How To Achieve Smooth Results When Painting Wood

Red Painted Wood

Wood is a versatile and popular material that has been used for centuries in construction and furniture making. Painting wood can be a fun and rewarding task, but achieving smooth results can sometimes be challenging. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks to help you achieve a professional-looking finish when painting wood.

One of the most important things to consider when painting wood is the preparation of the surface. Wood surfaces must be properly sanded, cleaned, and primed before applying paint. Sanding helps to remove any rough spots or imperfections on the surface, while cleaning removes any dirt, dust or debris that could affect the adhesion of the paint. Applying a primer also helps to create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to, as well as providing an extra layer of protection against moisture and other environmental factors that can damage wood over time. By following these steps, you can ensure that your painted wood surfaces look smooth and professional.

Preparing The Wood Surface For Painting

As the saying goes, “proper preparation prevents poor performance” and this is particularly true when painting wood surfaces. The key to achieving a smooth and flawless finish lies in preparing the surface adequately before applying any paint. This involves sanding the wood to create an even surface that is free of any blemishes or rough spots.

To begin with, you will need to gather your sanding tools. These may include sandpaper of varying grits, a sanding block, and an electric sander. You should start by using coarse-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or bumps on the wood surface. Once you have achieved a relatively even surface, switch to finer-grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining imperfections.

In addition to using appropriate sanding tools, you may also want to consider various surface preparation techniques. One such technique involves using a wood conditioner before painting. This helps to seal the wood and prevent it from absorbing too much paint which can result in uneven coating and blotchy areas. By taking these steps in preparing your wood surface for painting, you increase your chances of achieving a smooth finish that will last longer and look more professional. With the surface ready, we can now move on to choosing the right paint for your project.

Choosing The Right Paint For Your Project

After preparing the wood surface for painting, it’s time to choose the right paint for your project. One important factor to consider is choosing paint finishes. The finish you choose can make a huge difference in the final look of your painted wood. Some popular options include gloss, satin, and matte.

When deciding on the amount of paint to use, it’s important to not overdo it. Applying too much paint can result in drips and an uneven finish. On the other hand, using too little paint can lead to a patchy look. A general rule of thumb is to apply two thin coats of paint rather than one thick coat. This will ensure better coverage and a smoother finish.

Understanding different types of wood is also crucial when painting. The type of wood you’re working with will determine how well it takes to the paint and whether or not it requires any special preparation before painting. Make sure to research the specific type of wood you’re working with before starting your project so that you can achieve the best possible results.

Understanding Different Types Of Wood

When it comes to painting wood, understanding different types of wood is crucial. Each wood species has unique characteristics that affect how the paint adheres and dries on its surface. While some woods, like pine or cedar, are porous and absorb paint quickly, others like maple or cherry have a tighter grain structure that requires more effort to achieve a smooth finish.

Choosing the right wood species for your project can make all the difference in achieving professional-looking results. Some popular hardwoods for painting include oak, poplar, and birch. These woods have tight grains that allow paint to glide smoothly over their surfaces without getting absorbed too quickly. Alternatively, if you want a more rustic look for your project, consider using softer woods like pine or spruce.

In summary, selecting the right wood species for your painting project is an essential first step in achieving smooth results. Different wood characteristics will influence how the paint adheres and dries on its surface. By choosing a hardwood with a tight grain structure or a softer wood with visible knots and imperfections, you can create unique finishes that match your style preferences. In the next section, we will discuss sanding techniques for smoother surfaces to take your painting skills to the next level.

Sanding Techniques For Smoother Surfaces

When sanding wood prior to painting, the selection of the grit of sandpaper is of paramount importance. Coarse grits are appropriate for removing material quickly, while finer grits are suitable for smoothing surfaces. Edge sanding is also important, as it allows for the removal of rough spots and sharp edges for a cleaner finish. Finally, a finishing sanding should be completed using very fine grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth, uniform texture. All sanding should be done in the direction of the grain for best results.

Grit Selection

As a wood painting expert, achieving smooth results when painting wood requires proper sanding techniques. One important factor to consider is grit selection. Grit selection refers to the coarseness of the sandpaper used for sanding. It determines how much material is removed and how smooth the surface will become.

