Pre-painting Tips - How do you do it?

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Forum topic by camps764 posted 03-17-2014 09:07 PM 969 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2382 days

03-17-2014 09:07 PM

Hey Ya’ll, I’ve got a project coming up with lots of parts in hard to paint places – it’s a bed with square spindles on the head and foot board.

On the last bed I built like this I painted everything AFTER glue up – I was afraid the paint would interfere with the glue on the joinery. To be honest, it was a big PITA to paint the spindles and get a decent finish on everything.

For the second go ‘round I was planning to paint everything before assembly.

I think I want to tape off the tenons, but am struggling with how to keep the paint out of the mortises…what are your best practices for this?

Do you just paint REALLY carefully around the mortises? Make little wooden mortise plugs to be removed after you paint? Just suck it up and paint after the assembly and glue up? Not worry because the paint in the mortises won’t matter?

-- Steve

8 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#1 posted 03-17-2014 09:30 PM

It might be easiest to plug the mortises, if you get a square dowel and cut it into whatever length you want it shouldn’t cost too much and be fairly easy. If those spindles are trapped, I would consider not gluing them in, which also means you wouldn’t have to worry about the paint being on the glued surfaces.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2382 days

#2 posted 03-17-2014 09:31 PM

Fred – good suggestion, didn’t think of the square dowels.

-- Steve

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

545 posts in 2223 days

#3 posted 03-17-2014 10:05 PM

Man up, camps! Lol. Joyce and I team painted this wonder of the world after assembly. One hundred and twenty (120) balusters painted by hand, three coats, primer and 2 coats of Behr exterior.

But, seriously, I’d suggest taping off the ends of the spindles. Paint them, assemble and glue. Then paint your receiving parts.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View SuperCubber's profile


1026 posts in 2306 days

#4 posted 03-17-2014 10:54 PM

I read a good tip for this in a magazine once (can’t remember which one). Depending on the size of the mortises, you can possibly buy some oversized foam backer rod, and shove it in the mortises while you paint. You can get a whole roll for just a few bucks.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View AandCstyle's profile


3068 posts in 2279 days

#5 posted 03-17-2014 11:24 PM

I use blue painters’ tape. Rip an adequate length off the roll then bend it so it is an oval shape with the sticky side out. Slide that into the mortise and use a small piece of scrap to press the tape against the sides of the mortise. The tape doesn’t need to go very far into the mortise, maybe 3/8-1/2”. Then fold the bit sticking out the top of the mortise over to make a bit of a cap over the top of the mortise. This sounds tougher than it is and I could have done 2-3 mortises in the time it took me to type this.

I have never painted using this process but I have applied stain with a rag and sprayed clear coats over that without anything getting into the mortises. FWIW

-- Art

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2382 days

#6 posted 03-18-2014 12:06 AM

Ha you’ve got me beat DJ. I won’t complain about spindles ever again…painted or otherwise. I’ve seen your porch project before and forget how awesome it was. Thanks for the reminder post :)

-- Steve

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2347 days

#7 posted 03-18-2014 01:12 AM

+1 for the foam backer rod. I think we read the same magazine, I think on was in shopnotes.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2383 days

#8 posted 03-20-2014 02:02 AM

Use a foam roller before assembly.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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