If you want to give your home a touch of TLC that will make you fall in love with it the moment you put your key in the door, learning to paint like a pro is key.
That’s why we’re going to guide you through everything you need to know to add the perfect finishing touch to any of your interior wood features.
- Painting is a great way to improve your decor while also protecting wood from knocks, scrapes and scratches
- The choice of paint is key, with gloss, satin and eggshell being the 3 main types of finish you need to consider
- Bare wood needs a primer to achieve an even finish because the wood will suck in paint through its pores and create hundreds of blotches
- You may need to sand and apply filler prior to painting — skipping these steps will lead to an unsatisfactory finish, no matter how handy you are with a brush!
Now that we’ve outlined a few of the key points, let’s dive right into the details so you can see what’s required.
Picking your paint is always the first step
Gloss paint has long been the traditional choice for interior doors, skirting boards and door frames. It’s hard wearing, has a nice level of sheen that shimmers under the light and delivers a reflective finish. One of the downsides of gloss is that it can draw your attention to small imperfections in the wood.
Eggshell is the trade name for matt paint and delivers a very low sheen type of finish that’s very durable and withstands bumps and scrapes really well. This makes it a popular choice for areas where you’re always coming and going like the upstairs landing or downstairs hallway.
Satin is the third main option at your disposal and it sits in between gloss and eggshell in terms of the glossiness of its finish. It’s also a robust and hard wearing paint suitable for areas with lots of footfall, and it also does a better job than gloss at hiding blemishes.
The key is to decide on the type of finish you want and then shop for the exact shade you want to treat your home to. You’ll know the perfect combination of finish and colour when you see it, and many paint companies will offer you free tester pots so you can see it in-person.
Prepping your surface is the name of the game
Gloss, eggshell and satin will all require you to do some surface prep before you can apply them.
Things can get a little complicated when comparing different paint types, and even more so when you factor in the condition of the wood you’re painting. Bare wood and previously painted wood can be prepared differently depending on what type of paint you want to apply, for example.
Also read; Understanding Types of Interior House Paints
If this sounds a bit too much like hard work for your liking, and you just want to transform your home without reading further, our experts will handle it all for you. But if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, keep on reading my friend.
Applying interior wood paint to bare wood
Regardless of which type of paint you use, you have to make sure the bare wood is smooth, clean and free from holes and crack-like defects. Luckily for you, there’s a solution readily available for each one of these potential pitfalls.
You can smooth bare wood by using a medium grade sandpaper followed by a much finer grade. This is really important if you want to be able to apply a smooth paint job that will catch the light in a uniform way.
Cleaning the wood means getting all of the sawdust and household dust off the surface prior to painting and is best done with a slightly damp rag.
Also read; How to Clean Paint Brushes?
Hoovering with a dusting attachment rarely works with sawdust and will result in a lot of debris being missed. Spending a little more time and doing it by hand will make all the difference.
To get rid of those holes and cracks, reach for your pot of fill and apply evenly, pushing with a moderate pressure to pack out the hole. Once dry, sand back the filler so it’s smooth and sits flush with the surrounding wood.
Do you really have to prime bare wood?
Regardless of the type of wood, and regardless of which type of paint you choose, you must apply a primer. As a once living, breathing thing, wood has thousands of tiny pores which remain open. They will suck in the paint you apply, causing countless blotches no matter how handy you are with a brush.
Applying a primer seals each of these troublesome little pores, allowing you to quickly and easily achieve a pristine finish. You will sometimes see people saying you can apply eggshell directly onto the surface with a primer — this is a common mistake and should be avoided.
How do I apply my choice of paint to already painted wood?
Now things are starting to get a little complicated folks: with 3 types of paint you could be applying, and 3 types that could already be on your woodwork, there’s 9 different combinations to consider. Honestly, if you decide that DIY isn’t worth all these headaches and you just want it sorted, we won’t blame you for picking up the phone and hiring us.
Some common issues are making sure the new paint grips onto the old paint. Because gloss has a strong sheen it has a rather slippery surface which can reduce adhesion.
Roughing the source up with low grade sandpaper until the sheen is gone is the way to go, regardless of what you’re painting on top. Check the tin too because you’ll likely need a primer to achieve enough grip.
Painting over eggshell is super simple because it’s latex-based and nice and grippy. You can often go directly on top of it with nothing but a light sand to prep the surface.
Satin is somewhere between eggshell and gloss with the pros often torn between a light sand and a full coat of primer. Testing a small patch is often the way to go here.
Or you could just take the stress out of it and get the experts to handle the hard work so you don’t have to. Just a thought…