When it comes to grit selection, there are various sandpaper types available in the market, ranging from coarse to fine. For instance, coarse sandpaper with a low grit number between 40-60 is suitable for removing paint or rough surfaces. Meanwhile, medium-grit sandpapers with grit numbers between 80-120 can smoothen out scratches and prepare the surface for finishing. Lastly, fine-grit sandpapers with grit numbers 150-180 and above are best suited for final finishing touches.

Selecting the right grit type depends on your desired outcome and the condition of your wood surface. If you’re unsure which type to use, start with a medium-grit sandpaper before moving on to finer ones gradually. Remember that using too coarse a paper may leave deep scratches while using too fine paper may not remove enough material or take longer than necessary. Thus, choosing the right grit selection plays a crucial role in ensuring that you achieve smoother surfaces when painting wood.

Edge Sanding

When it comes to achieving a smooth surface for painting wood, sanding is an essential step. However, many people tend to overlook the importance of edge sanding techniques. Edge sanding refers to the process of sanding the edges of a wooden surface, which can be tricky and challenging if not done correctly.

One of the most common mistakes to avoid when edge sanding is neglecting the edges altogether. Often, people tend to concentrate on sanding the flat surfaces, leaving the edges rough and uneven. As a result, when it comes time to paint or finish the wood, these areas will stand out and mar the overall appearance of your work.

To prevent this from happening, it’s crucial to use proper edge sanding techniques. This involves using a small piece of sandpaper wrapped around a block or sponge to get into tight spaces and corners effectively. Additionally, start with coarse-grit paper before moving on to finer grits gradually. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your edges are as smooth as your flat surfaces – resulting in a more professional-looking finished product.

Finishing Sanding

As a wood painting expert, achieving a smooth surface for painting is necessary to attain a professional-looking finished product. One crucial step in the sanding process is finishing sanding, which involves using fine grit sandpaper to remove any remaining imperfections on the wood’s surface. Finishing sanding also helps prepare the wood for staining or painting, ensuring that your chosen finish adheres well.

To achieve an even smoother finish, using sanding blocks or electric sanders with sanding discs can help speed up the process and make it more efficient. Sanding blocks are perfect for working on small areas and tight spaces while electric sanders are ideal for larger surfaces. When using electric sanders, it’s essential to use caution not to damage the wood surface by applying too much pressure.

When finishing sanding, it’s important to take your time and work gradually from coarse-grit paper to finer grits. This will ensure that all imperfections are removed without damaging the wood surface. By incorporating these techniques into your wood painting process, you can achieve a smooth surface that will enhance the overall appearance of your finished product.

Removing Old Paint And Stains

Smooth results when painting wood require more than just proper sanding techniques. Chemical strippers and sandblasting may be necessary to remove old paint and stains before applying a new coat of paint.

Chemical strippers are a popular solution for removing old paint and stains from wooden surfaces. These products work by breaking down the chemical bonds between the surface and the coating. They are typically applied with a brush or roller, left to sit for several hours, then scraped away with a putty knife or scraper. While effective, chemical strippers can be harmful if not used properly. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and wear protective gloves and eyewear.

Sandblasting is another method for removing old paint and stains from wooden surfaces. This process involves using compressed air to blast abrasive particles at high speeds towards the surface of the wood, effectively stripping away any existing coatings. Sandblasting should be done by a professional as it requires specialized equipment and can cause damage if not done correctly.

Before painting, it is essential to clean the wood surface thoroughly to ensure that all debris has been removed. This can be done using a damp cloth or sponge with mild soap and water or with a commercial wood cleaner specifically designed for pre-painting preparation. Once cleaned, allow the surface to dry completely before applying any paint or stain.

In preparation for painting wood surfaces, it is crucial to consider all options available for achieving smooth results. Chemical strippers and sandblasting are two methods that can help remove old paint and stains effectively; however, they require proper use and caution to prevent harm or damage to the wood surface itself. After removing any impurities from the surface of your wooden piece, take care in cleaning it thoroughly prior to applying new coats of paint or stain.

Cleaning The Wood Surface

  1. Proper preparation of the wood surface is essential for achieving a smooth finish when painting wood.
  2. An effective way to begin cleaning the wood surface is by removing dirt and debris with a vacuum cleaner or damp cloth.
  3. Sanding the wood with an appropriate grade of sandpaper will also help to smooth out any rough patches and provide a better surface for painting.
  4. After sanding, it is important to wipe away any dust that may remain before beginning to paint the wood.

Removing Dirt

Removing dirt, dust and debris from wood surface is an essential step in achieving smooth results when painting wood. Before you start painting, it is important to ensure that the wood surface is free from any contaminants that can cause paint to adhere poorly or unevenly. To remove dirt and dust, use a soft-bristled brush or vacuum cleaner to gently sweep the surface.

For more stubborn dirt and grime, natural cleaning solutions can be used. A mixture of warm water and vinegar is effective in removing tough stains without damaging the wood surface. Alternatively, a solution of baking soda and water can also be used. Simply apply the solution onto a soft cloth and gently scrub the affected area.

It is important to note that harsh chemicals should be avoided as they may damage the wood surface or cause discoloration. Additionally, excessive scrubbing or pressure should also be avoided as it may cause scratches on the wood surface. By following these simple steps for removing dirt, dust and debris from your wood surface using natural cleaning solutions, you will achieve a smooth result when painting your wood project.

Sanding Wood

After thoroughly cleaning the wood surface, the next step in preparing it for painting is sanding. Sanding is crucial as it helps to smooth out any rough spots or imperfections on the wood surface, allowing paint to adhere evenly. To begin sanding, one must first choose the appropriate type of sandpaper based on the desired level of abrasiveness. Types of sandpaper include coarse grit, medium grit, and fine grit.

Coarse grit sandpaper is ideal for removing rough patches and stubborn stains from the wood surface. Medium grit sandpaper can be used to smooth out minor imperfections, while fine grit sandpaper is best for achieving a smooth and even finish. Sanding tools and equipment such as handheld sanders or sanding blocks can also be used to make the process more efficient and effective.

When using a sander or sanding block, it is important to apply even pressure and work in the direction of the grain to avoid causing damage to the wood surface. It is also essential to smooth out any rough spots left by previous coats of paint or other imperfections before applying a new coat of paint. By following these simple steps for sanding wood, you will achieve an even and smooth finish that will enhance the overall appearance of your project.

Filling In Holes And Imperfections

To achieve a smooth finish when painting wood, it is crucial to fill in any holes and imperfections before applying the paint. The first step in this process is to apply wood putty to any cracks, dents, or holes. Wood putty application is an easy task that can be completed using a putty knife. Apply the putty liberally over the hole or crack and leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.

Once the wood putty has dried completely, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges. Sanding techniques vary depending on the type of wood and the depth of imperfections. For shallow dents or scratches, use fine-grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the grain until the surface feels even. For deeper holes or cracks, start with coarse-grit sandpaper to level off the surface before moving on to finer grits.

Using these techniques will ensure that your painted woodwork looks professional and flawless. Remember that preparation is key when it comes to achieving a smooth finish. Take your time with each step and don’t rush through them as this could compromise the quality of your final product.

To further improve your painted woodwork’s appearance, consider using a wood conditioner for better absorption before painting. A wood conditioner will penetrate deep into the wood fibers and seal them off from moisture while also enhancing their natural color and texture. With proper preparation and attention to detail, you’ll be able to create beautiful, long-lasting finishes on all sorts of wooden surfaces!

Using A Wood Conditioner For Better Absorption

  1. Preparing the wood for painting requires cleaning the surface of dirt and debris, sanding to smooth the surface, and filling any visible scratches or holes.
  2. Applying a wood conditioner to the wood prior to painting is recommended in order to promote better absorption of the paint.
  3. The wood conditioner should be applied in a thin, even layer, over the entire surface of the wood.
  4. Allow the wood conditioner to penetrate the wood for the recommended length of time before sanding to ensure that the wood is completely saturated.
  5. Thoroughly remove any dust from the wood surface after sanding and before applying the paint.
  6. After the paint has been applied, finish the wood with a protective topcoat to provide long lasting protection and achieve a smooth, polished result.

