What type of paint to use on wood?

Published on : 19 January 202110 min reading time

Choosing the right finish is fundamental when painting wood, as it can give a new face to an old piece of furniture or guarantee a new style to your project. Wood is a material widely used in decoration and requires special attention. Choosing the right paint is very important because it gives the touch we want to use to decorate a certain space and a new face to the furniture. There are different types of wood paint on the market, which can be found on two different supports: water and solvent. The main differences are the intensity of the perfume at the time of painting, the resistance to water and the damage caused to the environment. While products containing solvents have stronger odors in their composition, products containing water have little or no odor. On the other hand, solvent-based paints are more resistant to water and moisture. They are more suitable for outdoor environments subject to the action of rain.

On the other hand, those that use water as a pigment substrate are more recommended for indoor environments, as they can be damaged by the effects of weather. Moreover, they are ecologically correct, compared to those made from solvents, which use highly toxic chemicals in their composition. Below are the most common types of paints used in wood projects.

Base paint

There was a time when we used very specific paints to repaint our woodwork, so we multiplied the pots of paint …

Today, thanks to specific undercoats that allow to use after application any paint of the same base, the quality and the rendering are of high quality and it is no longer necessary to clutter up. The wood undercoat allows you to prepare your support as well as possible and to optimize your result. It is also possible to buy directly wood paints all in one multi support (valid for wood, metal, radiators).

The interior of the house is then tailor-made and renewable as desired with ease.

The most common types of paints for interior use

  1. acrylic

It is a cheap and easy to apply paint that can be applied with a brush or roller, but nothing prevents it from being applied with a spray gun and a compressor. Acrylic paint contains acrylic resins, it creates a water-repellent layer in furniture, which is suitable for internal objects in wet areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Although the application and treatment is also simple, the finish is consistent compared to other types of paint. The advantage is that the surface painted with acrylic paint can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

2.latex

It is a paint that makes the work more practical, allowing application with a brush and roller, without the need for industrial equipment. This paint is indicated for furniture or wooden objects that remain indoors, away from the sun or excessive humidity. It is generally used to create a background allowing the application of a different color paint, which gives a better finish to the project. Another advantage is the cleaning of the environment after painting. Splashes on the floor or walls can only be removed with a cloth moistened with water.

3.synthetic e-mail

It is an inexpensive, commercially available, water- or solvent-based ink that is available in matte, satin and gloss versions. It is easy to apply and can be applied with a brush, roller or spray gun. Waterproof, it is indicated for interior and exterior surface objects, with a better finish than acrylic paint. Nevertheless, it does not protect against scratches and yellowing over time.

Outdoor wood paint

Want to repaint your wooden fence, shutters, gate or garden furniture? Choose the ideal paint.

First of all, consider the type of support. Before choosing your paint, it is essential to carefully analyze your wooden support. This analysis allows you to select the right product and to prepare the substrate properly.

Is it new or old? Raw, already painted or stained? If your wood is new, you must apply an undercoat to allow paint to adhere, whereas if it is already painted, sanding may suffice. On the other hand, if your support is stained, it is necessary to sand the surface or to choose a new generation of paint, now applicable on this old finish.

Is it damaged or dirty? Remember to treat and clean the areas that need it. You can fill the holes with a specific coating to make the surface smooth.

What is the type of wood? Softwood (pine, fir, spruce, larch, yew, cedar) or exotic (teak, mahogany, eucalyptus, acacia …)? For example, oily woods such as teak or acidic or very resinous woods require a specific undercoat.

You can then go through the type of paint. You can choose between water-based paints and oil-based paints.

Acrylic paint, water-based, is ideal to make outdoor wood breathe thanks to its microporous quality. Moreover, it dries quickly and respects the environment by releasing less volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere.

Alkyd paint, also water-based, takes longer to dry but offers more resistance and a better finish than acrylic paint. Like acrylic, you can clean painting tools with water.

Glycero is an oil paint known for its high resistance to impact, UV, humidity, mildew and fungus. On the other hand, it dries slowly (count about 8 hours between coats) and emits a strong odor. In addition, it is diluted with white spirit, a product that should also be used for cleaning equipment.

These paints are usually available in a satin finish. It is a finish that is resistant to humidity and dirt and does not show too much of the defects of the support.

