Acrylic Paint On Wood [Extensive Guide] [All You Need To Know]

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This is the most complete guide on using acrylic paint on wood and other details that you need to know before starting any painting project.

Wood’s intrinsic smoothness and lack of texture make it ideal for painting projects of many kinds. This can be painted using either oil or water-based paints.

Acrylic paint is the ideal choice for the surface because of its flexibility and ease of application. Acrylic paint may be the most cost-effective option due to the low cost of acrylics.

It’s not as simple as slapping some paint on some wood, though. Preparing the wood for painting with acrylic paints is a good idea.

Many different types of primer and paint are available, each with a different finish. It is possible that the nature of your project will determine the materials you select.

Because of this, the most suitable acrylic paint for wood surfaces is designed specifically for that purpose. If you are going to start a project of painting wood with acrylic, here is the article that you need to read once.


We have covered everything about using acrylic paint on wood that you need to know before you start. Let’s get started.

Types Of Wood Surfaces

It’s a good idea to paint wood for a variety of reasons. Repurposing old wood rather than tossing it away is a cost-effective alternative.

Children enjoy making things out of wood. Others prefer crafting wood art or painting wood to give it a fresh look. Acrylic paint may be used to decorate furniture, but it must be sealed immediately afterward.

Hardwoods should be avoided while painting wood. They can make it difficult for the acrylic to stick. However, avoid plywood to paint at all costs.

When you use too much primer or sealer, the paint will fill the wood pores and leave an ugly finish. Soft maple and poplar are good options for a smooth surface.

Because they’re less expensive, they’re better at holding paint, and they’re less likely to shrink or warp.

Keep Reading: Information On Painting Fabric With Acrylic

Does Wood And Acrylic Work Together?

Since an acrylic polymer is used to disperse pigments over a water-based substrate, acrylic paint dries quickly and is safe to use. Soapy water is all that is needed to clean this paint.

Acrylic paint can be applied to a wide variety of woods with relative ease, as long as you take the proper precautions to make your project more long-lasting.

So it’s no surprise that acrylic paint has grown to be such a common choice for a wide range of woodcraft projects. As a result, there are no requirements to visit a separate arts and crafts store to purchase these items.

For indoor usage, the non-toxic recipe means it is ideal for children who are just beginning to experiment with more vibrant colors. To get the best effects from acrylic paint, it’s best to prime the surface first.

Compared to canvas, a painting applied on wood is an excellent option because it is much less expensive. As a result, the drying process will not result in any wood cracking unless the wood is damaged.

Acrylic paint adheres well to a smooth, clean surface, such as a freshly sanded hardwood surface. Using acrylic on wooden crafts and furniture has a few drawbacks.

That’s because wood is much heavier than canvas, and painting on it will be more difficult without properly preparing it. Using primer or sealer is essential to prevent the wood from becoming discolored or losing its lifespan.

Framing wood is also tricky for beginners, and if you do it incorrectly, the item may warp. You should not be discouraged from developing acrylic paint on wood artwork since it is harder to hang wood than a canvas one.

Why Acrylic Paint?

Whether or whether acrylic paint is suitable for use on wood is a common question. Due to its accessibility and short drying time, acrylic paint is one of the most commonly utilized types of paint for creative projects.

In addition, it doesn’t emit any fumes or other chemicals, so that you can use it both indoors and outdoors without fear of harm. Wood can be painted with acrylic paint quite readily.

Do we need to explain that it’s one of the most affordable options? You can apply this paint directly to wood without any preparation. However, this does not imply that you should.

Selecting The Best Acrylic Paint For Wood

Many acrylic paints are available, and you need to do a few things to make sure you acquire the right paint for the work before making a purchase. Choosing the most appropriate acrylic paint for woodwork might be a challenge.

