Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Wood?

Do you have a question about how to use acrylic paint on wood? Contrary to popular belief, the technique is simple. With a bit of color, you can recycle old wood and turn it into a beautiful work of art.

Craft paints called acrylics are perfect for a variety of artistic applications. For wood, acrylic paint works great. You must take a few more procedures to get the paint to stick well and produce a long-lasting finish. The surface must be cleaned for the most extraordinary effects, and the paint must be sealed.

Does Acrylic Paint Work on Stained Wood?

You may paint stained wood using a variety of techniques. Your decision will be influenced by the kind of stain used on the wood’s surface and its general condition. Acrylic paint is perfect for painting a piece of wood that has been upcycled or a piece of old furniture since it can be used on stained wood.

The same preparation and cleaning instructions listed below should be used to paint the stained wood. The waterproof component and glossy, smooth surface are standard in many stained wood types. You should sand the wood to eliminate this and provide room for the fresh paint to stick.

Given the condition of the wood, you will need to sand it a certain amount. Apply at least 150-grit sandpaper to the surface to be polished. Sanding may not require much time if your stain is not shiny.

Then apply primer to the wood. If your previous staining was a dark shade, priming the wood is an essential step. If not, the intended color might not come out exactly as you had hoped. A practical stain-killer primer is available at hardware stores.

Does The Wood Require Priming?

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Wood

Priming the wood will help you get ready to paint. Most wooden crafts that you purchase from hobby shops are unfinished. Before painting with acrylics, you must first sand the wood and apply primer to it.

Select a primer that goes with your supplies. The paint and surface type you use should be compatible with the primer you choose for your project. For instance, a water-based stain and priming are generally what you want, as most acrylic paints are water-based.

Painting is secured by the barrier. Stain-blocking primers are also available if you paint unfinished or previously painted wood. Instead of allowing the paint to penetrate the wood’s pores, they preserve it on the surface. You can begin painting on wood after the primer dries.

Does Acrylic Paint on Wood Need to Be Sealed?

You must seal the paint after using acrylics to paint on wood. The sealer guards against paint peeling or chipping. Additionally, it prevents the wood from turning brown or amber-coloured due to impurities in wood if the surface is not adequately sealed.

Sealing paint is crucial for wood projects since the wood pores absorb the paint as you apply it. You might need to use more paint coats on the wood, or the moisture may cause the wooden surface to distort.

The wood can absorb the primer if it’s porous and still distort. Try to seal the wood in this situation before priming and painting it. To save you time, some brands do, however, offer combo wood primer/sealer products.

While it’s not always necessary, it’s highly advised to seal acrylic paint. Peeling and scuffing are avoided by the topcoat. Additionally, it shields the paint from any debris or liquid that can adhere to the surface of the wood.

The most incredible option for durability is a sealant, especially if the wood is frequently left outside or is exposed to the weather. But the step might not be required if you’re a novice who is just experimenting with acrylic paint on wood.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe On Wood?

Acrylic paints with a water base are usually non-toxic and regarded as secure. It’s a good idea to work with paints on wood.

Acrylic paints don’t emit the same potent scents or dangerous compounds as paints with an oil base because of the water base. But if you ingest it, even non-toxic paint turns dangerous. According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guide, some water-based acrylics contain ammonia and formaldehyde, which are irritating if consumed.

Choose craft paints with the Approved Product (AP) seal of approval from the Art and Creative Materials Institute for children’s crafts or safety. Acrylic paint that complies with their safety criteria is non-toxic and suitable for children because they certify a non-toxic product.

Should You Prepare Your Wood before Painting It?

For your project to last a long time, you must prepare any wooden surface before painting. Although priming the surface is not required before painting, it will assure the paint’s durability.

Wood surfaces don’t necessarily need to be primed. However, priming is always advised before painting any exterior.

This is particularly true if the painted project will either be used or touched frequently or if it will be outdoors in the elements. The wood’s surface is made nicely and permanently paintable using a primer to prepare it.

