Everything You Need to Know About Painting Wood

Wood texture and paintbrush / housework background

A fresh coat of paint is an easy and effective solution to enhance and revitalize wood surfaces. When painting wood, however, one of the most important steps takes place before you pick up a paintbrush. Preparing a wood surface properly to receive paint will ensure that your project goes smoothly and looks professional when you’re finished.

Repainting Painted Wood
When working with a wood surface that has previously been painted, careful preparation is necessary to prevent dirt, debris, and previous defects from affecting your final project. Wash the wood thoroughly with soap and water. Once dry, sand away any surface imperfections such as cracking, peeling, or chipped paint. It is only necessary to apply primer to a painted wood surface in areas where the original, unpainted wood shows through after sanding before you begin to paint.

Painting Varnished Wood
Painting a previously varnished wood surface requires slightly more preparation to ensure the paint will take properly on the surface of the wood. Wash and dry the wood completely, then sand away any surface imperfections. Continue to sand until you have deglossed the varnish, which will score it slightly and create a better surface for painting. Wipe down the wood with a damp cloth before applying a coat of fast-drying primer to fully prepare the surface for painting.

Painting Unfinished Wood
Even when painting unfinished wood, some preparation is still necessary to ensure the paint will adhere and dry properly. No washing is needed, so start by sanding your wood to remove any small defects in the surface layer. Apply a non-water-soluble primer to the wood surface for protection, then repair any small holes, dents, or cracks that remain with spackle or caulk. Once this step is complete, your wood is ready to paint.

The staff at Southern Lumber can help you with painting, staining, and other woodworking tasks by providing the tools, experience, and selection you need. We also offer specialty woods, flooring, fencing, and more suitable for any residential or commercial application. Check us out on the web or contact us today by calling (408) 297-9663. 

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