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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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How to measure for paint :: Posted by: Admin on November 23rd, 2012

calculator and painting tools

How to measure for paint

If you wish to paint an entire room, a feature wall, a ceiling or just trim such as skirting boards and architraves you will need to know how much paint to buy, now you can guess but wouldn’t it better to have a more accurate quantity so you don’t over buy? Paint can be expensive, especially specialised paints so knowing how much paint to buy is a good thing.

Calculate how much paint to buy

To calculate how much paint to buy you will need the following:

  • A notepad
  • A pen or pencil
  • A tape measure

To measure for painting all the walls in a room, you should measure each wall’s width and make a note of each width, for a typical room with four walls you would measure as so 3.6m, 2.9m, 3.6m, 2.9m, you would then add these figures together, so for this example 13 metres. Make a note of this on your notepad.

If you are only going to paint one wall as a feature wall you would only measure the width of this one wall and make a note of the width.

Now you need to know the height of the wall or walls you are going to paint, a typical room maybe 2.4m high. If you are only painting above a dado or picture rail you would only need the height from the dado to ceiling or dado to floor.

Next, what you need now is to know how many coats of paint you are going to apply, emulsions, masonry paints etc should have 2 coats normally, undercoats and topcoat normally only need one coat of each, you should check with the manufacturers website or on the tin of paint as for how many coats are required. Note this down.

Finally how many squared metres do the manufactures say a litre of the paint will cover, if for example the can or website says a five litre tin of paint covers 65 square metres then divide this by 5 and this will give you a figure of 13. Write this figure down.

Calculating how much paint to buy

Now you have the following four figures written down:

  • Wall or walls width
  • Wall height
  • Number of coats you are going to do
  • How much 1 litre of paint will cover

Use this great free paint calculator, input the four figures written down, hit the calculate button and the calculator will give you the results of how many litres of paint to buy.

For our example, painting all four walls with emulsion. The walls measure 13 metres and the height of the walls are 2.4 metres, giving the walls 2 coats of emulsion that covers 13M² per litre returns a result of 4.8 litres, now as you can’t buy 4.8 litres I would buy a 5 litre tin.

Calculating how much paint to buy for a ceiling

If I wanted to calculate how much paint I need to paint a ceiling, I can still do this by measuring the length and width of a room, one figure would be the width and the other the height then decide on how many coats and look up how many square metres one litre covers. Input these into the paint coverage calculator to get the result.

Watch this short video to see just how easy this paint calculator is to use.

How much paint do I need for a feature wall

To calculate how much paint you need for a feature wall is simple, measure the width, height and put these figures as well as number of coats and coverage per litre to get the result.

How much paint do I need to paint trim

Trim such as skirting boards, architraves can also be included and can be calculated using this paint calculator, again work out the width, for skirting his would be linear metres and height would be the hight of the skirting say 4 inches / 100mm which is 0.1000 metres. Again include number of coats and and coverage of paint per square metre. So using our example room from before, the width of all skirting would be 13m (same as walls) and the height of the skirting is 0.1000 (4 inch/100mm), as I’m using satinwood I will do 1 coat and coverage per litre is 15M². So I need 0.1 litres, so I would buy one litre of satinwood, but I would be using this for the other woodwork such as doors, windows etc. so not going to waste!

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