Many people who choose to work with wood do so because of the natural beauty of this organic material. It comes in a variety of different hues from light yellows to rich reds to deep browns and even purples. Though the natural look of wood is charming, there are some applications where you may desire to use painted wood. Whether you want to paint your interior wood cabinetry, exterior trim, or some other wood application, it’s important to choose the right species in order to get the best possible results.
Poplar is King for Interior Painted Wood Projects
One of the most popular choices for interior painted wood applications is Poplar. That’s because its natural properties make it an ideal choice for paint. It has a great base color that’s easy to cover up. Poplar also has the advantage of having close pores. You can get the paint to adhere to it with far less effort than many other species. Cutting down on the amount of time and money you’ll need for priming can translate into significant savings for your project, not to mention how affordable Poplar is to purchase. So if you’re considering an interior painted wood project, Poplar is certainly a great choice. If you’re thinking about an exterior project, however, you’ll want to find something that will be better equipped to withstand the elements.
Choose an Exterior Rated Species for Outdoor Painted Wood Applications
If you’re going to start an exterior wood project and you know you’ll be adding paint, you’ll need to go with a wood species that works well outside. Otherwise, it’s not going to perform optimally in the long run. As great as poplar looks with paint on it, it simply won’t hold up to the weather in the same way as species that are normally chosen for their exterior performance. For outdoor projects, your ideal imported choices are species in the Mahogany family, such as Sapele, Utile, African Mahogany, Spanish Cedar, or Genuine Mahogany. You could also choose domestic species such as Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. Though these species look beautiful without paint, you can use them for your painted exterior projects too.
Exterior Rated Species Can Be Challenging To Paint
If a wood species has a high exterior rating, that normally means that it has plenty of natural oils that make it weather resistant. Those oils, while helping the wood to withstand the elements, can make the wood more difficult to paint. If you’re going to use the wood outside and you’re determined to paint it, however, there’s no way to get around this challenge other than to carefully treat the wood prior to painting it.
You Can Use Less Than Ideal Boards for Painted Exterior Projects
If you’re going to simply clear coat the boards for an exterior project, you’ll want to look for boards that have few knots and defects and have a high degree of color and grain consistency. If you’re actually going to paint the boards instead, you can get by with choosing boards that aren’t as consistent in grain and color. You can opt for the boards that would normally be rejected due to having too many knots or spots on them. If you let your lumber dealer know upfront that you’re looking for boards for an exterior painted project, then you may be able to get a deal on these less than ideal boards. Then you can take the money you save on wood and invest this in the quality primer, sealer, and filler you’ll need to complete your painted wood project.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the Capitol building, celebrity homes, Supreme Court, luxury boats, the White House, and Smithsonian museums. For more information on J. Gibson McIlvain’s lumber products and services, call toll free (800) 638-9100 Monday-Friday to speak with one of their lumber reps.
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