painting poplar

Al E

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Jan 21, 2001
I have some flat profile poplar moulding which I would like to paint flat black. It doesn't have to look good, just covered black. Of course, I prefer waterbased and I would buy a sprayer.

It is raw wood.

I have experimented with stains with terrible results on this wood.

Thanks for any help on this.
How flat does it need to be?
I have used several thin coats of a watered down black/brown acrylic craft paint. I sand or steel wool it afterwards and then apply a paste wax. It completely disguises any green or brown streaks in the wood, but there is still grain texture. It looks very nice, but it's not an opaque, flat black.

You may have to sand, prime, sand, spray paint in that case.

Let us know what works.

edie the tryingtoavoidthosesprays goddess

It needs to be opaque. No wax, polyurethane or sanding is necessary. I just want it to disappear. It can be very flat.
I use the same technique as EtFG, but I use India Ink (China Black, the real stuff). Applied with a foam brush and allowed to dry. It will raise the grain a bit. Sand and reapply a second coat. If I want a harder finish, I'll burnish the surface with a folding bone and then use Black Bison neutral wax, or Renaissance wax. Optional finishes are Watco oil (rubbed in) finished with Canuba paste wax, or Watco liquid paste wax.
As with EtFG's technique, the grain is still evident.

I used this finish on a show of black and white photos and the woodgrain gave the framing a more organic feel.
What about cans of flat black Krylon spray paint? Works for me and will still be cheaper than buying a paint sprayer.
I use Liquitex black gesso. Great coverage, cheaper than using black acrylic paint, sandable if the grain gets raised, and gives a really flat finish. Also great for rabbets of mirror frames!
Seal it with a sanding sealer and then spray it with flat black spray paint, two coats. Should only take minutes to do and looks great.