How to Paint Woodwork
Properly painted woodwork can add a wonderful elegant and beautiful element to any room. With the right technique and tricks for application, you can achieve a professional looking finish while doing the work yourself. Depending on the paint that you choose the application method is different.
Before you begin to paint any new woodwork make sure that you properly prime the woodwork. Priming helps to seal the wood since wood is a very fibrous material, which will absorb paint in large quantities on an unprimed surface.
If you are using an oil based paint you will need to apply the paint in several coats. A lot of how many coats you will need depends on what kind of coverage the oil paint gives you as you apply it. Every oil paint has unique coverage characteristics. After you apply each coat you should perform a very light sanding to even out the finish. Apply the oil based paint using even vertical brush stokes in the direction of the grain if you can. Don’t go back over any surface that you have already painted since doing so will ruin the finish. If you have a drip or something stuck in the paint, you can always come back after the paint has dried and sand it to remove the drip or foreign object.
If you are using latex based paint, you will need to use a different technique than what you use for oil-based paint. When painting with latex paint the surface in parallel strokes with a good amount of paint. After you have the surface coated you can go back over the paint with the brush to smooth out the finish. You will want to work quickly since latex paint dries very quickly. See teds woodworking review here.
No matter what type of paint you choose to work with, a great tip to a professional paint finish is to purchase good brushes. There is a difference between a very cheap brush and a good quality brush. Usually you will need a half-inch, once inch, and two inch brush for woodwork. Always use a brush, which is properly sized for the wood that you are painting. If you use a brush, which is too small, the job will take you a long time and your finish will start to dry before you are done – giving a subpar finish. If you use a brush, which is too large, you will have a hard time keeping the paint off the walls and other places where it doesn’t belong.
When you are painting up to the edge of a door you should paint from the center out. The technique that you want to use is to prevent the brush from flexing. If you let the brush flex you will get paint runs and over paint on the door.
When you are painting baseboards a great tip is to use a piece of cardboard as a drip catch right under the bottom of the baseboard. As you paint keep the cardboard under the paintbrush. This will help to keep the paint off the floor and will prevent you from having to clean up a major mess.
If you are painting woodwork, which has a major straight edge to it, switch to a smaller brush like a half-inch one. As you paint near the straight edge flex the brush slightly and let the very edge bristles just brush the edge of the wood. It is a challenging technique but it prevents any over paint and gives a very nice finish edge to the woodwork.
If you are painting woodwork inside a room in your home you should always start at the ceiling and work your way down finishing with the baseboards in the room. If you start the opposite way, you run the risk of having drips on to paint surfaces, which are already finished.
If you are painting woodwork outside be mindful of the sun. It is almost never a good idea to paint in direct sunlight. This is because the sunlight will cause the paint to dry quickly (especially latex paint) and this will make the job hard to do. If you rush the finish will not look good. Also direct sunlight is harsh and makes the quality of the finish hard to see since there aren’t any shadows, and shadows are what show depth. Also ensure that you don’t use latex paint on a very humid day, since latex is water based the paint wont sure properly and will stay extra tacky.
Always take your time when painting and pay attention to the finish quality while the paint is still wet. Generally the finish won’t look better when it dries. The key to a professional look is to have an even drip free surface when dry. If you keep the above tips in mind, you can always have professional level results.