the painted surface
How To Paint A Wall of Wainscoting
Wainscoting varies from country, traditional or modern styles, it can be plain or very ornate. Whatever the style, painting it is pretty much like painting other woodwork. Also see “How to Paint Woodwork”. The bare wood should be sanded if needed, primed, sanded again, joints caulked and holes filled, sanded and then painted with the finish coats of paint. Though traditionally painted as woodwork sometimes it is painted to match the walls in color and finish. Your personal taste will decide which look you prefer.
Preparing To Paint the Wainscoting
These photos show wood trim applied to an existing wall to achieve the look of wainscoting. The walls enclosed by the trim will be treated as part of the trim. This is an economical method to get the look of wainscoting. It is sort of a faux wainscoting since true wainscoting would have a wood interior most of the time. The first thing I like to do is to thouroughly vacuum all the surfaces of the project. A good shop vac can suck out the small particles from cracks and crevices. These bits of wood can really mess up the finished surface. To go the extra mile to remove the dust use a tack cloth to wipe over the entire surface to remove the ultra fine dust. A tack cloth is found at your local hardware store with the painting and staining products. It is sticky(tacky) and will pick up very fine dust.
Primers should seal the surface and be compatible to the finish paint so the two will bond well together. The primer can be tinted to be similar to the finish color which might improve coverage. The primer should be easy to sand when dry. An oil-based enamel undercoater will give satisfactory results. A sealing primer was used on this job to seal the knot holes in hopes of preventing the sap stains from showing in the future as the wood ages. All of the knots were coated three times. All of the bare wood should get at least one coat of primer.
When the primer is dry you will probably see some cracks that will need to be filled to improve the appearance of the project. Now is the time to caulk and repair any imperfections in the surfaces. Caulk adheres better to a primed or painted surface than bare wood so it is best to prime first and caulk second. Use an acrylic caulk to fill the cracks around joints and seams. Some more information can be found in the article “How to Caulk”. Spackling, wood putty, painters putty or glazing putty can be used to fill the nail holes. If their are any stains or wood sap bleeding through give them another coat of primer. If they still bleed through use shellac or a shellac based pigmented primer to seal them.
After the caulk is completely dry which may take several hours or overnight the surfaces should be sanded. Sanding is not fun but the rewards make it worth it. This project was built with mix of finish grade and lesser grade products so some sanding was needed. The primer when dry is slightly gritty but this is easily smoothed with light sanding. Sanding sponges are great for this project. They come in fine grades and are flexible enough to sand the curved mouldings while flat and durable to sand the flat surfaces.
If there is a lot of sanding to do place a fan in the window to help exhaust the dust. Always wear dust protection over your nose, mouth and eyes. Sand the entire project, the surface should feel fairly slick after only a couple of passes with the sanding sponge. Be careful not to sand through the primer to the bare wood.
After sanding the surfaces were vacuumed and checked again for any cracks, holes or imperfections. The finish coats were applied using a Sherwin-Williams oil-based enamel. The photo shows some gloss but after a few days this will fade to an eggshell finish. The number of finish coats needed will depend on the type of primer and paint used, the paint color and the methods and experience of the painter. Usually two coats are needed to build up a uniform finish.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors