Painting Wood - Dekro Paints

How-to Guides

How to prepare and paint wooden surfaces

New Wood

Wood absorbs moisture very easily. It is therefore vital to prime wood at the earliest opportunity before painting.

All faces and edges should be primed, especially surfaces that will be inaccessible after fixing and that will absorb moisture from brickwork or plaster. Special attention should be given to end grain where two coats of primer are required. Joinery on site must be covered to protect it from the weather as a single coat of primer is not adequate. Wood primers are best applied by brush which ensures that the paint is forced into the pores of the wood.

Watch out for

  • Previously painted surfaces that are flaking. This usually means the wood has been exposed to weather for quite some time. Unless the wood is allowed to dry out completely, re-painting won’t be successful.
  • Wood that has been left unpainted and exposed. It will become fibrous and a poor receptor for paint. Remove the outer layer of the wood by sanding or scraping before painting.

Remember that the use of poor quality primers is false economy and likely to affect the whole paint system adversely.


  • Clean to remove dirt.
  • Sandpaper smooth.
  • Dust off.

Varnished Wood

Clear varnish enhances the natural beauty of both hard and soft woods. However, the varnish is not likely to stand up to lengthy weather exposure. Ultra-violet rays penetrate the varnish and start to destroy the wood at the varnish-wood interface, causing loss of adhesion and flaking.

On wood that is exposed for lengthy periods of time you should only use varnish with transparent pigments that are U.V. absorbers.


New varnish

  • Clean to remove dirt, plaster splashes, etc.
  • Smooth down with sandpaper.
  • Dust off.

Previously stained, varnished or lacquered

If the paint is in poor condition:

  • remove by scraping or burning
  • wipe down with solvent
  • sand smooth
  • dust off.

If the existing paint is in good condition:

  • wash down with Sugar Soap Solution/ detergent/ solvent, to remove dirt, grease, polish or other contaminants.

If the surface is glossy

  • sand down before re-painting.

Previously waxed

  • Wash down thoroughly with Dekro Wondakleen or concentrated detergent to remove all traces of wax.
  • Rinse.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Sand down.
  • Dust off.
Store paints in a cool area out of direct sunlight. Some types of coatings build up gases in the can and could explode if not stored in a cool place.

For product recommendations, advice or enquiries please contact us or call our toll-free help line on 0800 222 423.