How to Prepare Wood for Fine Enamel Paint

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Scuffed-up wood floors and patios are unappealing both to you and your guests. Luckily, there is a way to update your wood with a high quality finish using enamel. Enamel paint refers to an oil-based paint that looks slightly glossy when dry. With this helpful product, not only will your wood surfaces look as good as new, but enamel has waterproofing properties and helps protect against decay, ensuring a long life for your wood surfaces.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Duster brush
  • Sandpaper/Steel wool
  • Primer
  • Linseed oil
  • Turpentine
  • Putty
  • Enamel paint

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  1. 1

    Clear out the furniture in your room or on your patio. Brush down the wood surface with the duster brush and scrape off any grease spots or tough dirt. This first step might take a while if you are refinishing an older room. Sandpaper the rough places (usually the corners).

  2. 2

    Mix your white lead primer with linseed oil and turpentine before applying the primer to your surface. Linseed oil helps the paint become more fluid and glossy, while turpentine provides a protective coating. If your floor or patio is made from any type of sap- or oil-filled wood (such as cypress or pitch pine), add more turpentine than linseed oil. Apply a thin coat of this mixture to your wood surface.

  3. 3

    Fill in all cracks, fractures and nail holes with putty. Allow the putty to dry overnight, if possible. Scrub the surface lightly with sandpaper or steel wool when the putty is perfectly dry. Surface clean the area once again to clear the room of dust and other fine particles that can stick to wet paint.

  4. 4

    Paint your surfaces with your choice of paint or stain colour. Brush on the first coat. Give it a 12-hour drying period and lightly sand the surface down when it is dry. Do this for the second and third coats. Brush the coats on freely, but beware of runs and thick spots. For the finishing touches, suggests wiping your brush until it is dry and then going over the surface with long, light strokes. Use the tip of the bristles only.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint your wood in sections; this will prevent you from going over partially dry paint.
  • Allow plenty of free time when doing this project. It can take several days because of all the drying time.
  • Enamel tends to wrinkle and sag in corners, on edges and under mouldings; watch these areas closely.

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