Paints for wood: why to use them and how to do it

Paints for wood: why to use them and how to do it

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The paints for wood they could be a rather intimidating element for the layman, but in reality, considering that their application is not too difficult and can bring important advantages, it is a very advisable procedure!

Why apply wood paints

There are at least two main reasons for applying a wood paint to your surface: the protection and the external appearance.

Regarding the protection, just remember that wood is a porous material, capable of absorbing everything on it, such as oils, dirt and chemicals. On the other hand, a good varnish can seal the wood and keep external elements away from the grain.

The second advantage is, as anticipated, that ofappearance. All wood has a grain, some more vibrant than others. The paints will certainly add a little color to the grain, reviving it, without distorting it.

What types of paint exist

The level of protection and the effect on the final appearance that are offered by a wood varnish obviously varies depending on the type that is used and ... there are really many varieties to choose from.

Some paints are also used alone, while others are to be used in combination with additional ingredients. Of course, it is not necessary to test them all, but only those that fit your needs and wishes.

In short, there is no "right" or "wrong" choice for your project: everyone can find the most suitable wood paint based on their preferred appearance, method of application and desired effect.

Read also: Wood siding, how to clean them properly

What is wood varnish

With a small step back, let's remember that wood paint is one basic finish that covers and protects the material on which it is applied. Paint isn't usually used over natural wood, but it can still be a good approach in some situations. If the coating of the paint is thin, or semi-transparent, then the wood grain can pass through it.

Please note that wood varnish is not the only finish that can be applied to the material. Think of the wax, a finish that is easy to apply, as it is simply rubbed and polished. Works best on fine-grained woods that have been sanded down to a smooth surface. It is no better on coarse-grained woods, such as oak or ash. The wax is not applied only to bare woods, but to other finishes, such as shellac, to protect it from moisture.

Another finish is that of oils, another easy way to finish woodworking projects, as they are simply applied to the surface. They are quick to apply and can be reapplied multiple times over the years. The oils do not provide a glossy surface, however, and can be sticky for some time. Among the most used oils are linseed and mineral oils.

We then find the shellac, an "ancient" finish that is not used much nowadays. It is a resin that is dissolved in alcohol and then brushed on projects. It is not known for its protection from humidity, so it has fallen into disuse over the years. It is therefore not the best choice for table tops, but it can be used to add a natural warmth similar to amber to your projects.

Different is the lacquer, which unlike oils dries to a durable finish that does not require a new coating. Lacquer dries much faster than oils, so finishing can be done more quickly. Because it dries hard, lacquered finish projects are prone to cracking and chipping with age.

Continuing then in the various finishes we find the polyurethane, which is basically a liquid plastic that provides a durable finish when hardened. It is available in glossy or matte finishes and is applied with a cloth or brush. Polyurethane does not dry quickly, which makes it prone to collecting dust as it settles.

Finally, there is the polyacrylic, a water-based polyurethane that dries quickly until it reaches a resistant and lasting finish. It is cleaned with soap and water and is usually applied by brush or spray. Polyacrylic is very easy to use and clean, and is therefore gaining great favor among carpenters.

How to apply the paint

There are several ways to apply the paint. One of these is obviously brushing, which requires a little extra attention (brushing can leave marks in the finish, making the purchase of quality brushes doubly important). Use a custom paint brush for the paint you want to apply.

Alternatively there are the spray, which allow you to obtain a beautiful finish without too many problems and costs. Cleaning is also quick and easy, making this alternative quite convenient, even if the procedure is less precise.


If this is your first time approaching this job ... do it carefully and remember to always apply the wood finish of your choice under a good reflective light, as it creates a glare on the surface which will help you see if you have missed a spot .

Also remember to carry out this activity in a place that can withstand stains and other signs of dirt, and properly equipped for the immediate cleaning operations that will follow the application of the wood paint.

Video: - How to Sand u0026 Prep Steps - How to Paint Furniture Series (July 2022).


  1. Daidal

    Thank you very much for the information, now I will not make such a mistake.

  2. Fegore

    Great, useful information

  3. Bagul

    I am absolutely confident in this.

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  5. Juzahn

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  6. Kay

    This gorgeous phrase will come in handy.

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