  • It’s important to use wood-safe acrylic paint. Any other form of paint would not adhere to the wood’s surface and therefore be ineffective.
  • Make a selection regarding the type of finish you want. Is a glossy or matte finish more to your taste? In addition to shiny and matte finishes, acrylic paint can be found in a variety of other finishes, including satin, stone, and metallic.
  • You have to ensure that the paint is of the correct viscosity. Working on a huge project with paint that is too thin can be extremely frustrating. On the other hand, if you’re painting a little area, you don’t want to use too much paint.
  • Choose a hue for your paint by examining its bottle’s bottom rather than its labels. The color would be more prominent since it is made from actual paint.

Keep Reading: Painting Plastic Surface With Acrylic Paint Properly

Process Of Painting Acrylic Paint On Wood

Trying to figure out how to use acrylic paints on wood? Just a few coats of paint may transform an old piece of wooden furniture into a work of art. It’s recommended to go with acrylics on wood for this.

For a more polished and long-lasting result when painting on wood, you should follow a few measures before beginning. This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to use acrylic paints to paint on wood.

Choosing The Right Brushes

Do not be tricked into thinking that cheap brushes will suffice. A cheap brush’s bristles might break free and adhere to the paint during painting. Their brush strokes can be seen on the surface.

To avoid shedding, search for non-shedding synthetic brushes made of real hair such as sable. Using a soft brush rather than a stiff one is often recommended.

As a matter of course, you’ll choose the proper brush size for the particular artwork you’re working on.

Ensure Protection

Make sure your work area is well-protected before you begin painting. Open a window or go to a well-ventilated place. Larger projects should be carried out in a garage or the outdoors.

If you’re sensitive to the stench of acrylics, use a fan or a face mask to keep the fumes at bay. Keep the paint off of your work surface by laying down a sheet of newspaper before you begin painting.

Wear gloves and aprons to protect your hands when working with the paints.


Surfaces in close proximity to your workspace can become contaminated by wood dust, sealer, priming, and other similar materials. Use a drop cloth to protect the surfaces you’ll be working on so that you don’t have to clean up any mess you might make.

Make sure you don’t inhale the sanding dust by wearing a face mask. Goggles aren’t required, but you can wear them if you like to be on the safe side.

Sanding dust should not hang in the air, so make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated space. Open the windows or turn on the fans if you’re working indoors. If you’re working on a huge acrylic painting, try doing it outside.

Is Preparation Important For Painting?

If you want your paint job to last a long time, you must first prepare any wooden surface. Preparation of the surface with a primer is not required before painting, although it will increase the durability of the paint if it is.

A primer isn’t always necessary, but it’s usually good to prep any surface before the main painting job. This is especially important if the painted surface will be exposed to the outdoors or will be often used or handled.

Using a primer helps to ensure that the paint adheres to the wood in a strong and lasting manner. When painting wood, a primer is absolutely necessary if you want a paint finish that is both durable and long-lasting.

The Process Of Sanding

In order to achieve a smooth, even texture, sanding is necessary. Once you’ve got the rough edges down, move on to fine-grit. Starting with a 140-grit pad or block is an excellent place to begin.

A smoother surface can be achieved by using 180-grit paper. Do not go against the grain of the wood when sanding. The tracks you see in a piece of wood are called wood grain.

In other words, strew sand along these arrows’ paths. Because it would leave the board with unsightly scratches, sanding against the grain would be counterproductive.

Keep Reading: Cardboard Painting With Acrylic Or Spray

Wipe The Surface

A dust-free wood surface is required for the next step (sealer, priming, and paint). This signifies that you should clean up the sawdust before continuing.

Dust and residue from sanding can be removed with a dry brush. This step is critical if you want to paint over a smooth, textured surface. Remove any extra paint from your wood surface with the help of our guide.

To finish cleaning the piece, use a moist towel to wipe it down. Make sure the towel is completely dry before using it to clean the wood.

To avoid raising the wood grain, make sure the rag isn’t completely saturated. Before moving on to the following stage, make sure the workpiece is totally dry.

