In Depth Guide To Painting Wood

1 Existing paintwork should be washed down and dried. Apply wood primer to any bare wood.

Cracked and peeling paint must be removed completely. This can be done by burning the paint off with a hot air gun. If only a small area or a thin layer has to be removed, then hand sanding using a medium coarse wet and dry paper is possible. But this can be tiring and time consuming.

A chemical stripper is usually best for awkward areas like frames or mouldings. All you have to do is carefully paint it on. Within seconds, the paint will begin to shrivel and can be removed with a scraper.

If you’re using power tools, don’t forget: *
unplug them after use
Wear protective eye goggles

2 Fill any cracks and holes with a suitable filler and sandpaper down to create a smooth surface.

3 New wood should be sandpapered smooth and any knots covered with sealant. Apply wood primer and allow to dry.

4 Cover carpets and floors with dust sheets or old newspapers. Protect the glass and the edges of window frames with masking tape. This will enable you to paint more freely and avoid having to scrape paint off the glass afterwards. Remove the masking tape as soon as possible. To provide a clear painting surface, wherever possible remove any handles, coat hooks and finger plates before painting starts.

Work sequence

1 If you are using undercoat, paint all prepared surfaces. Apply thinly and evenly. Allow to dry, preferably overnight.

2 Apply an even layer of top coat using a series of cross strokes – horizontal then vertical – on flat areas so as to ensure a smooth appearance.

3 When painting sash windows, begin by pushing the bottom frame to the top. Pull down the top frame about a third of the way. This will enable you to paint the meeting rails (A) with ease. Next, partly close the bottom section and push back the top in order to paint the remainder of the window. Leave the window slightly open so as to prevent sticking. Make sure you don’t get paint on any sash cords as this will weaken them.

4 If painting casement windows, start with the inside edge of the window frame adjacent to the glass itself. Then paint any glazing bars in the centre of the window, followed by the horizontal strips at top and bottom. The sides to left and right of the window should be left until last. Any windows that can be opened should be painted in that position. Do not close until they are completely dry.

5 Flush doors should be painted in three sections, working down from side to side, top to bottom. Use firm vertical strokes to apply the paint, then without adding any more paint brush straight across to even out the paint layer. Finish off with a series of light vertical brush strokes. Carefully brush over boundaries between sections to create an even appearance.

6 Panel doors should be painted a section at a time. Start by painting the interior mouldings and then the top and bottom panels.

7 Next, paint the centre vertical section of the door. Begin at the top and paint downwards.

8 Horizontal areas are next in sequence. Again do the top horizontal section first, followed by the centre and the bottom.

9 Then paint the vertical sides at left and right of the panels. Edges should be left until last to ensure that if the paint brush picks up any dirt it is not transferred across the entire door.

10 Leave the door slightly open to dry. This will prevent the paint sticking.

11 When you have finished painting, clean the brushes you have used. Work off excess paint on newspaper. Then clean according to the type of paint you have used. Oil based paint should be removed using white spirit before washing the brush in warm water. Water based paint can simply be washed off in the sink using warm water and a little detergent.

Painting Wood

Paint is an ideal covering for both interior and exterior woodwork. It is easy to use, quick to apply and always looks good. Focus have a huge range to choose from – so whatever your colour scheme, the perfect shade can always be found.

Many of the products for this project will include manufacturers instructions. These instructions should be followed to ensure best results.

Always consider ‘safety’ before you start any DIY project. Look for the ‘Be Safe’ sign and read the safety advice.

Primer (for new or exposed woodwork)
Brushes (various sizes)
Brush cleaner
Hot air gun *
Masking tape
Paint stripper

* Warning, care must be taken with these items

Types of paint

Liquid Gloss – suitable for interior and exterior woodwork. Use with an undercoat.

Exterior Gloss – a specially formulated paint, better equipped to cope with outdoor conditions. No undercoat required.

Non Drip Gloss – an easy to apply paint with a thicker consistency than liquid gloss.

One Coat Gloss – a self undercoating gloss paint. It is not as liquid as ordinary gloss paint so is less likely to run when applied to vertical surfaces.

Satin Finish – ideal for interior woodwork and radiators. No undercoat required.

Amount of paint

There are no hard and fast rules. Much depends on the way the paint is applied, type of surface and whether one or two coats is required. One 750ml can is generally sufficient for the woodwork in an average room.


It is important to choose the right brush for the job. Generally a 2 Preparation

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