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See all Floor coating how-to »

Preparation of New or Weathered Wood

Skill:  Advanced DIY'er

A great looking finish begins with the right start. Following the proper prep procedures will dramatically affect the look and longevity of your finished project.

For Best Results:

For expert guidance on properly preparing your wood surfaces, refer to our how-to steps below.

Make sure to follow all product label instructions.

Suggested Supplies
  • Bucket
  • Broom (Stiff Bristle)
  • Brush (2"-2½")
  • Bucket Grid
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Drop Cloths
  • Extension Pole
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Hose
  • High Pressure Nozzle
  • Paint Can Opener
  • Paint Tray
  • Paint Tray Liner
  • Painter's Tape
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Pressure Washer
  • Protective Apparel
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Rags
  • Roller Cover
  • Roller Frame
  • Stir Stick
WoodSmart by Behr

Learn about product selection, preparation, and how to's for your stain project with WoodSmart by Behr.

Start Woodsmart >>
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Cleaning

  1. Step 1

    Wet surface with water prior to cleaning. Apply cleaning solution liberally with a pump sprayer, mop, brush, or roller. Keep the surface completely wet with the solution for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Scrub the surface using a stiff bristle broom or brush. The solution will foam.

  3. Step 3

    After scrubbing, thoroughly rinse the surface area with clean water at normal pressure or using a pressure washer at low setting (500-1200 psi).

  4. Step 4

    Let surface dry.  Next, lightly sand any loose wood fibers with medium grit sandpaper.

Priming

  1. Step 1

    For interior wood applications, use BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® All-in-One Primer and Sealer. For exterior wood applications, use BEHR PREMIUM PLUS® Multi-Surface Primer and Sealer.

  2. Step 2

    To apply the primer, use a high-quality 3/8 - 1/2" nap roller cover, nylon polyester  brush or airless sprayer. 

  3. Step 3

    Stir the primer occasionally. Do not thin if using a roller or brush. If using a sprayer and thinning is required, then thin with up to 1/2 pint of water per gallon of primer. Heavy stains may require two coats.

    The primer will dry to touch in 30 minutes and be ready to topcoat in 1 hour. Use the primer when air and surface temperatures are between 50-90 degrees F. Clean up with soap and water.