How to Prime and Paint wood ?



Before getting into the how tos of Priming and Painting wood, it helps to understand a little bit about the difference between wood paints and stains. This tutorial is particularly useful for your everyday small wooden DIY projects while it can also be extended to bigger ones like your furniture.
Note: This post only addresses painting on bare wood. The technique is different when an already finished wood needs to be repainted.

Why is priming required on wood ? (Back to Top)                                                                                           

  • Priming is essential to provide the undercoat and topcoat of paint an even surface
  • It allows for uniform absorption of paint, helps cover the grains and pores and thereby enables a flat, opaque, and smoother finish.
Some safety pre-requisites (Back to Top)                                                                                          


Primer and paint give out strong fumes. It irritates the eyes and can also cause certain discomfort if inhaled. You may want to be better prepared with woodworking safety equipments like face masks and eyegears while indulging in this activity.

Materials and consumables required (Back to Top)

Primer allows for uniform absorption of paint, helps cover the grains and enables a flat and smoother finish
Wood primer and paint
Primer, Paint and Brush
  • Wooden surface
  • Primer (We have used HEROLITE wood primer - 200 ml)
  • Wood Paint (We have used Asian Paints Brown Premium gloss enamel - 200ml)
  • Paint Brushes (1 inch brush, 1 each for priming and painting)
  • Some sand paper and chalk putty
Note: The amount of Primer and paint required is dependent on the surface of the wooden furniture you are painting on.

Surface preparation for priming wood (Back to Top)

Plywood for priming and painting
  • The wood we have chosen for this demonstration is a 6 mm plywood
  • As you can  see, the grains, besides the brand name are obviously visible on the surface.
  • Since paint forms a opaque film and would hide the grains, light sanding on the surface would suffice before applying the primer.
  • Here I am using a 120 grit sandpaper for light sanding.
  • Once sanded, ensure all the dust that are a result of sanding are cleanly wiped off using a tack (gada) cloth.

Apply the primer (Back to Top)



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Dip the brush into the can
Apply the primer using firm and uniform back and forth motion of the paint brush
Apply the first coat of primer
  • The primer I am using here is HEROLITE wood primer.
  • Shake the can well before opening it, stir the contents well and mix 2-3% of thinner as required and stir well.
  • Dip the brush into the can (Atleast about 1 inch of the bristles into the primer) and start applying the first coating of primer on the wooden surface.
  • Don't worry too much about evenness at this point.
  • Ensure most portions of the surface is well covered with primer.
  • Those that have been missed out can be done during the second coating.
  • Allow a minimum drying time of 8 hrs.
After the first coat of primer on wood

Apply the second coating of Primer

The putty allows for a much smoother surface than earlier, providing the second coat of primer an even base
Mix chalk putty with water to make a paste
Smear putty across surface and wipe off excess
  • Now this is a trick that a professional carpenter taught me. Between the first and second coating of primer, apply putty across the surface and wipe off the excess using the tack cloth.
  • Allow a 20-30 minute drying time.
  • The putty allows for a much smoother surface than earlier, providing the second coat of primer an even base.
  • Be generous in the amount of primer that you take on the brush and apply it using firm back and forth motion of the brush.
  • Allow it another 8 hour drying.
  • Now the surface on the wood has the necessary base onto which the undercoat of paint will easily stick onto.
After the second Primer coat

Apply the paint undercoat (Back to Top)

If you are not used to painting before, it helps to try this on a sample piece of wood
Undercoat of paint applied on wood
  • As in the case of primer, shake the can of paint well, and stir it before dipping the brush in.
  • Dilute the paint with 2-3% of thinner to enable free flow of paint during application. The original content will be thick and viscous.
  • Take generous amount of paint in the brush (Dip in atleast about 1 inch of the bristles into the paint can) and apply it evenly across the surface using slow and firm back and forth motion.
  • If you are not used to painting before, it helps to try this on a sample piece of wood.
  • Allow it another 8 hours of drying.
  • Gently sand off any bubble or blob that was formed while applying the undercoat.

Apply the topcoat of paint on wood

Gently sand off any bubble or blob that was formed while applying the undercoat
And that is how you apply primer and paint on wood
  • It will help to sand the surface lightly using a 320 grit sand paper. This will eliminate the blobs from the earlier coat.
  • Apply the topcoat of paint for the final look.
  • You may want to ensure that the surface is neat and smooth without any bubbles or blobs.
  • Allow it to dry.

