Ask WWGOA: Choosing a Hardwood for Painted Projects

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I have a pattern for a library ladder but the wood they suggest is red oak. I want to paint the ladder to match the book shelves (white enamel). Is there a wood that is as strong as red oak that I wouldn’t have to waste money on since I’m going to paint it? It seems sacrilegious to paint red oak. Any help appreciated.

Submitted by baxtercl


You’ll have better luck painting and feel better about covering the wood, if you use birch for your ladder. Birch is an excellent paint-grade material and much less likely than red oak, to show grain through the painted surface. It’s plenty strong, so you won’t have any compromise of functionality by switching to birch.


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3 Responses to “Ask WWGOA: Choosing a Hardwood for Painted Projects”

  1. Scott M. Keadle

    I have sheet of Acrylic that I need cut and glue the faces together. What do I use as the glue?

  2. stileandrail

    Good luck finding birch. No to the big boxes and special order at local lumber yards plus the cost can be astronomical. Go with popular. If concern with grain, dampen it to raise the grain, then it sand it then seal it with a good primer. I've used oil base primers and had good results.You can also usually find straight grain maple or good fir that will work just fine.

  3. John M Lipscomb Jr

    I noticed in your video's when you assembly cabinets you use 4 small boxes to do the assembly. What the dimensions on the support boxes? Thanks for your help