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Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

How to paint new wood

Posted by Adrian
April 30th, 2014

How to paint new wood

It is important when painting new wood to prepare the wood and paint it correctly, this will ensure the wood lasts for a long time. Most interior wood is softwood, such as skirting boards, door frames, architraves and doors. Whereas exterior wood can be both softwood, such as in fascia boards, but maybe hardwoods for windows and doors etc. This post mainly deals with softwood, such as pine, and painting the wood rather than staining or varnishing.

Preparation is the first job for any new wood, a rub down to ensure the surface is smooth and ready for painting. If you are going to be painting the wood, that is to say not going to varnish the wood, you should apply kotting solution to the knots. This can be applied with a brush or rag. Some knotting solution comes with a brush. Apply two or three coats to the knots and let it dry.


One the knotting is dry you can apply a suitable wood primer. This can either be solvent or water based, I prefer water based as it dries quickly. Once the first coat is dry, lightly rub down the first coat and then apply a second coat of primer.

Once this is dry, again give it a light rub down, you should now have a well coated piece of wood ready for an undercoat.


An undercoat is used to allow a topcoat such as gloss or satinwood to be applied. Apply one or two coats of a suitable undercoat, for some paints a coloured undercoat can be used, such as a dark grey undercoat for a dark blue or black topcoat for example.

If you are applying more than one undercoat, leave to dry fully and give the wood a light sanding between coats. You may have to give the wood two undercoats depending on how well the wood is covered and how porous the wood is.


Topcoat can be gloss, satinwood, eggshell, solvent based or water based they all come under the heading topcoat as it is the last coat or finishing coat to be applied to the wood.

Once you have applied the primer and undercoat you need to rub the wood down a final time in preparation for the topcoat. Dust of the wood and make sure the wood is free from dirt and grease, then apply the topcoat to the wood. In some cases a second coat may be required, if this is the case allow the first coat to fully dry and then lightly rub the first coat with fine sandpaper and then remove any dust and apply the second coat.

Giving a second coat can give a better gloss in the case of water based paints, it can also give a deeper, fuller finish.

Painting new hardwood

To paint new hardwood, such as a front door, the process is the same, you may not require any knotting solution as hardwood has far less knots. Again, rub down, prime, undercoat and topcoat ensuring you rub down between each coat to ensure a good smooth finish.

graphic of wood

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How do you paint a hall stairs and landing?

Posted by Adrian
January 13th, 2013

graphic of painting tools

How do you paint a hall stairs and landing?

Painting a hall, stairs and landing for a lot of people is a daunting task and too much for them to tackle themselves, so they call a professional decorator like myself to do it for them. A lot of people will not have the ladder to aid them to reach the tallest part, or the stairs are an awkward shape.

Having the right tools makes it safe and easier to do, safety should always be in your mind when painting and decorating but especially if you are painting and decorating your hall, landing and stairs. Falling off a ladder whilst working on a stairway can be very painful.

Painting a hall, stairs and landing

Painting a hall, landing and stairs is just like painting any other interior room, you start at the top and work down.

So, start with preparing the walls, filling and holes and cracks, then paint the ceiling and coving, if you have any. Paint the picture rail next, if you have one, then emulsion the walls, if you have a dado emulsion down to that, then paint the dado before painting the remaining walls below the dado rail. This will save the newly painted wood work getting splashed with emulsion.

Finally, paint the stair stringers (the bit that goes up each side), the spindles and handrail and skirting boards.

And don’t forget the loft hatch if it’s in the hallway.

Wallpapering a hall, stairs and landing

If you are going to wallpaper your hallway, landing and stairs it is similar to wallpapering and interior room, you do all the preparation first, then you paint the ceiling and coving, then paint any woodwork such as picture rail, dado rail and the the stair stringers, spindles and handrail and also the skirting boards.

Once all the paint is dry, the final job is to wallpaper your hall, landing and stairs.

Useful links

Below is a list of useful links you may find help you when either painting or wallpapering your hallway, stairs and landing.

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Quick tip: Painting skirting boards

Posted by Adrian
November 27th, 2010

A quick tip for when your painting skirting boards, when decorating a room and you are having a new carpet fitted, but not for a few days after you have decorated, a quick tip is to cut the carpet around the room about three inches away from the skirting boards, removing the carpet, but leaving the gripper rods (mind your fingers on these) and the underlay. This will allow you to paint the skirting boards all the way to the bottom and not get bits of fluff or carpet on the new paintwork.

Also, by removing only a few inches of carpet from around the edge of the room you won’t be walking on cold concrete or floorboards whilst you wait for the new carpet to be fitted. Another advantage of removing the carpet and painting all the skirting to the floor is if the new carpet if a different thickness you wont end up with that horrible yellowish line where you haven’t painted.

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