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How to prepare interior woodwork for painting :: Posted by: Admin on May 3rd, 2013

How to prepare interior woodwork for painting

Before you begin to paint any wood be it interior or exterior you need to prepare the wood first. Safety first, if your house was build before the mid-1960’s you may well have layers of paint containing lead in it, if this is the case take care, always use a mask. If you suspect you paintwork may contain lead, ask your local paint supplier for a leaflet or go online and download a guide from a paint manufacturer. Most likely it has been painted over now so is less of a problem. If you are stripping the wood back to bare wood, take safety measures. Modern paint does not contain lead.

Safety first

You should always think safety first, apart from the possible lead in paint as mentioned above, you should always wear a mask, you may also wear eye protection and gloves. You should also have good ventilation.

Interior Woodwork Painting

Preparing previously painted wood

It is a good idea to wash dirt and grime off of the woodwork using either warm soapy water or sugar soap. Once you have washed the woodwork down, allow to dry fully. You should then fill any holes and cracks with filler and rub or sand down so it is level and smooth. All woodwork should be rubbed down (abraded) to give the paint a ‘key’ to stick too. Rub down all the woodwork surfaces lightly. If the paint flakes off as you rub down, more than likely the paintwork was not prepared well the time before, you may need to remove this layer.

Once all the washing, filling and rubbing down has been done, remove all dust, this can be done with an old paint brush or ideally removed via a vacuum cleaner to keep the dust circulating to a minimum.

If the wood is to be painted and not stained, you should use a wood primer on any bare wood and filler to seal it, then apply a good coat of undercoat, once this has dried you can give it a light sand to remove any fluff, dirt or grit before top coating.

Finally, now you have prepared the wood you can finish it off with either a satinwood or gloss paint. If you are staining the wood, you wouldn’t use a primer or undercoat, just simply stain the wood until you get the finish you require, at least two coats is normal.

Preparing previously unpainted wood

If you are painting new, previously un-painted wood such a new door, which are widely available in large DIY stores or online from stores, you do not need to wash the wood down.

So for un-painted wood, fill and holes and gaps first and rub the filler down so it is level and smooth. Use a knotting solution to seal any knots in the wood. Allow the knotting solution to dry and then use a wood primer to seal the wood. Once the primer has dried, give it a light rub down to remove any debris. Next, undercoat the wood, you could give it two coats of undercoat to give a better coverage but leave to dry and rub down in between. Once you have rubbed the undercoat down you can finish off with a topcoat.

If you are staining the wood, fill holes with a wood coloured filler and rub it down flat and smooth, then stain the wood until you get the finish you require.

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Fillers – The different types and their uses :: Posted by: Admin on March 28th, 2012

Fillers – knowing which one to use

Filler, sounds like a dull topic doesn’t it! But knowing the main types of fillers and their uses is important as a DIY enthusiast. I’m going to cover three types of filler here as these are the main ones you are likely to use, there is obviously specialised fillers, but I won’t go into them here.

Powder filler

Powder fillers are probably the most common types of filler, they consist of powder that you mix with clean cold water, once mixed it is usually workable for 30-40 minutes and sets within a couple of hours. When dry it can be sanded back to a smooth finish ready for decorating. This filler is ideal for small to medium holes, scratches, cracks and imperfections, it can even be drilled and screwed into once hardened. Powder fillers can be used on wood, masonry, ceilings, plasterboard and is normally sold as ‘General Purpose’ filler.

Powder fillers are a good all round filler but despite what is says on the box will shrink so be prepared to fill larger holes and cracks more than once to get them level. For larger holes is often best to mix the filler on the dry side but not so dry it isn’t workable, then apply this to the area your filling, then once dry you can put a smoother paste like mix over the top, then sand smooth and level once dry.

I have used ready mixed powder type fillers without much success and wouldn’t recommend them as they seemed to give bad performance and were hard work.

Dunlop Caulk

Decorators Caulk

Decorators caulk is a flexible filler used for filling around door frames, skirting boards, ceiling line, coving or anywhere the maybe movement. You can not use decorators caulk to fill holes, cracks or imperfections as decorators caulk can not be rubbed down like powder filler. The whole idea of this filler is to be flexible and if you try and rub it down you’ll end up rubbing it all off as this isn’t a surface filler in the same way powder fillers are.

To use decorators caulk you will need an applicator gun , these can be picked up in a DIY store. You will need remove the nozzle to cut the top off the tube of caulk, then replace the nozzle and cut the end of the nozzle at a 45 degree angle, don’t cut too much off unless your filling a large gap. With the tube in the applicator run the nozzle along the gap whilst applying even pressure the the applicator trigger. Once you have applied the caulk run a damp finger along where you have just caulked to smooth it out and to press it into the gap. Then leave to dry.

A problem lots of people have is when over-painting the caulk with emulsion, the emulsion tends to ‘crack’ or ‘craze’ on the caulk, if this happens you can go over the caulk again with emulsion to cover this or use paint a primer or undercoat over the caulk before applying the emulsion. This issue is a problem for tradesmen as well as the DIYer. Oil-based or solvent-based paints seem not to have this issue when painting over caulk.

Update: I have done a review on a caulk that doesn’t crack or craze, I have been using it for a while and the results are good.
Read my Review Of Dunlop Pro Decor Flexible Acrylic Filler Caulk here. And if you would like to buy some for yourself you can buy Dunlop Pro Decor Flexible Filler caulk from here.

Two Pack fillers

Sometimes called 2 part, 2 pac or 2 pack or deep hole filler, these types of filler cure by chemical reaction, to use a hardener is mixed with the filler which react together and sets the filler in a few minutes and can be rubbed down within about 30 minutes. This type of filler can be used for larger repairs it doesn’t shrink or crack but it is harder to rub down than powder fillers. This type of filler is ideal for repairing rotten window and door frames, and is very touch, s much so it can be drilled, screwed and even planed! It is good for interior and exterior repairs but is more expensive that the other two types of filler.

I mostly use 2 pack filler for repairing damaged or rotten windows and door frames, one trick I have learned (the hard way) is to mix this filler close to where you want to use it as it sets quickly and by having to walk from the van to the rear of the house, then up ladders you lose a few minutes of it’s workable time and can set before you have applied it all and at the price of it you want to use all that you mix up!

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