P.S. Linking in : Colours Dekor
- Somu


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38 comments:

  1. Much needed tutorial… for people like me..

    Happy new year to you... and thanks for joining in.. this week!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Patricia, Glad you can find some use from this post :)

    Wish you a wonderful year ahead too... and trust me, it is indeed our pleasure to join in :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I really to proud to say your blog go to peak. I always welcomed your blog. By Regards Banner Printing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wholesale printing, thanks for your kind words !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing this post! Coming from abroad i was used to simply put two layers of wood finish on my wood and done - now this is a whole new procedure for me! Do you know what I have to do, if I want my wood finish to be blue or white? Just use wall-colour in the last step?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi.. gr8 site for DIY enthusiasts.

    I want to stain bamboo poles.Is it a gud idea to put Lacquer over it to give a final shine effect.As these will be placed in Balcony,is it possible to retain the shine for a long ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Somu,

    I am looking to paint an MDF cabinet and your tutorial has been really helpful! Thanks a lot :) Just one question - is there a specific type of paint I need to use? I want to use coloured paint. Please reply and suggest the best paint to pick.

    Regards,
    Yamini

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great Boss....good details for people like us who know nothing about it ,but get good enough idea from the post given by you....v good once again...for the right help....

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
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  11. It is crucial to do proper surface preparation on new interior and exterior wood. All surfaces that painters deal with our porous.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice blog, the detailed and procedural information helps in gaining practical knowledge. Thanks for sharing the information

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  13. Great post! Thanks you so much for the share. It is indeed a helpful one.
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  14. That's really awesome blog because i found there lot of valuable Information and i am very glad that you share this blog with us. You can also visit this for Plywood Prices In Bangalore and Buy plywood Online

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  15. I have a small wood workshop , some times have to paint some color to wood surface . Searching information on internet and found your site . Really valuable information get from here . Thanks so much .
    Great job .

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like wood working and some times I make some simple tools for my family. But I never paint some things. I think it is very difficult and so dangerous if you don't know how to paint safety. This is really a good guide for some one who don't have any experiences in paiting.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post! Thanks you so much for the share. It is indeed a helpful one.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Heelo Somu,
    Very nice of you guys to come up with his detailed version of how to. I'm trying my hand in painting my MDF speaker cabinets (DIY). Came across your blog.
    Thanks for your details.
    Only suggestion is that you could have added about how to prep the putty
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now it makes sense as to why you raised this point. Will make note. Sometimes I am left with wondering what level of detailing should go into a post. And in the process i am missing out on some critical points. Like the vertical support for the golu stand :)

      Delete
  19. Heelo Somu,
    Very nice of you guys to come up with his detailed version of how to. I'm trying my hand in painting my MDF speaker cabinets (DIY). Came across your blog.
    Thanks for your details.
    Only suggestion is that you could have added about how to prep the putty
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
  20. We have a website where people related to plywood stuff , Nice to see that you are educating people about wood and plywood . We will use few tips to educate our customers too . Thanks for writing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I like this wooden project very much. it is really great idea to make our home furnished with woods.

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  22. This is the perfect illustration of prime & painting plywood , Often few customers get confused doing the same process and end up doing it wrong . This article is a great help . Keep up the work .

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  26. Very nice of you guys to come up with his detailed version of how to. Thanks you so much for the share. It is indeed a helpful one.

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  27. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I like your way of blogging. Hope you will be the better articles in the near future.

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  28. I love your post, it really good and interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Really informative and useful post. It is good you have included all the details why applying primer is so important. Some DIY enthusiasts tend to skip it especially if they don't know the rationale why it is used.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thanks for a very informative procedure. If you can upload a video in YouTube, it will be wonderful. As an extension, I think we can stick a painting/paper cutting of desired picture on the paint surface when the paint is still wet, allow to dry, apply clear wood polish (I tried SHEENLAC) and allow to dry. We can apply some 2-3 coatings. The outcome was interesting. I would request your comment on this.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for this tutorial. Is the putty and primer applied on wood different from that applied on walls? Asking cos I have excess primer and putty bought for wall repairs and trying to save money! :) :)
    Regards
    Roshni Kanchan

    ReplyDelete

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