COP: New Bare and Pre-Primed Wood Preparation

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Craftsman Operating Procedures (COPs), developed by the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, establish a benchmark for how painting is done at a craftsman level so that individual painting companies can customize them for their own brand of craftsmanship. From jobsite setup to painting trim, cleanup and closeout, COPs constitute a ready-made tool to help you standardize crafts-manship practices within your painting company. The COPs also help train employees in consistently delivering the quality that you promise your clients. Each month APC highlights a new COP.



  • If you can see sheen (mill glaze) on the bare wood surface, it must be sanded with medium grit paper.
  • All wood species are prone to mill glaze, which may cause adhesion failure, so be aware that factory primer may have been applied without having the glaze removed.
  • Adhesion tests can be helpful to determine whether the primer has proper adhesion.
  • Electric sanders may allow sanding/abrading to be performed more efficiently.
  • Use patching/filling material that is suitable for exterior use and bare surfaces.
  • The woodwork manufacturer’s tech line can be called to determine compatibility and performance characteristics.


  • For large holes, use wood blocking for the major filler, then use epoxy for the voids. This is less expensive than a solid fill of epoxy. Backer rods can also be used.
  • To avoid waste, mix only as much epoxy as you need or can apply before the product begins to set/harden. Make sure parts A and B are fully mixed.
  • Be aware that the setting and drying times vary between when the primer/bonding agent is applied and when the filler epoxy product is applied. Check the manufacturer’s directions.
  • A small screwdriver or a 5-in-1 are good tools to evaluate the condition of the wood.
  • Be aware that temperature and humidity will greatly affect the working and curing time of epoxy products.
  • There are epoxy dispensing guns that automatically mix two-part epoxies.
  • Some manufacturers offer warm-weather (slower-setting) and cold-weather (faster-setting) epoxy products.
  • Heating the area with a hair dryer may promote further penetration of the epoxy into the wood.
  • Microbeads may be mixed with two-part epoxy to make it less fluid and more workable.
  • For structural repairs, refer to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Rotary tools and/or molding scrapers can be used to sculpt or carve the epoxy.
  • Carving tools and knives can be dipped in water to prevent sticking when shaping uncured epoxy.
  • There are some thin two-part penetrating epoxies that can be used to harden surfaces as a consolident. Be sure to check manufacturers’ specifications.
  • Wax paper, plastic film or wax can be used on form/mold surfaces to prevent sticking. Note that any residue from these products must be removed before coating.
  • Plexiglass may be used to make forms to prevent epoxy from sticking.
  • If additional strength is needed to adhere the epoxy patch to the existing wood, dowels or fiberglass rods can be inserted to reinforce the repair. APC

A series of 20 Residential Interior COPs and a series of 25 Residential Exterior COPs can be purchased from PDCA’s online store. Visit for more information.


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