Preparing The Wood

Proper wood preparation is essential for achieving smooth results when painting wood. Before applying any conditioner or paint, it’s crucial to ensure that the surface of the wood is clean and free from any dirt, dust, or debris. This can be achieved by using a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove any loose particles from the surface of the wood.

Next, it’s important to sand the wood to create a smooth and even surface. Sanding removes any rough spots or blemishes on the surface of the wood and helps to open up its pores, allowing it to absorb more conditioner and paint. It’s recommended to use a fine-grit sandpaper for this process, as coarse grits can leave visible marks on the surface of the wood.

After sanding, make sure to wipe down the surface of the wood with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust or debris. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to apply a wood conditioner for better absorption. By following these simple steps for wood preparation and surface cleaning, you’ll be able to achieve excellent results when painting your wooden surfaces.

Applying The Conditioner

After properly preparing the wood surface for painting, the next step is to apply a wood conditioner. Using a conditioner helps to improve the absorption of paint and ensures that the final coat looks smooth and even. A wood conditioner is especially useful when working with porous woods such as pine, oak, or cedar. By using a conditioner, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that will last for years.

Before applying the conditioner, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that you’re using it correctly. In general, you’ll want to apply the conditioner with a clean brush or cloth in long strokes along the grain of the wood. Allow the conditioner to soak into the wood for several minutes before wiping away any excess with a clean cloth. Once you’ve applied the conditioner, let it dry completely before proceeding with painting.

Using a wood conditioner is just one of many pre-painting techniques that can improve your results when painting wooden surfaces. By taking the time to properly prepare your wood surface and apply a conditioner, you’ll be able to achieve smoother, more even results when painting. With these simple steps and some patience, you can transform your wooden surfaces into beautiful works of art that will last for years to come.

Finishing The Wood

After using a wood conditioner for better paint absorption, the next step in painting wooden surfaces is finishing the wood. This involves applying staining techniques and finishing products to enhance the appearance and protect the wood from damage. Staining is an optional step that can be used to add color or highlight the natural grain of the wood. Finishing products such as varnish, shellac, or lacquer can be applied to seal and protect the wood surface.

When choosing a staining technique, it’s important to consider the type of wood you’re working with and what effect you want to achieve. Some stains are designed specifically for porous woods like pine or oak, while others work well on hardwoods like maple or cherry. It’s also important to test your chosen stain on a small, inconspicuous area of your wood surface before applying it more widely.

After staining (or if you choose not to stain), apply a finishing product to protect your wooden surfaces from scratches, moisture damage, and fading due to sunlight exposure. There are many different types of finish products available on the market today, including oil-based finishes, water-based finishes, and polyurethane finishes. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on factors such as durability, ease of application, and drying time. By following proper staining techniques and selecting appropriate finishing products, you can ensure that your painted wooden surfaces look beautiful for years to come.

Applying A Primer For Better Adhesion

After using a wood conditioner, the next step is to apply a primer for better adhesion of the paint. However, not all primers are created equal, and using multiple primers can help achieve smoother results. It is important to choose the right primer for the type of wood being painted and the type of paint being used.

Before applying any primer, it is essential to sand the wood surface thoroughly. This helps remove any existing finish or imperfections on the surface that can affect the adhesion of the primer and paint. After applying the first layer of primer, it is recommended to sand again before applying subsequent layers. Sanding after each layer helps smooth out any bumps or imperfections in the surface and allows for better paint coverage.

In summary, achieving smooth results when painting wood requires using multiple primers and proper sanding techniques before and after priming. By following these steps, one can ensure that their painted wood surfaces look professional and last longer over time. In the next section, we will provide tips for painting with a brush to further improve your technique.

Tips For Painting With A Brush

Achieving smooth results when painting wood can be a challenging task. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can paint wood surfaces with ease. When it comes to using a brush, there are certain tips that you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth finish.

