Compressed wood, also known as particle board, can be painted, but first the wood must be properly prepared. Compressed wood has an uneven, slightly bumpy surface and it's very porous. Some types of particle board also have a faux wood veneer. Many furniture items feature both types, with veneer on the exposed surfaces and bare particle board used on drawers and inside cabinets. Both types of compressed wood require sanding, which will smooth the bumpy surface or scuff the smooth veneer to allow for proper paint adherence. Sanding is followed by the application of a sealant.

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Compressed wood must be sanded and sealed prior to painting.