How do you finish balsa wood?

by Victor
(Frankston, Australia)

I would like to know how I can get a nice finis, painting balsa. I hear so many different ways and would like to hear what you recommend.

SMH Responds
I primarily use balsa wood now for interior bracing of outer walls to prevent warping. Balsa, being lightweight, is easy to work with up until it comes to painting. Balsa is "spongy" and so absorbs paint without much effort.

To counter this issue, you need to sand it smooth and most important, brush on a sanding sealer to provide a smooth, somewhat hard, surface. Let it dry to the point it is bot sticky. if not smooth, reapply sealer. Again, let it thoroughly.

When you start painting your project, start with the darker colors first and then apply any lighter coats and or accents. Important: let paint dry between coats for a smooth finish.

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