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How to: Paint woodwork

The benefits of applying primer, two coats of undercoat, and a topcoat of gloss are both practical and aesthetic. This 'How to' offers down-to-earth advice on creating beautiful paintwork that will protect your wood for longer.

What you'll learn
Here's an overview of what this 'How to' covers:
Order of painting
Using a primer
Using an undercoat
Using a topcoat

How to: Use varnishes, stains and dyes

Get creative with the huge range of finishing products available for wood. This 'How to' explains the best application techniques. You'll also find lots of advice on protecting your woodwork and enhancing its natural beauty.

What you'll learn
Here's an overview of what this 'How to' covers:
Preparing new wood
Preparing wood that's already varnished
Applying preser vatives
Colouring wood
Applying clear varnish
Cleaning brushes

How to: Use varnishes, stains and dyes

Get creative with the huge range of finishing products available for wood. This 'How to' explains the best application techniques. You'll also find lots of advice on protecting your woodwork and enhancing its natural beauty.

What you'll learn
Here's an overview of what this 'How to' covers:
Preparing new wood
Preparing wood that's already varnished
Applying preser vatives
Colouring wood
Applying clear varnish
Cleaning brushes

Choosing a paintbrush or roller

How you apply your paint can make a big difference not only to the final results but also to the amount of work you put in. This guide will help you decide which kind of paintbrush or roller is the best for the job.

Paintbrushes

A paintbrush is the best choice for painting wood or metalwork. It is also ideal for decorating the edges of walls and ceilings, or areas where colours or surfaces meet, such as windows and doors.

Size

A brush should never be wider than the surface you are painting. Use small brushes for edges and corners. Wide brushes are good for covering larger areas but are heavier to hold.

Bristles

Bristle is tough and resilient and holds paint well. Good-quality synthetic brushes will do for most jobs, but cheap brushes contain fewer bristles and deteriorate with use. It's worth investing in the best quality brush you can afford.

Special purpose

A crevice or radiator brush has short bristles on a long handle for reaching behind pipes and radiators and other awkward areas. An angled cutting-in brush, ideal for window frames, allows you to paint right up to an edge or corner. Special brushes are also available for decorative effects such as stencilling, mottling or graining.

Rollers

A roller will apply paint faster than a brush and is ideal for covering large areas, particularly with emulsion. However, it spreads thinly so you may need more coats. Use a brush for straight edges and around doorframes and windows etc.

Choose a model with a frame so you can remove and interchange sleeves to suit different surfaces and for easy cleaning. You also need a paint tray to load the roller.

Sleeve fibre

Disposable foam rollers for general purpose painting are economical and work well on a smooth surface. However they are harder to use and clean and tend to leave tiny bubbles. The foam deteriorates with age. Natural (lamb's wool, mohair) or synthetic sleeves on a rigid core are the best quality, available in short, medium or long pile.

Sleeve pile

Long-pile sleeves hold more paint and are suitable for painting textured or uneven surfaces with emulsion. An exterior grade sleeve is available e.g. for pebbledash. Short-pile sleeves are ideal on smooth, flat surfaces and for a high finish, with solid emulsion or oil-based paints, e.g., doors and walls. Textured sleeves can create a range of decorative effects such as sponging, marbling, rag-rolling and stippling.

Special purpose

Special purpose rollers are available eg with detachable extension handles for painting ceilings and small rollers on a long handle for painting behind radiators and other awkward areas.

 



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