Painting raw Knotty Pine

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Forum topic by plang posted 04-18-2012 07:05 PM 3743 views 2 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View plang's profile


137 posts in 4267 days

04-18-2012 07:05 PM

I just finished a large project using pine and some plywood, and now I need to put on the WHITE paint, sorry. I usually don’t paint my projects and in the past when I did, it turned out not so smooooth as I had wished. So, how do I get as smooth as possible finish, (no access to sprayer) using a roller or brush? Which primer, paint and any other knowledge you might have on this journey do you suggest? Oh by the way, I have filled all the knots and sanded to 220. Thanks

5 replies so far

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 3685 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 08:09 PM

Hi Plang,
Did you sand the paint/primer between coats? Did you apply a clear topcoat?

A lot of it depends on the type of paint you are using, this is all based on my experience with brushing both milk and latex paints.

For milk paint, just brush it on and sand (I use a 320 pad) between coats. I usually find 3 coats is enough to get a good smooth color with none of the wood showing through. After that I apply several coats of oil based wipe on poly. BUT you are using white .. and the oil poly will yellow the white, so from what I have been told when using white paint you want to use a water based topcoat. I have not painted anything in white so I cannot confirm or deny this. Usually 3 or so top coats will be good (also sanding between coats). After I’ve let the wipe on poly cure for a day or two I’ll rub the finish out with 0000 steel wool and paste wax and buff the paste wax out with a lint free paper towel.

For latex paint, I used paint with the primer built in, and found 2 coats to be pretty good, but I did a 3rd for extra good measure. Again sanding in between coats with a 320 grit sand paper). I feel even the gloss latex paint feels a bit flat so I recommend covering with topcoat of some kind. I haven’t personally tried top coating latex paint that I’ve brushed on, but I’d imagine the same thing I do for milk paint would also work here.

What I’ve learned about producing smooth finish is more about patience and sanding out each mistake between coats than actually applying good finish :)


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5311 posts in 4873 days

#2 posted 04-18-2012 08:18 PM

Seal with de-waxed shellac (Zinsser Seal Coat), sand 220 grit, paint with water based latex using Floetrol retarder, top coat with a W/B such as Modern Masters clear coat.
The Floetrol will allow the paint to level out well. Use a GOOD brush (synthetic bristle), and wet the brush well with water and shake out before beginning to paint. All these steps will help the paint and top coat to flow well without leaving brush marks.
DO NOT SKIP THE SEALING PROCESS! Pine will suck up more paint than you can buy. :)

-- [email protected]

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3490 days

#3 posted 04-19-2012 02:58 AM

+1 on the sealing. I use Zinsser BIN primer (a shellac based primer). I knew sealcoat would work, I just keep that for my clear coated projects. :)

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3280 days

#4 posted 04-19-2012 01:33 PM

+ 2 ON THE ZINSSER SHELLAC BASED PRIMER…..drys fast tooooooo….


View Earlextech's profile


1162 posts in 3603 days

#5 posted 04-19-2012 03:34 PM

Bill White said it right!

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

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