How to paint cedar wood – A step-by-step guide
Cedar has a natural finish and it is preferred by many for outdoor sidings. It adds up to the beauty of the place. Do you know that red cedar has resistance to insect attack and decay? Well, this is the reason cedar is very popular among homeowners. Still, the need for maintaining it arises. Over time, cedarwood becomes exposed to natural elements and accumulates dirt. The result is a dull and lusterless piece of wood. This should be protected by painting so that its life is extended. The following article deals with the steps involved in painting and also the tips to be followed for the same. If Can you paint cedar wood is the question on your mind, you have to read the following carefully to understand.
Things needed for painting:
- Acrylic paint
- Hand brush
- Roller brush
- Cleaning cloth
Steps involved in painting cedar wood:
Step 1: Sanding the surface
Before painting, it is important to prepare the surface for painting. The paint you apply on top of the cedar must penetrate so as to stay on it for long. A newly purchased cedar will have a glazed coating on top as it is right out of the mill. This is like an oily surface and prevents the wood from accepting the paint. You have to use sandpaper and sand the entire surface before you begin the task. This makes the surface clean. Even if it is a used plank of wood, the top layer must be cleaned off loose wood fibres. This is the first step to answer, can you paint cedar wood.
Step 2: Cleaning the surface
The cedar wood you choose must be thoroughly cleaned for painting. This will remove all impurities and dust and make the surface ready. The wood that was present on the external surface of your home will have accumulated a lot of dust over the years. It is useless to apply paint on top of it. Wash the surface after the sanding is done so that all timber particles are also washed away. You have to allow the surface to become completely dry before you start painting.
Step 3: Applying primer
Your surface is now ready and you can continue to the next stage. Can you paint cedar wood without a primer? Apply a coat of primer and stain blocker with a roller. Primer application is strongly advised as this will have a longer life. The paint that is applied without a primer as a first coat will have adhesion issues. A two-coat formula is preferred by most people.
Step 4: Painting the wood
The final step is staining/painting the wood. While doing this, remember to work in the direction of the grain and not against it. You will not be able to get a smooth finish if you do this. Always beware to use a paintbrush instead of spraying while staining the wood. Even if the first coat is done by spraying, the final coat and refinishing have to be done by brush only. This will give a uniform look to the painted surface. Any corners missed out can also be given a touch-up with the hand brush. Cedar is a porous material and it takes a large amount of paint. Specifically, a hand brush is preferred for this reason. The paint used should be acrylic-based as it is resistant to mildew and also has strong adhesion qualities.
Step 5: Drying
After the final coat is applied, the cedar wood has to be left out to dry for at least 72 hours. This can ensure even spread and adhesion of the paint applied. The surface should not be disturbed so that the effect stays for long.
Points to ponder before painting cedarwood
- The weather:
When you are planning to paint the cedar on the exterior of your building, the main point to consider is the weather. Humidity or rain may be disturbing factors for your project. First, it is essential that you estimate the time required to complete the project. Based on this, get an understanding of the weather forecast in your locality. Make sure that you will be able to complete the task before changes in weather set in. else, you may be left with a half-done job. Also, painting in the time of rains is not advisable as everything will be washed away easily.
- Old or new cedar:
If ‘can you paint cedar wood’, was the question on your mind, then yes you can paint both old and new ones. If it is new cedar, you have to first prepare it for accepting the paint. This process opens up the wood grain and keeps it ready for the painting session. Old cedar may have accumulated a lot of dust and needs a thorough cleaning. All mildew collected on exposure to elements needs to be removed so that paint stays well.
- Type of paint used:
If you are painting an old cedar, you have to consider the paint that was used earlier. Can you paint cedar wood with a transparent or semi-transparent coating? Not if you had given a solid coat already! The wood has already been covered and it is very difficult to apply a transparent coat, while vice versa is possible.
- Cleaning process:
The cleaning process is very important before the new application of paint. All old paint would have dried up and needs to be wiped off the surface. The surface has to be cleaned with soap and then power washing helps remove all major dust and paint. The surface will now be ready to accept the new paint. This has to be allowed to dry before you start the process. Moisture may prevent the acceptance of paint by the surface.
- Vertical grain cedar:
It is easier for vertical grain cedar to absorb the stain-blocking paint rather than the flat grain ones. You should try to choose this for your homes so that painting is an easier task.
Hope the above is helpful in determining how to paint cedar.