How to Paint New Wood
You have just decided to order your new woodwork or you have finished a new project but now need some guidance on how to Paint / Finish your investment. You first need to decide what finish best suites your purchase for instance: Paint, Varnish or Oil. This is dependent on the material your shutters are made from so if they are Oak then you can use an oil suitable for exterior wood but if they are made from Pine then you will need to offer more protection.
The concept of preservatives may in some peoples eyes be less environmental but can greatly increases the life of your new product which could counteract the negative environmental impact. I have used ‘Cuprinol’ or Wicks clear preservatives in the past and found them to be most effective greatly prolonging the life of the wood that paint alone. These products are over paint-able as long as they are dry. In France there are commonly used products such as ‘Xylophene’ but I have short term knowledge of this product so cannot vouch for it but the French seem to love it.
Very easy to apply with a brush, spray or a dip tray.
Oil based or Water-based what should I choose? Well both have their merits but I feel when things are simpler you are more likely to do more often and keep things looking good. The one rule no-one should ignore and that is to take time and do not skimp on the quality of paint you choose. Due to it’s practicality I personally prefer good quality water based paints but Oil based may take the lead for long lasting good looks. Remember I would use a preservative whenever possible as mentioned above.
Varnish is an old finish and can last a very long time if done correctly. A quality ‘Yacht Varnish’ such as ‘Blakes’ or ‘International’ are fine products designed for harsh weather, ‘Polyurethane Varnish’ also gives a long lasting finish. Varnishing is an art form and spectacular when done well but equally can look a ‘dogs dinner’ if not carried out with care. Varnish is clear and I would never choose a product that is coloured as the pigment spoils the translucency thus disguising the grain and natural beauty of the wood. I always use a separate stain for colour then varnish as per recommendation. Even if you are varnishing you can still have ‘colour stains’. Varnish is great and as used in the marine industry in salty conditions exposed to the elements shows the durability but if neglected from future maintenance such as ‘Touch ups, Cracking or damage’ will lead to water ingress and staining.
Oil is the easiest finish for Oak and super quick to apply, personally I would still apply a preservative before oiling. There are many products available but the cheapest is the ‘good ol’ ‘Boiled Linseed’ which is very cheap but expect to apply several coats over a period of time as the wood will slowly soak up the oil making it impervious to water. Oiled Oak may tarnish and silver in time which can be beautiful in it’s own right.
What You Need to Paint Your Wood
- New Wood!
- Dust sheet or other protection for surround surfaces. ‘Dust sheet Roll’ or ‘Cotton Twill Dust Sheet’
- Safety specs
- 220-grit carborundum sandpaper (grey in colour) ‘Mirka 220 sandpaper’
- ‘Primer’ suitable for the selected paint system and for use on wood
- Good quality ‘Water’ or ‘Oil’ based paint preferably micro-porous. ‘International Toplac’ is excellent and used widely used in the marine industry
- 100mm roller frame and foam paint rollers
- Paintbrushes preferably pure bristle such as ‘Hamilton’s Perfection’ A good brush is the difference between quality finish and not.
Follow These Steps (For Paint Follow Steps 1 to 10) or (Varnish Finish follow Steps 1 to 6 and 11 to 12)
1. Lay a dust sheet. If painting inside, you’ll want to protect your furnishings. Remove any knobs, pulls or hardware from the furniture.
2. Remove any ironmongery, this will prevent getting paint on it and you want that new wood painted behind it!
3. Sand New Wood. For a smooth finish, use a flexible-foam sanding sponge on curved surfaces or better still 220-grit carborundum sandpaper and a flexible sanding block. Final sanding must be with the grain.
4. Check for imperfections that may require a little filler or white chalk putty.
5. Remove dirt with a dusting brush. To remove residual grit, you can use a clean cloth, tac cloth or a vacuum.
6. If you have chosen to use a preservative such as ‘Cuprinol’ or ‘Xylophene’ apply that now and allow to dry before the next step.
7. PAINT FINISH Knots should be sealed with a ‘Knotting Solution’ or they could bleed through the paint.
8. PAINT FINISH Prime To seal the wood, roll or paint a coat of thinned primer over the entire shutter making sure it runs into all orifices. Once dry apply a second coat of undiluted primer. Priming hides imperfections and provides a surface for the paint to adhere to. Let it dry for at least an hour if water based but check the tin and ‘oil based’ will require much longer. Priming is very important to aid a good finish and prevents a blotching. (Varnish Requires no Primer but will still require first coat to be thinned). Thinning the first coat of primer allows it to soak into the wood and will aid the next coats to stick. Think of the preparation and starting coats as the foundations, “START WELL FINISH WELL”
9. PAINT FINISH Paint Using a roller on large surfaces brushing out with a brush and a brush on more intricate areas, apply a coat of your chosen undercoat or final finishes recommended undercoat paint. (Varnish Requires no Undercoat)
10. PAINT FINISH Wait for the undercoat to dry thoroughly When the undercoat paint is dry to touch, lightly sand with 220grit carborundum sandpaper. Look over the undercoat and make a decision whether it requires a second coat. The undercoat should hide the evidence of the timbers colour. If you are satisfied with the result then apply a coat of top coat gloss or your chosen finish for exterior wood and when dry apply a second coat of paint (minimum of two coats are generally the minimum needed for a nice, even finish and maximum protection). (Varnish requires several coats 3 to 7).
11. VARNISH FINISH Varnish requires more effort and waiting times. I believe if you have made the decision to use varnish then you should not go ‘low low low’ and choose any kind of water based varnish as most will be a big disappointment. Varnish or ‘Vernis’ en francaise is a quality old school finish compared to modern alternatives. You need good brushes, good varnish and good preparation! Time is not on your side when using Varnish as it can take 8 hours to dry to 8 days depending on the weather, humidity is not your friend!
12. VARNISH FINISH Start by applying a thinned coat of varnish, this will lift the grain a bit so it must be dry so you can sand any raised grain smooth. Now starts the process of apply up to 6 further coats sanding between coats. If done well the finish could be like glass and will repel water thus helping it’s exterior durability
Tip: Wash brush between coats and especially easy if using water based paints. When painting with a brush is it okay to brush against the grain in an effort to spread the paint but the final strokes should be with the grain lifting the brush away as to feather the paint stroke. Paint wood laying down as this helps a lot to get a good finish and without ironmongery fitted.
Note: Please note this is our preferred method but your paint product may request a different approach. Please check that any mentioned product is legal in your country prior to use. Some French communes have a limited allowed colour pallet so please check first.