Wood Surfaces

Surface Characteristics

surface-characterstics-check (1)

  • Wood is a common building material and can be found everywhere, including doors, window frames, cupboards, flooring, and ceilings
  • Moisture content of wood should be around 10-12% when painting
  • Painting moist wood will result in blistering and flaking
  • Wood moisture can be tested using an electrical conductivity meter
  • Surfaces should be cleared of all contaminants including oil, grease mortar
  • Loose fibre should be sanded off too


  • Exuded resin should be removed and the area covered with Knotting


  • Priming of Hardwood or Softwoods should be with Sparcolux Paints Pink wood Primer
  • Resinous wood should be primed with Aluminium Paint to reduce risk of slow drying and discolouration
  • On site priming should be done by brush and a second coat applied to open grained wood
  • New joinery should be treated with a second coat of primer before fixing, especially in-assessable areas or areas in contact with masonry


  • After priming, all cracks, holes and open joints must be made good.
  • On exterior wood, be sure to use exterior grade stopper or filler


What to look out for


New Joinery

  • New joinery are usually primed at works, but lengthy delays between delivery and erection can result in moisture uptake, as the primer alone does not provide sufficient protection

Preservative treatment

  • Factories typically apply preservative protecting against rotting of timbers.
  • It can be assumed that these treatments can be painted over, unless advised to the contrary.

Moisture levels need to be checked, before painting.


New un-primed wood


What is it?

  • Wood that has not been primed or knotted


  • Softwoods and Hardwoods: Follow steps above – knotting, priming and filling using Pink Wood Primer.
  • Resinous woods: Follow steps above – knotting, priming and filling using Aluminium Paint


New primed wood


What is it?

  • Wood that has been knotted and primed


  • Check that primer is in good condition. If not, remove and primer again.
  • Follow General Preparation guideline


Fire retardant wood


What is it?

  • Retardants may cause paints to slow dry and guidance should come with the wood as to how best prepare the surface. Follow these guidelines.


  • For un-primed wood, follow General Guidelines

Where surface deposits, primer with Sparcolux Paints Bonding Liquid



Painted or Varnished Wood

varnished-woodWhat is it?

  • Old wood that has previously been painted or varnished and currently resides in situ.
  • Doors and window frames may need to be removed from fixings for thorough repainting


  • Where existing coat is in poor condition, remove completely and apply General Guidelines above
  • Where existing coat is satisfactory, clean surfaces and then follow General Guidelines


Creosoted Wood


What is it?

  • Creosote is wood preservative that renders the wood a very dark brown or black in colour.


  • Creosoted wood should NOT be painted, till the creosote is very well aged.
  • Some wood preservatives are not to be painted over – check the product guidelines

Were permissible, prime the wood with Sparcolux Paints Bituminous Aluminium Paint with two coats, before following general guideline above