Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

March, 2004

Painting Maple vs. Pine

Q. I am ordering new divided light windows and have a interior choice of wood species between maple and pine. I am wondering which species will be able to accept paint better and have the finish last longer?

A. Most residential wood windows and sash are constructed using pine wood. Pine is a soft wood and offers excellent stability and is less about to crack and warp, which is caused by extreme to moderate changes in temperature and humidity. Maple is classified as a hard wood, very dense and is subject to warping and cracking even after painting.

To achieve equivalent appearance after painting, the pine wood will require an extra coating of primer or under coat to give the maximum fullness and smoothness that can be achieved with just a single coat of primer or under coat on maple wood. By sanding the first coat of primer, the surface will be smooth and comparable to maple or any other first class finish.

As a final recommendation, it is suggested that a solvent base alkyd primer be used as the undercoat, it has good penetrating properties which will help to preserve the pine wood.


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