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How to Paint Woodwork Like a Professional Part 1


Painting woodwork is a difficult skill to learn. It requires a keen eye for detail and tons of patience. Repeated practice is also essential to master this skill.

Unless you are sure that you know the techniques needed to do this task well, it is best if you just hire professional painters to guarantee that you get a smooth, silky finish.

Here’s what you need to know:

Just like concrete, properly painting wood, whether it is part of the home interiors or exteriors, involves thorough surface preparation and expert painting skills. These two things are critical in getting a professional-looking finish that is bound to last long.

In this blog, we will talk about in detail the things you need to do if you want to paint woodwork like a pro.

Woodwork Painting Stage 1: Initial Preparation

Some amateurs might go straight to painting the wood to get the job done as soon as possible. This move is guaranteed to result in a sloppy paint job which is going to cost more time and money.


Paint is not a magical substance that is going to make the woodwork look flawless. It cannot cover dents, scratches, peels and other existing issues. The surface may look pristine after being painted on, but it won’t take long before the defects and blemishes become noticeable or cause additional problems.

The first step is to wash the wood with a Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) solution or an equivalent to clean it and remove grease, grime, soot and smoke stains. Make sure you rinse it with clean water after and let it dry.

Next, you need to scrape off all loose paint if you are repainting. Never paint over an old coating! The new paint won’t adhere properly to the surface, causing the paint to peel.

After accomplishing these tasks, you are going to end up with a rougher wood with additional dents and scratches. It can be discouraging to see the surface in this state, but it’s how it should be – the wood needs to be clean and as bare as possible. Furthermore, reaching this stage means you are already halfway through the pre-painting tasks.

Woodwork Painting Stage 2: Surface Preparation

Surface preparation has four essential steps and all of them are critical to preparing the wood for painting.

Step 1: Examine the wood for any dents or damages. For dents which are more than half a centimetre thick, you can use a polyester resin as a filler. It is also recommended to use this for repairing damaged wood corners. Resin can easily be sanded, and it also does not shrink. Keep in mind that resin has around 10 minutes before it hardens completely.

Step 2: Work on the scratches. The difference between scratches and dents is that scratches are a lot shallower than dents but are still visible or can still be felt when touched. To fix scratches, you need to use a multipurpose filler. Ensure that you fill all the scratches and even out the surface.

Step 3: This is, perhaps, the most difficult step – one that requires the most patience as this may take several times before you are able to finish it. What needs to be done? You need to spot-prime the sections of the wood that may have uneven parts.

Spot-priming helps you find all the bumps and scratches on the surface. If you find any bumps, then you need to sand it. Meanwhile, if you see more scratches, then you need to do step 2 again.

Repeat this process until you are completely satisfied with the appearance and feel of the wood. Once you are done, lightly sand all the wood including the parts you did not fill or spot-prime.

Step 4: The last step before painting is caulking all long cracks or gaps. This process helps protect and reinforce the wood to minimise or avoid water seepage. When water seeps into the wood’s cracks or gaps, it is going to be more susceptible to damages.

The goal of the preparation stage is to clean and smoothen the wood as well as to fix all the flaws or defects it has. Only after all these are accomplished can the painting proper begin. On our next blog, we are going to discuss the actual painting process.

Need to paint some woodwork in your house? Well, this is NOT an easy task. It is best to let us do this job to get the best results. Call us today on 086 608 1817 / 085 139 0233 to learn more about our painting services.