The finishes of a wood paint

As with the murals and decorative paints, different finishes can be chosen for the woodwork.

1) Matte finish:

For a deep and stylish look, you will opt for the matte finish. This finish is particularly suitable for bedrooms. However, it is an aspect that does not like flaws and even less the strong passage.

2) Satin finish:

For a bright and easy to use effect, you will naturally go for the satin finish. It allows you to hide slight defects and is perfect for all rooms.

3) Glossy finish:

For a reflection that gives light and the feeling of space, the glossy finish is recommended. Also used for damp rooms, this finish is not suitable for damaged surfaces.

For furniture, it is imperative to apply a finish. Indeed, they are subjected to shocks, scratches, rubbing, dust, liquids and household products. The finishes are therefore there to protect them. There are two types of finishes: impregnation finishes that penetrate the wood fibers to reinforce them and film-forming finishes that create a protective film on the surface. Film-forming finishes are products that form a protective film on the surface of the wood. They are often chosen for their decorative style and easy maintenance. They also offer your furniture a very good resistance to everyday aggressions (scratches, rubbing, liquids, …). So discover why choose a varnished or painted finish. Transparent and very resistant, varnish is ideal if you want to bring modernity to your antique furniture while keeping the wood visible or if you want to protect your industrial furniture from your 100% natural wood decoration. If you want to change the style of your furniture, give color to your interior or if you no longer want to make the wood visible, painting is the appropriate solution.

Wood protection

To bring back to life an antique varnished furniture or to protect a piece of furniture, different kinds of products are used.

The maintenance of the varnish is very simple because it is a protective product that preserves the appearance of the wood. However, as with other wood protection products, it is the varnish’s support that will determine its choice.

Opt for a satin waxed varnish to obtain warm shades. A clear matte varnish will be perfect for protection only, while a color varnish will give a light, natural tone while protecting the wood.

The difference with stain? Varnish creates a transparent film when applied to the surface of the wood. The varnish protects well from stains, wear, scratches and humidity. The stain leaves the wood grain visible, it can be liquid or gel.

Contrary to varnish, woodstain penetrates the wood to protect it from external aggressions. The stain is not recommended for horizontal application because it is not resistant to wear and tear.

To obtain a perfect result, even before you start painting, some precautions should be taken on the preparation.

First of all, you need very clean, dry and healthy supports. Avoid using chemical products to clean them as this could alter the paint. Do not forget to lightly grit (sand) the surface to ensure good adhesion of the product (paint or undercoat). Do not hesitate to invest in quality painting tools that will make the work easier.

Rollers and brushes must be perfectly adapted to the type of paint and rendering chosen. Finally, get something to mix your paint before use in order to ensure the proper distribution of color pigments (a simple mixer, or propeller mixer, mounted on a drill will do the trick).

For exterior wood, you must maintain them with insecticides, fungicides and anti-termite products. Wood can be attacked by wood-boring insects, i.e. insects that feed on wood such as termites, or by fungi, mould or rot. For this reason, it is essential to treat the wood curatively if it is infested. In the case of healthy wood, it is also advisable to treat it preventively in order to protect it for at least ten years.

Apart from varnishes and stains, you can use saturator and oil for outdoor wood.

The saturator is microporous, it impregnates the wood by saturation, i.e. it penetrates into the heart of its fibers to protect them durably against humidity and UV rays. Thanks to its matt appearance, similar to that of wet wood, it preserves the natural elegance of the wood and enhances its grain. It is recommended on most species used outdoors and is the ideal finish for gratings and terraces since it is stain and chlorinated water resistant. For the first 2 or 3 years, it is recommended to apply saturator once or twice a year, then once every 3 years. This product is generally composed of natural and environmentally friendly products.

The oil does not create a protective film and allows the wood to breathe. It impregnates it deeply to better protect it. The oil also enhances the natural aspect of the wood, especially its grain. It is particularly recommended for the maintenance of exotic wood furniture such as teak.

On horizontal woods, i.e. terraces and stairs, it is recommended to apply a saturator. For exotic woods such as teak, use an oil that is adapted to the type of wood.

It is possible to stain previously protected wood with an oil or saturator. On the other hand, the opposite is not possible unless you sand the wood completely.

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