In a recent blog we shared some useful tips on preparing your walls ready for wallpapering – and this month it’s the woodwork’s turn!
In a perfect world, we could just slap some paint on wood and all would be good! However, unless you want a messy finish and paintwork that is prone to chipping and flaking, you can’t take shortcuts. As is often the case, especially with decorating, the preparation stages are the most laborious but also the most important.
So if you have some skirting boards, windowsills or doors to decorate and you want some tips on preparing wood for painting, here’s our guide to getting it ready for a professional end result…
- Remove old paint – No matter how tempting it may be, it’s best not to apply a fresh coat over existing, older paint if there are lots of layers, if the paintwork is badly damaged or if you’re covering dark paint with light. Use a putty knife or small scraper to remove the paint, or a good quality paint stripper or electric hot air gun. If the paint is in good condition, you can skip this stage and go straight to the next.
- Sanding – If your woodwork is in good condition, you can sand off the glossy surface of the existing paint in order to provide a ‘key’ for the new coat. Use coarse sandpaper for this, either manually or for larger surface areas, you can buy or hire an electric sander to make the job quicker – a detail sander is useful for smaller areas. If you’ve already removed most of the older paint, this stage will ensure that you get rid of any remaining residue. Bear in mind that sanding creates a lot of dust, so cover soft furnishings (if you can’t remove them) and wear a dust mask and goggles.After you’ve used the coarser paper, finish off with fine sandpaper with a 150 grit rating or more to get smoother surface. Always sand in the same direction as the grain.
- Filling – If there are any knots, dents, deep scratches or holes in the wood, fill them with wood putty or fast drying wood filler. Once it’s dry, sand it down so that the filled areas are flush with the rest of the wood.
- Clean – You don’t want to prime or paint over dust or dirt, so before you continue you will need to wipe everything down with a damp cloth. Now make yourself a cup of tea while you wait for it to dry!
- Mask – Using the decorator’s friendly helper, a roll of masking tape, mask off any areas you don’t want to paint and areas around doorframes or the top of skirting boards to make sure you get a clean line and no paint splashes or splodges where they shouldn’t be!
- Prime time – Before you get glossing, you need to prime the wood to give a smooth and clean finish. It’s best to apply a couple of coats if possible, and choose a grey coloured primer if you’re applying dark gloss, or a white one for lighter and more vivid colours.
- Paint away! Now your wood is ready for painting. Apply two or three coats and make sure you leave plenty of time between each – painting on half dried, tacky gloss will spoil the end result.
Of course, if this sounds like too much hassle or hard work, you can always call in the professionals! If you live in the Leeds area, our decorators will be happy to come along and give you a no-obligation quote for preparing your wood for painting and getting that gloss finish just perfect.