Matt paint for wood: background on wood treatment

Stuga Falu Röd

Matt paint for wood: why is it better?

Treating wood with matt paint for wood requires some thought in advance! The Swedes have done this for ages. After all, their homes are mostly made of wood. First of all, the type of wood is important because a satisfying result depends on the proper combination of wood and matt paint for wood.

Relatively ‘open’ wood such as pine, spruce, larch and other pine species have a large pore surface area, also internally in the wood . There are slow-growing species (Siberian pine ) which have a slightly denser cell structure, but compared to other species they are ‘open’. Sapwood , which is from the outside of the tree, is a lot more open.

Wood needs to breathe properly and is not dimensionally stable.

Depending on the moisture content of wood, it will expand and contract. In particularly dry inland areas of Sweden wood is often not even painted, they just let it turn gray and finally black.

In more southern area’s however, it is warmer, wetter and especially wet for longer periods of time. Therefore heavy intrusion of moist must be countered. In Sweden they tend to build with wood of better quality (heartwood, often quarter sawn and thus a denser cell structure, see also below).

Harder woods such as oak, tropical and European hardwood ( e.g. Acacia Rubina ) are denser in structure and show less contraction, but a good matt paint for wood still allows the wood to breathe.

Red cedar is quite special because it contains substances that counteract rot. Technically red cedar does not need to be treated with matt paint for wood but many still choose for an aesthetic treatment with colour or a transparent lacquer.

When planning to build a garden shed, I recommend rough sawn timber instead of the usual planed timber we use in the Netherlands. This gives a more breathable surface. If you have the chance you can ask for quarter sawn timber, where the year lines run parallel because the trunk is cut on the core. Heartwood is always better than wood from the outside (sapwood) because it has a more compact cell structure, which makes it more resistant to moisture (water) penetration and cell-degradation

The transport of moisture through wood and why matt paint for wood is more vapour permeable

When untreated, wood shows a difference in humidity on the inside and on the outside, because moisture gets transported through the wood. This is different from normal moisture (water), which mainly just sinks in the wood and attacks wood cells when wood has not been treated with matt paint for wood .

Water vapour pressure is strongly dependent on the temperature: the colder the dryer. Because the temperature on the interior paneling is usually higher than on the outside, there will be some water vapour transported from the inside to the outside. Finishing (painting) wood with matt paint for wood often inhibits this transport strongly: the higher the density of the matt paint for wood, the slower moisture vapour transport takes place in a wooden structure. The hallmark of Moose Färg matt paint for wood is a very high vapour permeability. Normally it is not wise to paint wood on both sides: it seals the wood and leads to accelerated peeling. With Moose Färg matt paint for wood this is not the case.