Priming Pitch Pine Internal Woodwork

6 Dec 2015
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United Kingdom

I have an old house which has old pitch pine mouldings around the doors & skirting etc. I have stripped the old wax stain back on all the wood work to the bare wood. The plan is to paint all of the wood work with oil based eggshell paint from Little Greene.

My questions are what primer do I need for the woodwork prior to applying the top coat ? I was thinking of applying a few coats of Zinsser BIN, followed by a coat of oil based undercoat from Little Greene, as worried about the knots bleeding through.

Alternatively, would two coats of the oil based undercoat be sufficient ?

On further reading, Little Greene supply an aluminium wood primer. I am now totally confused...!

Any advice would be appreciated !


Nicky Walker
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Aluminium primer is really used for hardwoods. I would use a clear knotting solution on the knots, give everything a coat of Zinsser 123 then work from there.
Pitch pine is notoriously resinous and needs to be thoroughly sealed to get the best results. The method here (where pitch pine is native and commonly used) is to use a shellac based sealer to spot prime the resinous areas (B-I-N is the norm these days but a shellac based knotting solution can also be used) and then use Coverstain as a primer over everything. You could use B-I-N all over the timber but, because it is so difficult to keep a wet edge when working with it, the above method is more common.
Aluminium primer is somewhat suitable as it works extremely well in sealing resinous hardwoods and, although not a hardwood, pitch pine is more resinous than many hardwoods. Personally, I would go with the B-I-N and Coverstain method.

You should try to remove as much resin (which was used as pitch) as possible from the knots by heating with a heat gun and wiping off the residue with methylated spirit, then you can proceed with the painting process.

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