Painted Projects - Big box store common boards?

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Forum topic by Flights posted 05-24-2019 01:41 PM 212 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 124 days

05-24-2019 01:41 PM

Hello! My wife is looking for a few projects for our daughter – a bed frame, nightstand, step stools and such. She wants everything painted white – I’m thinking about using common boards from home depot, filling knots with drywall compound, primer with zinner BIN or some such (oil primer?), and then maybe a latex or oil based paint depending on price.

Thoughts? I’m inclined towards this because the common boards are so cheap ($1.30 or so/bf) and it’s lightweight (not forever furniture, but nice for a while). Our daughter is 2 so she will outgrow stuff pretty quickly.

5 replies so far

View CarlosInTheSticks's profile


285 posts in 759 days

#1 posted 05-24-2019 02:11 PM

I am not sure what you mean by common boards. If you mean #1 construction grade SPF, then yes you can use it but you should purchase it well ahead of time and let it dry indoors for a while. This lumber is usually at 18-22 percent moister content you want to get down below 10 percent, you will need a jointer and planer, hand planing will work but that is alot of work. Choose the clearest straightest boards you can find in the lift, I always get nasty looks when I start looking through a lift but if I can’t choose, I go somewhere else. SPF means spruce, pine, fir, try to stick to one species for each project. They are quite easy to tell apart in the lift. Stay away from spruce for anything that requires lots of strength, pine and fir are much stronger.

View MrFid's profile


889 posts in 2292 days

#2 posted 05-24-2019 02:12 PM

Depends on what sort of equipment you already own. If you do not have a planer and/or a jointer, then that will work fine. Also worth noting that the prices at Home Depot are usually for a linear foot rather than a board foot.
If you have a jointer and planer, or can borrow or use someone’s, I’d go for something like poplar. That will hold up to the abuse of a toddler far better than pine will, and will require less doctoring with filler.
Speaking of filler, using a wood filler will work better than drywall compound.

Good luck!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View bondogaposis's profile


5398 posts in 2739 days

#3 posted 05-24-2019 02:13 PM

The resin in pine knots tends to bleed through paint. If that doesn’t bother you then #2 common pine boards sold at the the BORG will work fine. If you’d like to avoid that, then poplar is a good choice for painted furniture, little more expensive but less waste as it generally doesn’t have a lot of knots.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View SMP's profile


1032 posts in 293 days

#4 posted 05-24-2019 02:27 PM

Kind of depends on the look you are going for. If she likes the rustic look of the Ana White style furniture, then yes those are fine. Just take your time sifting through looking for the straightest boards with the least twist. You can’t be too picky there, but do your best. Zinsser seal coat before painting. I’ve had best luck going to an actual paint store though for paint, like Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore Advance paint.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1351 posts in 1882 days

#5 posted 05-24-2019 02:40 PM

BORG common pine for furniture? Never again…..

+1 Moisture content is too high to use without storing in shop for several months first.
+1 Resin knots will bleed through paint, takes a couple months, and it always gets ugly.
+1 MY local BORG selection of cheap common SPF is horrible. Will waste hours sorting all the lumber to find a couple good boards. Then after you bring them home to acclimate, they are warped just like the ones you didn’t select.

I wished BORG sold $1.3 bdft lumber here in AZ. It costs us about $2. I can get #2 common alder for ~$1, and FAS poplar for $1.5. Both are kiln dried, ready to use a few days after purchase, and better choices for paint grade furniture.

PS – if knots are present, shellac (or BIN primer) will seal them up; but only if the boards are dry and not weeping resin during temp cycling. Can check knots for free resin with heat gun. If they bubble and sizzle when hot, they will be problem under sealed paint.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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