Therefore, priming the wood before painting is a definite must if your project calls for an exceptionally durable and sturdy paint finish.

How To Protect Wood Using Acrylic Paint

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Wood

A transparent sealer helps the paint stay longer by preserving the color. It shields you from water, UV rays, scratches, peeling, and loss of color vibrancy. Seal the wood once the acrylic paint has dried completely and you are satisfied with the paintwork.

There are numerous types and finishes of sealers. For many different mediums, gesso is a fantastic all-purpose primer and sealer. Another sealer you may buy at your neighborhood hardware shop is varnish. Although it’s simple to use, other brands are far more hazardous. Apply two coats of sealant, whichever choice you select.

Step 1: Put On A Light First Coat

You can spray, paintbrush, or sponge brush on the sealer, depending on the kind, to seal surfaces. Start by slathering on a light coating of sealant. Use quick sprays of a spray sealant to coat the texture if you have one.

Step 2: Time for Drying

Six to twelve hours should be given for drying. Before applying another layer, the sealer may feel dry and brittle after about 30 minutes. Still, you should wait until it is scorched.

Step 3: Add Layers of Sealer

Incorporate a second coat of sealant. You may use additional coatings if necessary. The sealer must completely dry between each layer.

How to Use Acrylics to Paint on Wood

You’ll need a few supplies to use acrylic paint on a wooden surface. Collect:

  • Fine-grained sandpaper
  • Wood primer
  • Acrylic color
  • Sponge brush 
  • Paint Brush
  • Glass of water
  • Towel

As you paint the wood, you might also wish to utilize an easel. You can begin once you have all the necessary supplies.

Step 1: Secure Your Workspace

Protecting your work environment is also a must before you begin painting. Go somewhere with good ventilation, or crack a window. More extensive tasks are best carried out outside or in a garage. If necessary, use a fan or a protective face mask because acrylics might have a strong odor that gives you a headache.

To stop paint from ruining your work surface, lay down a tarp or newspaper. Wear gloves, cover your hands when handling the paints; also, and protect your clothing.

Step 2: Get the wood ready.

Preparing the wood is necessary unless you want the final product to seem textured. A smooth, flat surface is what we want to achieve. First, sand the wood with medium or fine-grit (140 to 180-grit) sandpaper. Sand with the exact grain as wood or faces the same way as the wood’s natural lines. When painting, try to fill in all the nooks and crannies.

Step 3: Prime the Surface

The benefits of primer extend to painting on any kind of surface. It’s excellent for giving the paint a character to adhere to, extending the lifespan and improving the appearance of your project.

The primer should be applied twice, and each coat should be allowed to dry completely before continuing. Apply it evenly throughout the entire surface. Smooth finishing is made possible using a roller brush.

Step 4: Apply Tape or a Stencil to Your Design

Tracing paper helps copy a pattern or design onto the wood. Use a stencil and painter tape to mask the desired wood areas before painting. Cover any areas you don’t wish to paint with tape.

Step 5: Put Paint on Walls

Start by painting the prepped wood with a small amount of paint squeezed onto the surface. Keep a towel and bowl of water close by for spill cleanup. Wash your paintbrush when changing or blending colors by dabbing it in water. You might also use a sponge brush to spread the paint over a wider area.

Step 6: Let the paint dry.

The painted wood should be left to dry in a secure location after you’ve finished painting the design. Once the paint has dried, postpone replacing any knobs or drawers.

The total drying time of certain acrylics might reach 24 hours. It can only take two hours for smaller crafts to dry. It is time to seal the paint when it no longer has a sticky feel.


A cheap and versatile art medium is wood. You can refinish old wood furniture to have a more traditional look. Whether painting a single wood dresser or a little craft project, acrylic paint is one of the most fantastic options.

How did your painting job turn out? Did our detailed instructions prove helpful? Please share this post with your friends and family if you liked learning how to paint wood with acrylic. Also, please share any feedback you have about your painting endeavors.

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