As with most painting jobs, thorough preparation is the key to a smart finish. Follow this easy step-by-step guide to painting interior woodwork like skirting boards and doors, and make the most of your next room makeover.
Electric sander and abrasive paper
Sugar soap or detergent
Quick-drying, water-based wood primer
Satin or gloss finish paint
From £10 for 750ml paint, plus around £2 for 10 sheets of sandpaper
About two hours to sand, fill and paint a small to medium window
Step One: Prepare Cracks And Knots
Repair cracks and holes in the wood with a wood filler. Brush knotting compound over any knots to seal in the resin on bare wood. Black knots in wood are dead and will fall out. Prise them out and fill the holes. If you’re repainting, it's also worth washing the old paintwork with soapy water or sugar soap to clean away any grease and dirt.
Step Two: Remove Flaking Paint
Use a sander or filler knife to remove flaking paint and sand the whole area smooth with fine sandpaper to smooth off the filler and create a good surface for the new paint to cling to. Clean off the sanding dust with a cloth dipped in white spirit. Seal any bare wood with a quick-drying wood primer. Work the brush well into any mouldings and don't overload the brush or the paint will form drips on the surface. Leave to dry.
Step Three: Painting
Check the instructions on the can of your chosen topcoat and apply an undercoat if recommended. Try to use only the top third of the brush and start with smooth vertical stokes. Brush the paint out horizontally and finish off with light brush strokes in the direction of the grain. Allow to dry and then brush on the topcoat. If the new paint doesn’t hide the colour of the old, rather do two coats than apply the paint too thickly creating drips and brushmarks.
Illustrations: Ed Roberts
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