Can You Paint Wood With Emulsion?
As a professional painter and decorator, I often come across questions regarding the compatibility of different paints with various surfaces. One such common query is, “Can you paint wood with emulsion?” Wood is a versatile material commonly found in homes, and understanding the suitable paints for woodwork is essential. In this article, I will provide you with a comprehensive answer to this question, discussing what emulsion paint is, its compatibility with wood, potential issues, and alternative paint options for woodwork.
What Is Emulsion Paint?
Emulsion paint (or latex paint) is a water-based paint most commonly used for interior walls. You can find emulsion paints in various colour and sheen levels, such as matte, eggshell, satin, and silk. Emulsion paints are a popular choice among DIYers and professionals alike due to their ease of application, quick drying time, and low odour.
Can You Use Emulsion On Wood?
The short answer is yes. You can use emulsion paint to paint wood and adheres well to woodwork. However, the primary purpose of emulsion paint is to paint walls. Therefore, you can encounter several potential problems using it on wood.
So while you can technically paint wood with emulsion paint, the real question is, ‘Should you?’. Let’s look at the issues with using emulsion paint on wood.
Potential Issues with Using Emulsion on Wood
So what are the problems you may experience if you paint your woodwork with emulsion paint:
- Lack of durability: Emulsion paints are not as durable as paints formulated for woodwork, resulting in sub-par protection for these surfaces. Therefore, using emulsion paint on woodwork can be less than ideal because woodwork is often subjected to more wear and tear, requiring a type of paint that can withstand these conditions.
- Absorption and adhesion: Wood is a porous material. Therefore, when you apply emulsion paint to these surfaces, it may get absorbed by the wood fibres, resulting in poor adhesion. As a result, you may end up with an uneven finish and the need for multiple coats to achieve satisfactory coverage.
- Moisture resistance: Emulsion paints are not inherently moisture-resistant, and woodwork is susceptible to moisture damage. In areas prone to high humidity or moisture, using paint with better moisture resistance is crucial to protect the wood from warping, swelling, or mould growth.