How to Paint Burned Wood From an Attic Fire

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Charred wood inside a home is an eyesore, and it also emits a strong odor. Seal the burned wood inside your home by refinishing it with the appropriate coatings. However, before you hurry into this type of do-it-yourself project, consider a pair of critical points. Burned wood is ill-suited for adhesion and will reject new paint unless you employ the proper preparation procedures. In addition, if you are working in a tight, unventilated area such as an attic, you must take the proper safety precautions, or you could become overwhelmed by primer and paint fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Respirator
  • Power sander
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloths
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloths
  • Oil-based stain-blocking primer
  • Mineral spirits
  • Roller frame
  • 2 nap roller covers
  • 2- to 4-inch oil paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • 2- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Wear a respirator if you are working in an unventilated area.

  • Sand off as much of the burned wood as possible, using a power sander equipped with 180-grit sandpaper. Don't worry if you cannot strip the charred wood completely bare. Concentrate on eliminating loose fragments of burned wood.

  • Wipe down the burned wood with tack cloths.

  • Protect areas adjacent to the burned wood by covering them with painter's tape. Cover the floor with drop cloths.

  • Coat the burned wood with two coats of an oil-based stain-blocking primer, using a roller or a paintbrush, engineered for use with oil-based coatings. Wait two hours between each coat. Wait three hours for the final coat of stain-blocking primer to dry.

  • Wash the brush and roller with mineral spirits.

  • Coat the primed wood with latex paint, using the clean roller or a paintbrush, engineered for use with water-based coatings. Wait two hours for the paint to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Examine the primer label before you buy to ensure that it is formulated for compatibility with latex paint.
  • Never paint unprimed burned wood, or the finish will flake.
  • Don't use ordinary oil or latex primers on burned wood, or you will have bleed-through.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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