Firstly, brush maintenance is crucial when painting wood surfaces. Make sure to clean your brushes thoroughly after each use so that they remain in good condition for future projects. Use warm soapy water or a specialized brush cleaner to remove any leftover paint from the bristles. Store your brushes properly by hanging them upside down or placing them in a protective case.

Secondly, brush stroke techniques play an important role in achieving a smooth finish when painting wood. Start by applying paint in long strokes and then go over the surface with shorter strokes to even out any inconsistencies. Avoid pressing too hard on the brush as this can cause the paint to streak or leave unsightly marks on the surface.

Lastly, consider investing in high-quality brushes for better results when painting wood surfaces. Quality brushes are made from durable materials and offer better control over the application of paint. They also tend to hold more paint and distribute it evenly over the surface.

  • Choose a brush size appropriate for your project
  • Use light pressure when applying paint
  • Work in small sections to avoid drying lines

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve a smooth finish when painting wood surfaces with a brush. In the next section, we’ll discuss some tips for using a roller to achieve similar results without having to worry about brush stroke textures.

Tips For Painting With A Roller

To achieve a smooth finish when painting wood, using a roller can offer several benefits. First, the roller technique allows for more consistent coverage and a quicker paint application process compared to using a brush. However, it is important to use the proper roller for the job. A thicker nap (the thickness of the material on the roller) is best for rough surfaces like bare wood or textured panels, while a thinner nap is better for smoother surfaces like finished wood or drywall.

When applying paint with a roller, start by pouring the paint into a tray and rolling the roller back and forth in the paint until it is evenly coated. Use long, even strokes to apply the paint in one direction, overlapping each stroke slightly to avoid leaving gaps or lines. It is also important to maintain a wet edge while painting to prevent overlap marks and ensure an even finish.

In addition to these basic tips for roller painting, there are several other techniques that can be used to achieve an even smoother finish. These include backrolling (lightly going over previously painted areas with a dry roller), tipping off (using a brush or foam pad to lightly smooth out any bubbles or imperfections), and using additives like flow improvers or extenders. By experimenting with different techniques and finding what works best for your specific project, you can achieve professional-looking results when painting wood with a roller.

Moving onto spraying techniques for a smooth finish, utilizing specialized equipment can make all the difference in achieving an even coat of paint on your wooden surface.

Spraying Techniques For A Smooth Finish

Achieving a smooth finish when painting wood can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. One effective technique for achieving a smooth finish is through the use of spraying techniques. Using a spray gun can help distribute the paint evenly and consistently, resulting in a smoother finish compared to using brushes or rollers.

To achieve optimal results when using spraying techniques, proper spray gun maintenance is crucial. It is important to regularly clean and maintain the spray gun to ensure that it delivers an even spray pattern. This includes cleaning the nozzle and air cap after each use, as well as checking for any clogs or blockages in the gun’s internal components. Additionally, selecting the right type of paint and adjusting the air pressure can also contribute to achieving a smoother finish.

Proper spray gun technique is equally important in achieving a smooth finish when painting wood. It is recommended to hold the spray gun perpendicular to the surface being painted, moving the gun parallel to the surface while maintaining a consistent distance. Overlapping each pass by 50% ensures complete coverage without leaving any streaks or lines. These tips can help you achieve professional-looking results that will make your wood surfaces look smooth and polished.

Spraying techniques are an excellent way to achieve a smooth finish when painting wood surfaces. Proper maintenance and usage of your spray gun will go a long way towards ensuring that you get optimal results every time you paint. In our next section, we will discuss drying and curing times for painted wood surfaces so that you can ensure that your newly painted surfaces remain looking their best over time.

Drying And Curing Times For Painted Wood

One of the most crucial aspects of achieving a smooth finish when painting wood is to ensure that the paint dries and cures properly. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of paint used, the thickness of the coat applied, and the temperature and humidity levels in the environment. Rushing this process or exposing painted wood to harsh weather conditions can result in various painting mistakes such as peeling, cracking, or fading.

It is essential to keep in mind that drying and curing times vary between different types of paints. Water-based paints tend to dry faster than oil-based paints, but they require more time to cure completely. Latex paints are another popular option for painting wood due to their quick drying ability. However, it is recommended that you wait at least 24 hours before applying a second coat on top of latex paint. On the other hand, oil-based paints may take up to seven days to dry completely.

