Varnishing woodwork provides a beautiful and satisfying result, provided you take into account the right conditions in the room and apply the correct painting technique.
In principle, you paint all types of wood and related panel materials in the same way. However, we are happy to give you some extra tips specifically for painting windows and doors and MDF.
When is the best time to do the painting job?● Make sure it is between 10°C and 20°C in the room
● Make sure that the air in the room is not too dry or too humid. Place some containers with water in the room if the air is too dry or turn on the heating if the air is too humid.
● Keep the windows closed while painting to avoid drafts. You can ventilate the room after painting.
● Make sure the room is free of dust when you start painting by vacuuming and mopping well.
Step 1: Clean and degrease the surface As with painting an interior wall, it is also important for paintwork to keep the surface clean and free of grease. The approach differs per surface:
● Unpainted wood and panel material (OSB or plywood): Remove dust and degrease with a suitable degreaser or ammonia water (one part ammonia to nine parts water).
● Painted wood in good condition: clean and degrease thoroughly.
● Wood with peeling paint layers: remove poorly adhering layers of paint by first degreasing well, then scraping, sanding or biting off with a paint stripper.
● Melamine (kitchen cabinets) and wall tiles: clean with a degreaser and scouring pad.
Step 2 - Repair, level and tape as needed For a perfectly smooth paint result, thorough sanding, from coarse sandpaper to finer grain sandpaper, is an absolute must. A well-executed sanding not only ensures an even surface, but also ensures that the paint will adhere better.
For a perfect result, it is important that the surface you want to paint is perfectly prepared. Nail holes, small cracks and tears can be filled with a suitable filler and a putty knife. Do you want to finish the wood transparently with varnish? Then use a filler in the color of the wood for a smooth look.
● Smooth the filler into the holes.
● Smooth with the putty knife and let dry.
● Repeat as necessary until the surface is even.
● Lightly sand the repaired areas.
A well-executed sanding not only ensures an even surface, but also ensures that the paint will adhere better. Especially with wood it is important to sand thoroughly with suitable sandpaper.
Careful masking and covering of everything you do not want to paint is also a must with paintwork.
Step 3 - Choosing the Right Paint and Tools● Paint: Waterborne paint is generally recommended for interior paint jobs. Find out what to look for when choosing the right paint.
● Brushes: Choose a brush that is adapted to the type of paint you use. After all, the bristles and composition of the brush are different for water-based than for solvent-based paint. It is best to paint with a round brush, for varnishing it is better to choose a flat one.
● Rollers: Choose a paint roller that is suitable for water-based or solvent-based products. You get the best results with a short-haired mohair roller or foam roller.
Check that you have all the paint and tools in your area and stir the lacquer well with a stirring stick.
Step 4 - Apply Primer Start - if necessary - with the application of the primer. Using a suitable primer is often recommended for paintwork. Only in this way is it possible to obtain a perfect end result. After all, a primer ensures that the top coats can adhere perfectly, even on surfaces other than wood.
A primer is indicated for:
● New or unpainted wood and sheet material.
● Certain tropical woods (merbau, afzelia, etc.) that can bleed through.
● Smooth surfaces such as melamine, wall tiles, metals and PVC.
Step 5 - Apply Lacquerer Apply two coats. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly and sand lightly (with grit P220-P240) between coats. Use a brush for corners, edges and upstands and a roller for larger areas.
Applying solvent-based lacquer● Apply the paint in vertical strokes.
● Then - without taking new paint - go horizontally over the surface to spread the paint well.
● Do the same in a diagonal direction.
● Finally, finish by lightly brushing the paint vertically, from bottom to top.
Apply water-based paint Proceed in the same way as with solvent-based paint but omit the diagonal painting as the paint dries faster.
Do you want to interrupt the painting?● Try to apply each layer in one go as much as possible for a tight, even result.
● If you do have to stop for a while, do this before you start a new surface (e.g. the side of a cupboard) to keep starting lines to a minimum.
● You should not clean your tools in between coats. Scrape most of the paint off the brush and roll and wrap in plastic wrap.
Tips for painting windows and doors● Small gaps and gaps between the woodwork and the wall should only be caulked after the primer and before the first final coat.
● Some (tropical) wood species, such as merbau and afzelia, contain dyes that are water-soluble. To prevent these dyes from bleeding through into the final coats, it is best to first give them two coats of water-based primer, or one coat of solvent-based primer. Important! To guarantee the insulating effect of the primer, it must be completely dried out. So always leave enough time between the two layers.
Tips for painting MDFAlways paint MDF on both sides (even if it is not visible) to avoid warping of the panel.
The ends of MDF are very absorbent. Therefore, give them two coats of primer before you start with the final coats.
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