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Painting Techniques for Timber

Below we give some guidelines for the preparation of timber for painting and guidance for the techniques of applying different paint finishes to timber.

No matter what type of timber you are painting, care at the preparation stage is essential to achieving a professional finish - don't think that the paint will cover up blemishes, it won't. Skimping on preparation is always a false economy.

New Softwood

  1. Smooth with plane (if required).
  2. Use glasspaper to get a smooth finish over the entire surface.
  3. Apply knotting solution to any knots (follow manufacturers' instructions).
  4. Apply a coat of wood or universal primer.
  5. Fill any voids with a suitable filler and smooth using glasspaper.
  6. Brush off all dust.
  7. Touch up any exposed knots and primer as required.

Internal timber - Apply undercoat and at least 1 top coat.

External timbers - apply undercoat and at least 2 top coats.

Alternatively, use at least 2 coats of a 'one coat' paint.

Painted Softwood

Undamaged
  1. Wash with sugar soap to remove surface grease.
  2. Rub down with glasspaper.
  3. Brush off.

If repainting the same colour - Two gloss coats.

If changing colour - as undercoat/ top coat for new softwood above

Light damaged
  1. Wash with sugar soap to remove surface grease.
  2. Rub down the paint (especially around the damage) with glasspaper.
  3. Apply knotting, primer and undercoat to the underlying timber where exposed,
  4. Lightly rub with glasspaper.

Treat as undamaged above.

Damaged (exterior woodwork at roof level, can normally be treated as undamaged providing all loose material is removed - birds tend not to complain)

  1. Strip off all existing paint (Take care if the layers of paint may include layers which were applied in the 1960's or earlier - these paints may contain lead).
  2. Use glasspaper and scraper to remove any remaining paint back to the original timber.
  3. Treat as new softwood above.

Treat as new softwood above.

 

 

Hardwood

  1. Scrape off old varnish, linseed oil or sealer. Smooth with glasspaper.
  2. Use filler to match timber.
  3. Rub down with glasspaper.
  4. If varnishing the wood, apply a thinned coat of varnish (50/50 - varnish/ thinners).

Two coats preservative or varnish.

 

New hardboard

Emulsion paint  
  1. Rub down with fine glasspaper.
  2. Brush off to remove all dust and particles.
  3. Apply 1 coat of thinned emulsion paint (1 part paint to 3 parts water) as primer.

Two coats of standard emulsion.

Gloss paint
  1. Rub down with fine glasspaper.
  2. Brush off to remove all dust and particles .
  3. Apply one coat of hardboard primer or aluminium paint.

Undercoat and one gloss coat.

NOTE: Paint the reverse side of the hardboard to avoid distortion.

Old hardboard

Emulsion paint
  1. Scrape off loose paint and rub down with glasspaper.
  2. Brush off to remove all dust and particles.
  3. Seal exposed hardboard with thinned emulsion paint (1 part paint to 3 parts water).

Two coats of standard emulsion.

Gloss paint
  1. Scrape off loose paint and rub down with glasspaper.
  2. Fill and rub down if necessary.
  3. Brush off to remove all dust and particles .
  4. Touch-in exposed areas with hardboard primer/ aluminium paint.

One undercoat.

One gloss coat.


 

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