Weather conditions also play a significant role in determining how long it takes for painted wood to dry and cure properly. High humidity levels slow down the drying process by trapping moisture within the layers of paint, while low humidity levels can cause cracking and peeling. Therefore, it is best to avoid painting during rainy or humid weather conditions if possible. Instead, choose a day with moderate temperatures (around 50-85°F) and low humidity levels (below 60%) for optimal results.

Transition: Now that you understand how crucial proper drying and curing times are when painting wood let’s move onto maintaining and protecting your painted surfaces once they have cured completely.

Maintaining And Protecting Your Painted Wood

As the paint on your wood dries and cures, it’s crucial to consider how you can achieve a smooth finish. One way to do this is by applying a wood sealant before painting. A wood sealant will help create an even surface for the paint to adhere to, preventing any bumps or irregularities in the final product. Remember that proper ventilation is essential when using a wood sealant, as it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful if inhaled.

When it comes time to paint your wood, make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. A high-quality brush or roller will help ensure even coverage and a smooth finish. Take your time with each stroke, being careful not to apply too much pressure or leave any drips behind. If you do notice any imperfections in your painted surface, don’t worry – there are ways to troubleshoot common painting issues on wood.

To maintain and protect your newly painted wood, consider adding another layer of protection with a clear coat or varnish. This will help keep your paint looking fresh for longer and provide an additional barrier against wear and tear. However, keep in mind that different types of clear coats may have varying levels of glossiness – choose one that matches the look you’re going for. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve a smooth, polished finish on all of your wooden projects! In our next section, we’ll explore some common painting issues on wood and how to troubleshoot them effectively.

Troubleshooting Common Painting Issues On Wood

Common mistakes in painting wood include using the wrong type of paint, applying too much or too little paint, and not properly preparing the surface. To avoid these issues, it is important to choose the correct type of paint for your project and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application. Additionally, make sure to sand and clean the surface thoroughly before painting.

Expert advice for achieving smooth results when painting wood includes using a high-quality brush or roller, applying thin coats of paint, and allowing each coat to dry completely before applying another. It is also helpful to apply a primer before painting to ensure better adhesion and coverage. If you do experience issues with streaking or unevenness in your painted finish, don’t panic – there are troubleshooting tips and DIY solutions available.

Troubleshooting tips for addressing common painting issues on wood include lightly sanding the affected area and reapplying a thin coat of paint, using a dry brush or roller to blend out any streaks or lines, or trying a different brand or type of paint altogether. With a little patience and experimentation, even novice painters can achieve professional-looking results when painting wood. Remember, practice makes perfect!


Achieving a smooth finish when painting wood requires careful preparation, attention to detail, and the right tools and techniques. By understanding the characteristics of different types of wood, selecting the right paint for your project, and using proper sanding and spraying techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results that will last for years to come.

It is important to note that different types of wood may require different approaches when it comes to preparing them for painting. Whether you are working with softwoods or hardwoods, it is important to take into account their porosity, grain patterns, and moisture content when selecting your paint and sanding technique. Additionally, removing old paint and stains can be a time-consuming but essential step in achieving a smooth surface for painting.

When it comes to applying the paint itself, using a sprayer can often produce smoother results than using a brush or roller. However, it is important to follow proper spraying techniques such as maintaining consistent pressure and distance from the surface. Finally, allowing sufficient drying and curing time before exposing your painted wood surfaces to wear and tear can help ensure long-lasting results.

As an expert in the field of wood painting, I cannot overstate the importance of taking the time to properly prepare your surfaces before beginning any painting project. By doing so, you can avoid common pitfalls such as peeling or chipping paint and achieve a beautifully smooth finish that will enhance the natural beauty of your wood surfaces. Remember: patience and attention to detail are key when it comes to achieving professional-quality results.

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Author: Itamar ben dor

My name is Itamar Ben Dor, and I am passionate about environmental sustainability and the power of plants to improve our lives. As the founder of Green Life, I have assembled a team of experts in the fields of horticulture, design, and sustainability to help us bring you the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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