors. Make sure the area is clean and dry before beginning paint work andensure good ventilation and natural light.

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Cover up surfaces to protect from paint splashes

Surface Readiness

For any paint job tolook great in the end, it is imperative to prepare the surface properly. Surfacereadiness of wood depends on whether the wood is unfinished, painted orvarnished. Always make sure that your crew has all the necessary tools handylike a sand paper, cloth, water, a sanding block and stiff brushes to get started.

First coat of Primer

The primer coat is acrucial part of the paint job. Make sure that your painters have primed thesurface with at least one coat to give the final look a smooth finish. Primeralso helps in making the surface less absorbent making the paint spread easily.It also provides a uniform texture and better adhesion to top coats. Apply thefirst coat and wait until it’s dry.

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Raw Or Unfinished Wood

In this case, beginwith sanding the surface with medium-grain sandpaper. The sanding process helpsin proper adhesion of the paint to the wood and removes any imperfections fromthe surface.

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Clean the unfinishedwood surface with slightly damp cloth to remove the grit and the sawdust.Apply a suitable wood filler to fill all any holes or cracks.Article Image 

Stained Or Painted Wood

If the wood is alreadypainted or coated, the first step involves cleaning the surface with soapand water and rinsing to remove any impurities.

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Sand the surfacegently to remove any loose paint chips. Always sand in the direction of thegrain. Wipe the surface after sanding.

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Use wood filler tofill all the holes. Once the filler is dry, scrape away excess lumps bysanding along the grain pattern. Clean the surface again with a soft cloth.

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If the wood isVarnished

Varnished surfacesneed more sanding than the regular unfinished or painted wood.

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Prepare by washing andrinsing like the painted wood

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Roughly sand thesurface to remove the gloss so that the primer can adhere to the surfacefirmly. Wipe the area after sanding.

Use wood filler tofill all the holes and cracks

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Second Primer Coat

For the paint to stickproperly to the surface, another coat of primer is a must. It also provides asmooth and long lasting finish. 2 coats of primer are necessary depending uponthe type and color of the wood. Give at least 6 to 8 hours to dry after eachcoat.

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Final Touch

Wood finishes can bedivided into 2 categories:

Opaque Finish

Use the traditionalenamels for opaque finish. Ask the crew to brush paint the enamel on to theprimed surface. You can give two coats of paint depending upon the finish youneed.

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Clear finishes

For the clear finish,you can use variety of paints like lacquer, wood glow etc. Apply with brushafter primer has dried completely. You can choose to go for two coats dependingupon the finish required.

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With this ready reckoner you are equipped to deal with a paint crew or attempt a fun weekend DIY painting project if you like. Paint away!


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