How to Paint Your Woodwork

So you’re thinking about painting your woodwork with a fresh coat: good choice if you’re thinking long-term. Here you’ll find some ideas for coverage as well as what type of paint you should choose. Again, think about the type of wood you’ll be covering, the trouble spots in the room, whether or not a primer is required, the precise finish you want, and so forth. By doing a little advanced planning, you may be able to discover a finish that really compliments your room.

If you want to paint woodwork in a room, you must choose between oil and latex paint. Latex paint is water-soluble, easy to apply, and provides a tough durable finish, which is why it is the traditional paint of choice for painting woodwork. Oil paint takes longer to dry, is available in higher gloss and eggshell finishes, but dries more quickly than latex. It is also more environmentally friendly. If you want the best of both paints (mosaic and latex) you should consult with your painting contractor. However if you do choose latex, try to cover woodwork with a primer. This allows latex to adhere to the surface much easier.

If you’re painting over Period Furniture you’ll end up with a different finish than from using sheet rock or plywood. The reason for this is so different paints have different sheens. You can pick between a gloss, semi-gloss or satin finish. Some primers work better with glossy and high gloss paints, so if you’re going for that look, you’ll need to use a primer. You’ll especially want to use a flat oil primer if you’re going to be using latex. Latex will turn yellow if left alone. Some primers can be used for both latex and oil paints, but they are much harder to find. You should stick to flat, satin, eggshell or semi-gloss latex paints. If you plan on painting woodwork, or are painting a lighter colored painted wall, you’ll want to use a gloss. Paint is too reflective to use flat paint. If you’re not doing a ton of painting, especially soft white, flat paint is the way to go. Try using something like Satin, which is a shiny gloss. If you want a satin finish, a primer is recommended. Make sure you keep oil-based primers off of woodwork, as they can cause wood to turn yellow. However, high-gloss is a pretty good paint choice for woodwork. Yes, you can use semi-gloss as long as you first cover it with a gloss primer, and if you’re using water-based paints, they need to have thinners. If thinners are available, use water-based thinners for this step. You can get away with a lot of varnishes and glosses for woodwork. If you decide to use a gloss, make sure you use a flat primer to seal with. Paint glides hide water spots and allows you to get a smooth finish. Because gloss is harder to keep looking good, make sure you damp paint with no stains (greasy stains tend to cause larger problems down the road). Choosing paint over primer is totally your choice. If you like a glaze on the wall, your primer may be water-based and will work fine, or if you want a more solid sheen for the walls, use primer.