How To Prepare A Wood Surface For Painting (4 Essential Steps!)


by Houston Texas Painters - May 2, 2022

Refreshing the color of a wood surface can be challenging. It’s not as simple as spreading a new coat of paint and calling it a day—especially when the wood is old or worn out. If you skip preparing the wood before adding new colors, you’ll have uneven, rough finishes that won’t last.

Are you planning a DIY painting project? Here’s how to prepare wood for painting, whether you want to refresh furniture, trim, or a deck!

How to prepare wood for painting

Depending on the wear and tear, preparing wood for painting might require some effort. 

Sometimes, when wood’s heavily damaged, you might need to decide if a replacement is necessary. Fortunately, if your wooden surfaces are in decent condition, you can prepare them in four easy steps without breaking the bank. 

Here’s how to prepare the wood surface and ensure the paint job will be excellent.

Step #1: Cleaning

It’s crucial to avoid painting over a dirty surface. If you’re looking for a way to clean wood on exteriors, pressure washing is a great option. However, sometimes you’ll need to go deeper, which is when you can rely on chemical washing.

According to some experts, the best way to deal with moldy wood is by applying TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and bleach. This agent will also break down old paint and gloss so that the new paint sticks to the wood quite nicely.

However, TSP can be harsh on your skin and the environment. If you prefer to avoid it, check these alternative cleaners you can use instead. 

Step #2: Sanding

Even if they’re clean, wooden surfaces can be rough and uneven, which won’t do any good for your paint job. However, you can use a medium grit (100-150) sandpaper to smooth the surface.

Also, double-check if there isn’t any dry or wet rot that will require you to replace the wood. If you’re good to go, you can finish preparing the wood.

Step #3: Patching

If the surface is damaged or has a few nail holes, patching is an essential step. Make sure you get the proper caulk or paste needed, considering if it’s interior or exterior wood. After patching, take a moment to sand the area and even the surface.

Step #4: Priming

Priming will help paint adhere better, and any stains or marks on the wood won’t stand out through the coat of paint. Check the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the primer. Also, don’t forget to sand the surface a little to smooth it out for the color.

There you have it! Now the wooden surface is ready for applying paint and giving it new life. 

Are you looking for the best results? We can help!

Finishing a DIY project and enjoying an improved home is very fulfilling, but you won’t always have the luxury of time. However, there’s a way you can renovate your home without spending all your weekend: just call the pros!

Houston Texas Painters is a team of experienced contractors that will gladly take over your projects with quality results. Click here for more.



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