5 Tips And Tricks To Paint Wood Like A Pro

For a professional painter to perfectly paint wood any woodwork or walls, there are tips and tricks they employ that make them the best at their job. Though the techniques discussed here may slightly differ depending on the painter’s preferences and design, there are basic fundamentals every pro adheres to.

This article is to inform the reader who is looking to learn useful tips and tricks for painting wood and wall like a professional. Following these guidelines will give you a perfectly smooth wood surface from start, and perfectly painted woodwork at the end of your DIY project. Here are some useful tips and techniques that will give your wood paint a dazzling finish.

1.  Sand Away Patches

Paint Wood Like A Pro

In order to have a flawless finish for your woodwork or wall, it is mandatory to start by ensuring the wood surface is perfectly smooth. Some pro painters prefer to be referred by a more fitting title like a sander, due to the fact that much of their time is spend pushing sandpaper.

Sanding is important for leveling joint compound patches or outs sparkle and smoothing any ridges surrounding the screw holes. This technique is also useful in removing rough spots and burrs in your trim.

Use a fine-grit sanding paper attached to a sanding pole when sanding walls, starting from the baseboard to the ceiling. You can later sand in a horizontal motion along the baseboard and ceiling. A sanding sponge is more efficient for your woodwork as it is flexible and allows the painter to reach into crevices.

2. Clean The Dirt From Your Wood Surface

Always ensure you dust the dirt generated from the sanding process off the wood surface by using a dump piece of cloth before you start the painting process. It is also recommended to clean dirty, oily surfaces with a heavy-duty cleaner or de-glosser which is fit for pre-paint washing.

These cleaners are ideal for washing varnished, enameled, or painted surface prior to painting. They are useful as they improve the adhesion of the new paint, allowing the paint to form a strong bond with the wood surface.

3. Prime The Surface To Avoid A Blotchy Finish

A professional painter will first fill any holes and patched cracks using a sparkling compound like putty. The next step after sealing with the compound should be applying a primer before the paint. Grooming the woodwork or wall with a primer helps to avoid a problem known as flashing. This is a condition where the compound sucks the moisture from directly applied paint, giving you a flat and dull finish.

A pro will prefer a tinted grey primer or a color that matches the finish paint instead of using a white primer. This is because a tinted primer is better suited than a plain primer when you want to completely cover the existing paint.

It also economizes on paint as wood with tinted primer requires fewer coats to give your woodwork a colorful and vibrant finish. It is also perfect for sealing patches and texture differences while ensuring the paint does not sink in the putty and cause a dulling effect. This is especially evident with colors like red and orange which may require more than three coats to achieve a seamlessly smooth look.

4. Masking Off With Tape

There is nothing as heartbreaking to a painter as a mark left behind by a paint bleed after peeling the tape off the woodwork. A painter should ensure they perform a thorough job of attaching the tape properly to the wood surface before they start painting.

An experienced painter knows that the most effective trick to properly seal the taped surface from any paint bleed is to ensure a good seal. This can be achieved by applying the tape over the surface by running a putty knife over the top to provide an effective cover.

This is important to avoid the tedious chore of scraping off the bleed paint resulting from poor taping. Professionals prefer the blue painter’s tape to the masking tape. This is due to the latter leaving a sticky residue on the wood which is tough to remove.

Masking tape is also reactive to some paints and may buckle or become wavy leading to a paint bled. It is always advisable to use painter’s tape as it can be left on the painted surface for up to two weeks and still peel off easily without leaving any residue.

It is perfect for tapping off as it protects from paint bleed without collapsing. Ensure your paint is completely dry before peeling off the painter’s tape in order to avoid chipping. The tape should also be removed at an angle to give a clear-cut and sharp line.

5. Apply A Paint Extender

Wooden Decking PaintThe secret to eradicating any brush and lap marks from your finished paint job is adding a paint extender like Floetrol, into the paint. A paint extender is also referred to as a paint conditioner. This compound performs two critical functions. Firstly, to slow down the time required for the paint to dry after applying to the wood surface.

This is important as it allows the painter a longer period to overlap newly painted areas without leaving horrid lap marks that darken the finish, due to painting over dried paint. Secondly, a paint conditioner is useful to levels out the paint on the wood surface and effectively eliminate marks caused by the brush strokes. The pros use it to paint woodwork, cabinets, doors, and drywall.

Ensure you read the manufacturer guidelines on the right quantity to mix per gallon before adding the paint extender to your paint. To paint like a professional is not a daunting task if you understand the secret of the trade.


Any beginner can achieve a perfect paint finish by simply following the above tips and tricks. Another useful tips to remember while painting is to ensure you use a quality brush. In case you are using roller covers, ensure you first wash them thoroughly to get rid of the fuzz which is
prone to shed off once you begin painting. Use water and some liquid soap to wash the rollers, running your hands up and down to pull off any loose fiber. This process is known as preconditioning covers.

The rollers can be used to apply paint while still wet, therefore no need to waste time by drying the covers. After finishing painting the woodwork or wall, scrap your roller to save on paint before cleaning the cover. Finally, use pimple pads soaked in alcohol to wipe the floor clean from any paint spots. A professional always leaves painting tools and the surrounding area clean and tidy after a paint job.

Author Bio
Alex is a firewood cutting fan and a chainsaw expert. He owns a ranch in Montana where he lives with his wife and son. He is a tech cowboy who enjoys writing his blog ElectroSawHQ.com

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