Painting woodwork - best practice?

I've got a stack of woodwork to gloss paint over the next week (mostly bare wood, but some already painted) and given the plethora of 'systems' out there, I would be interested to hear what painting regimes people use and why...
eg: Primer + undercoat + gloss Primer + self-undercoating gloss (two coats?) Self-priming undercoat (two coats) + gloss Primer + one-coat gloss etc etc...
Then, acrylic or solvent based?
I'm aiming for the best and most durable finish within the quickest possible time (ie fewest number of coats!)
Thanks David
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bare
possible
Goodness knows what system works best - you'd have to undertake a lot of comparative studies using different systems and woods then sit back and wait and watch for ten years. I use Dulux Weathershield Trade exterior gloss for outdoors, and for bare wood they recommend Primer + undercoat + gloss. However, if it's untreated wood they recommend their Primer/Preservative + undercoat + gloss In fact, I used wood preservative + shellac knotting + primer + undercoat + gloss + gloss and it took bloody ages ( fascia boards, untreated pine, I didn't want to get up a ladder and remove the guttering again for a long time ). If you're painting an oily hardwod, they recommend using their aluminium primer.
For wood that I'd heat-stripped back to a kind of gungy brown original 1930's undercoat ( it wouldn't come off, just smeared out when I scraped at it ), I just went for an undercoat + gloss ( soffits, so not as exposed as the fascia boards ).
My understanding is that for painting on wood, the function of the preservative is obvious, the shellac knotting seals any sap in the knots so that when the sun heats the wood it doesn't puncture the paint film by oozing sap, the primer seals the wood surface ( against what I'm not sure, I've never seen undercoat sink in when applied to bare wood ), the undercoat matches the colour of the topcoat and also provides a suitable surface for the topcoat to adhere to, and of course the gloss topcoat provides the cosmetic finish and the weatherproof seal. Two more points, Dulux claims their undercoat is elastic, and considering how wood moves, that must be a good thing. Second, they claim their gloss is microporous so the paint can breathe, and that this resists flaking. Who knows. If you use the full system it'll take you more than a week to paint any surface, but I reckon it's overkill except on exposed exterior woodwork.
My top tip is this; when you paint a surface with a sharp edge or corner, the paint always is thinnest on that edge, in fact if you try it with a white undercoat and black top coat, I reckon you can see through the topcoat on the sharp edge, and this thinness may explain why flaking often starts on an edge, so sand or plane all edges to a chamfered or rounded profile before you start,
Andy.
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Lobster wrote:

Dunno whats best, but what worked for me was.
shellac the knots. (to preent resin seepage) Fill the holes. (to get teh surface flat) Sand baby bottom smooth (to get rid of gross high spots and grain) two coats of acrylic primer, sanding after each.(to end up with uniform color and dead flat surface) one or two coats of undercoat, sandfing after each( to get basic co;or right and add teh reflective coat) one or two coats of gloss (sansding after first) to get smoothest possible texture.
Ifyou want woodwork that looks 'perfect' thats how you get it.
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Lobster wrote:

heres what I did, I'm no dab hand with a brush (ha!) but the results are acceptable.
internal from bare wood
primer - sand flat filler - sand flat undercoat - sand flat undercoat - sand flat very light coating of gloss
external over gloss
undercoat - sand flat undercoat - sand flat very light coating of gloss
use quality paint ( I used Dulux Trade) and use the best quality brushes you can find. wickes mastercoat brushes are the best I've ever used. none have lost any hairs and the fine synthetic bristles lay paint very evenly.
drying time between coats is a major pita so I did 5 windows on a roatation system, internal and external.
hth
RT
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bare
possible
Rarely use gloss any more - missus reckon's it's passé - so if you're not stuck on gloss then eggshell may be quickest time-to-market..
prepare woodwork, knotting, etc prime (for speed, acrylic primer is fine) 2 coats decent oil-based trade eggshell (no undercoat necessary with eggshell)
This stuff is pretty hard wearing, and if your woodwork is in good condition then it looks (IMHO) superb - it seems to preserve the definition of mouldings in a way that gloss only seems to blur.
--
Richard Sampson

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On Fri, 19 Nov 2004 00:03:18 GMT, "Lobster"

Cheap emulsion paint followed by two coats of decent quality gloss paint.
sPoNiX
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