Everything I paint already has a finish on it. That is because I am always dealing with antique and vintage pieces, so all of the information you can find on this site about painting furniture, up until now that is, is not applicable to unfinished wood furniture. The process for painting a raw, unfinished surface is a bit different.

Stay away from water.  In most of my posts about painting furniture I mention the importance of thoroughly scrubbing and washing the furniture first thing. You do NOT want to do that with raw wood. Keep water away from the surface! Water will lift the grain and damage the wood.

Instead you just need to simply sand the surface lightly. Prepare the surface for paint by first using 120 to 150 grit sandpaper, and then proceed to finer grades, such as, 220. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. Never go against it. Be careful not to over-sand.

You must prime in order to seal the surface. With raw pieces primer is a must. Use an oil based primmer to seal the wood. Using a water based paint will raise the grain and create a very rough surface. Primmer will allow your paint to sit on top of the surface, rather than be absorbed into the wood. Priming will save you on the amount of paint you use. It will also provide a surface for your paint to adhere to and help create a more even finish with your final coat.

Sand between coats. After you have primed be sure to sand the piece with a fine grit sand paper, like 320, to get a silky smooth surface. Now you are ready for a top coat.

Note: Oil based or water based paints can both be applied over oil based primmer. If you use a water based primmer you must use a water based top coat.


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