How to Paint Burned Wood From an Attic Fire

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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

Use a power sander to remove the layers of burned wood.

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.


Step 1

Wear a respirator if you are working in an unventilated area.

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Step 2

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.


Step 3

Wipe down the burned wood with tack cloths.

Step 4

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

Step 5

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.


Step 6

Wash the brush and roller with mineral spirits.

Step 7

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.


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.


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