Tips For Painting Pine Furniture
Read on for tips for painting pine furniture with chalk paint, acrylic paint or spray paint - an easy way to transform plain pine furniture with any type of paint.
Timber may be a renewable resource - to a degree - but only when responsibly forested and managed. And it is only certain species that can be responsibly managed - trees that don't take up to a hundred years to grow to maturity. Here in South Africa, pine is the most widely available timber used in the manufacturing of furniture and it is also a wood that is readily available for those wanting to make furniture.
Making Furniture With SA Pine
There are pros and cons when it comes to working with pine to make furniture or buying ready-made pine furniture, not least of which is affordability. As a renewable timber resource, pine products are available at all Builders stores, hardware stores and timber merchants. The reasonably low price makes it a good choice for making decorative accessories and furniture.
SA Pine (Pinus Radiata) products cover a range of PAR pine planks, beams, tongue and groove panels, laminated pine shelving and a host of other raw pine products. It is also easy to shop online for various assembled pine furniture pieces for use in the home. Pine is an affordable option for anyone wanting solid wood pieces in the home without having to spend a fortune on exotic hardwoods.
The main problem with SA Pine is that it tends to yellow over time as it ages and this tends to put many people off using pine. However, stain, sealer or varnish or the application of paint products can be used to enhance the look of pine and prevent yellowing with age.
A misconception of using pine is that it is softwood and not as durable as hardwoods, but that isn't exactly the case when a finished pine project is properly treated and regularly maintained. Many other wood species can be just as easily damaged and in fact, are not as durable or flexible as pine for use as a do it yourself material.
Pine is one of the most cost-effective timbers used to manufacture household items and furniture.
According to Sawmilling SA, South Africa is a leader in responsible managing of saw timber plantations which are managed to world class standards with the aim of producing high-quality logs that yield structural grade lumber.
Being classified as softwood, pine is easy to work with for DIY enthusiasts. It will not easily dull tools and bits and is easy to sand and cut. After sanding, the surface of pine can be sanded to a smooth finish.
Painting Pine Furniture
Before you can start painting on pine, whether raw pine or a ready-made piece of furniture, there needs to be some preparation beforehand.
When you buy sawn or PAR pine products these are not sanded beforehand and will need to be sanded either before assembly or once the project is finished. Even bought pine furniture is not given a good sanding and requires some additional sanding for a smooth finish. The only exception to sanding beforehand is if you are using chalk paint and want an aged or distressed look for your furniture.
- Apply wood primer or universal primer
When painting pine there is a possibility of what they call 'bleeding' through the paint. This is when tannins or sap from the timber bleeds through the paint and spoils the finish. The only way to prevent this from happening is to apply a wood primer beforehand.
There are water-based and oil-based primers on the market and the main difference between the two is the drying time. A water-based wood prime dries fairly quickly while an oil-based wood primer should be allowed to dry overnight. If you are using oil-based paint for your project, you will need to apply an oil-based primer beforehand.
• Choosing the paint finish
The are plenty of different paint options you can choose from when painting pine furniture, all depending on the look you want, whether it should be matt or gloss, or the durability and washability of the painted finish. These factors should be considered before you rush out to buy paint as it will determine the outcome of the finished project.
- Matt or Chalk Paint
While no primer is required, to extend the lifespan of the chalk painted finish primer is recommended, especially when painting pine where bleeding may occur through the paint. Matt or chalk paint is also not washable but is excellent for hiding defects in the wood. If you want a matt or chalk paint finish be sure to apply 2 to 3 coats of matt polyurethane sealer or chalk paint top coat.
- Satin or Velvet Paint
As a semi-gloss, these paints are easy to apply and reasonably durable but not scrubbable, which means you can wipe them with a cloth but not give a good cleaning.
- Gloss Paint
Gloss paint offers the most durable finish for painted projects but has the downside of highlighting any defects in the surface of the wood. If you want to apply a gloss finish, make sure to spend extra time ensuring the wood surface is free from defects or blemishes.
- Spray Paint
Spray paint offers a choice of matt, satin or gloss finish in a wide range of colours. From a personal point of view, applying a primer beforehand reduced the absorption of spray paint and means you will use less spray paint on the project than you would if you did not apply a primer.
PAR pine and laminated pine shelving can be used to assemble plenty of furniture pieces for use in the home while ready-made pine furniture is affordable for most. Being able to apply a paint finish lets you customise pine furniture to complement your home decor - on a budget.