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How to Stop Pine Knots from Showing Through Paint

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Steve in Georgia, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    STEVE: Well, we’ve got a house that was built in 1964 and we really love it. It’s got all the original interior finishes and that includes some really nice, knotty-pine paneling.

    TOM: Yes, that was very popular back in 1964.

    STEVE: Well, yeah. And plus, this is some of the best knotty pine I’ve ever seen after how many, 47 years?

    TOM: Right.

    STEVE: There’s no warping and none of the knots have flopped.

    TOM: OK.

    STEVE: So it’s (audio gap) stuff but one of the rooms where we spend a lot of time is on the north side of the house and it tends to be a little dark. And so we have two options: you could pull it off and put up sheetrock or paint it.

    Now, I’ve done that before with knotty pine in the past and eventually, the knots show through the paint.

    LESLIE: Oh, they love to sneak out.

    STEVE: They do. I guess it’s the resin or something. And I’m wondering, is there anything we can do to prep it so that that won’t happen or is our only choice to replace with sheetrock?

    TOM: Well, you have to prime it. It’s very critical that you prime the paneling before you paint it. And I would use an oil-based primer for this. That will stop the knots from popping out again.

    But there is one other option. Have you considered sanding the existing paneling?

    STEVE: No, no I hadn’t. That’s really such a big job but …

    TOM: Yeah, it could be a big job. But I mean if you really like it, you could sand off the finish and start again.

    STEVE: Sand off the finish and start again how?

    TOM: Well, you can …

    LESLIE: With a new stain.

    TOM: Right, with new stain. You could sand – it’s probably going to be pretty brittle to finish because it’s so old, so you could probably get a half-sheet, vibrating sander and start working your way around the room and see how quickly it comes off. You may be able to get enough off where it lightens up and you’ll be happy with it again.

    And in fact, if you’re going to paint it anyway, why not give it an hour or two with a sander and see how quickly it comes off?

    STEVE: That’s a great idea. I might try that.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? When it goes to the stain – when it comes time to stain – you don’t have to go with something in a traditional wood tone. There are so many tinted stains out there in beautiful colors that if you wanted to stain it a color so that you get the appearance of a tint on the wall without laying the paint on top of it – because it is a beautiful paneling and it’s not often people want to keep it. So if you enjoy it, enhance it and really live with it.

    STEVE: Yeah. Well, that’s a great idea. If we decide to go the other way and put a primer, do we just use a regular, standard primer for the – that you would use for sheetrock or something else?

    TOM: Yep. Yeah. No, it would be a good-quality primer. Usually, you choose the same primer and paint from the same manufacturer. But if there’s an option, use an oil-based primer because that’s going to give you the best adhesion and the best coverage.

    STEVE: Yeah. Well, that sounds like great advice.

    TOM: Alright, Steve. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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