question about painting wood

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Forum topic by indychip posted 12-23-2016 07:36 PM 1087 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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81 posts in 3044 days

12-23-2016 07:36 PM

I know, I know…. I shouldn’t paint wood. I hate to paint it too, but my wife wants this project painted white. Anyway, I built a fireplace and entertainment center, I used plywood for the sides and red oak for the rails/stiles for the face frame. I purchased interior paint. After the paint dried it feels like sand paper, not smooth at all. And the grain raised on my red oak. So obviously I did this all wrong. Once I get the paint all stripped off and I start all over, what are some suggestions on how to do this job correct? Should I have used a sanding sealer first? What type of paint is best? Should I spray or brush the paint? Thanks for any help.

10 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6587 posts in 3415 days

#1 posted 12-23-2016 07:52 PM

“interior paint” isn’t very informative, but I’m guessing it was some kind of waterborne paint….maybe latex wall paint. Regardless, the paint you want to use will be 100% acrylic (as opposed to wall paint, if that’s what you have) or an oil based enamel. the latex has a property called ‘blocking” which is most stuff that touches it for a while will stick to it. The acrylic will solve that. The roughness is caused by the water in the paint, it’s raised grain. Avoiding it isn’t too hard unless you used the latex wall paint. But from scratch you could have sealed the wood with shellac or a shellac primer (Zinnser BIN shellac based), or an oil primer, then top coat. At this point, if you used the latex I would suggest stripping it all off and start with a primer. If you used an acrylic for the first attempt, see if you can sand it smooth. If you can get it smooth with sanding, the first coat will serve as your sealer and you can apply more coats to it with no grain raising.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View mrbob's profile


182 posts in 1491 days

#2 posted 12-23-2016 07:53 PM

Primer b4 paint!!! Get a paint for cabinets.

View bondogaposis's profile


5900 posts in 3273 days

#3 posted 12-23-2016 08:02 PM

Red oak is possibly the worst wood to paint. The grain will always show through. Next time use poplar for painted projects.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3919 days

#4 posted 12-23-2016 08:17 PM

Sand what you have painted smooth
Give it more coats of paint, sanding in between. Water based paint RAISED the grain with first coat.(That is common with water based paint)
Also use a good quality paint. Most companies make 2-3 grades of quality. For cabinets it is wise to use the best. The end result is worth the money spent.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Robin1's profile


137 posts in 2413 days

#5 posted 12-23-2016 08:59 PM

Sand with a high grit (320) paper between coats. Sand with the grain- one direction. I usually use one hand, palm down on the paper and pull the paper with the other hand. This is all the pressure you need. You can use a water based poly over the top- I prefer General Finishes Flat (available at Woodcraft). 2-3 coats of that and the finish will be silky smooth.

View JayT's profile


6414 posts in 3133 days

#6 posted 12-23-2016 09:28 PM

Red oak is possibly the worst wood to paint. The grain will always show through. Next time use poplar for painted projects.

- bondogaposis

+1 Poplar or soft maple are good choices for paint, red oak is one of, if not the worst. In addition to the very coarse grain structure, the tannins in oak will bleed through most paint. If you can’t replace the wood, then it means a lot of work pore filling, a seal coat of some kind (de-waxed shellac or a shellac based primer, such as Kilz or Zinsser) then the paint.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Kirk650's profile


681 posts in 1670 days

#7 posted 12-23-2016 10:52 PM

Well, hoping nobody shoots me, I’ll admit that I paint a lot of wood. Not cherry or Walnut, but pine and poplar, and I have recently painted some white oak cabinets. Like the guys say, red oak is going to be a bit tougher to smooth out. I think I’d use some Kilz, which is relatively thick, and use more than one coat – using it a bit like a filler. Sand the first coat of Kilz smooth, and do the same for the second coat. Note that I haven’t actually used two coats of Kilz, but I would try it.

View Robin1's profile


137 posts in 2413 days

#8 posted 12-23-2016 11:37 PM

I completely missed the red oak part. Once you strip it, put a nice poly finish on it and tell your wife to move in with her mother. I should mention that I’m divorced. All kidding aside, the sanding between coats should still work. You shouldn’t need to strip it. Poplar in the future though…covered with a good milk paint and water based poly. Good luck. As a side note, white pigment shellac works like Kilz (less fumes, easier to apply) and will stop bleed through.

View Kirk650's profile


681 posts in 1670 days

#9 posted 12-24-2016 03:34 AM

I’ve used the shellac based sealer, and it works great, but the Kilz is thicker and should work better as a filler/sealer. I think…

View Hermit's profile


246 posts in 2247 days

#10 posted 12-24-2016 01:10 PM

I always use two coats of water base primer such as kilz, Sanding after the first coat. Then 2 coats of good acrylic paint. You’re obviously painting white but in future projects I find it easier to get the primer tinted close to your paint color.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

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