Sealing The Wood

Because of its inherent porosity, wood is a potential paint absorber. Before putting the acrylic paint, you must seal the pores to avoid this consequence.

Starting at the bottom, begin by using 180-grit sandpaper in an even, circular motion. Once the dust has been eliminated, the sealer should be used.

In this situation, a light application of Gac-100 applied with a wide brush to the entire surface is recommended. Finally, allow the sealer to dry on all of the wood’s surfaces.

In order to prevent the brush from becoming dried out, wash it as soon as possible in the water. Sand, the surface, then reapply a thin coat of sealant and allow it to dry for another half hour.

Prime The Surface

The advantages of using a primer extend to painting on any type of surface. Your product will remain longer and come up as brighter if you use a smooth surface to paint on.

As a bonus benefit, priming wood helps to fill the outer pores, which reduces the likelihood of warping by helping to absorb moisture. It is possible to apply some wood primers using a spray.

The majority of choices are paints that are applied with a paintbrush and are liquids. Two coats of primer should be applied to the surface, allowing for each coat to dry thoroughly between applications.

Cover the entire space with an even layer of the substance. A roller brush aids in achieving a flawless finish. A wood primer or an all-purpose primer like gesso can be used.

Acrylic paint works well with gesso as a primer on a wide variety of surfaces. If the primer doesn’t completely cover the wood after the first several coats, apply one more coat until it does. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours for the most remarkable effects.

Get The Design Ready

When painting on wood, use a stencil and masking tape to create parts for the design. Cover any areas you don’t want to be painted with tape. Design or pattern copies are made easier on the wood with trace paper.

Keep Reading: Complete Procedure Of Baking Acrylic

Priming Process

It is time to apply the primer once the two layers of sealer have dried. The ideal primer for acrylic paint is gesso; we recommend it for this purpose.

Wood primer is another option. There are many options for purchasing it, including online at Amazon or at a local market. Gesso, our favored alternative, follows the same rule.

All surfaces can be coated with either form of a primer, and both are simple to apply. Apply the primer in thin coats with a roller or a brush after lightly sanding the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper.

You can use a roller rather than a paintbrush for an equal and flawless finish. You can apply two coats of primer and let the surface dry overnight for better coverage.

Creating A Background

Make sure you set down a foundation first. Choose a color for the background of your design and make a small quantity to a palette of that color.

Make sure you simply bring the background color at this point because acrylic paint dries quickly. Any sort of acrylic may be used for painting on wood.

When painting on wood, use a paintbrush that is large and flat. Afterward, if you’d like, apply a second layer of paint and paint the back of the piece.

Acrylic paints take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes to dry entirely. The paint layers’ thickness and the manufacturer will have an influence on how long it takes.

Application Of The Paint

Start painting the prepped wood with a little amount of paint squeezed onto the surface. Be ready to wipe up any spills by having some water and some towels available. You’ll need to wash your paintbrush by dipping it in the water to change or mix colors.

A sponge brush can be used to cover a wider area with paint. Use a range of brushes to apply the paint, depending on your design. Dry between each color.

When working with acrylics, use only a tiny amount of paint at a time. Paintbrushes should not be allowed to dry out with paint still on them.

Otherwise, your brush could be ruined by the chemicals in it. Don’t oversaturate the brush to the point of breaking it. Instead, if you need more paint, simply grab a few drops.

Brushes and wood can become warped or damaged if you use too much paint. Paint application becomes more difficult when one or both of these effects are present.

Keep Reading: All About Painting Leather With Acrylic

More Details

Before moving on to the next step, make sure the background coat is dry. Using a soft brush, apply the acrylic in a meticulous manner.

To maintain the bristles of your paintbrush clean and supple, be sure to give it frequent water baths. Even if you’re only utilizing one color, you still need to accomplish this.

Allow your artwork to dry completely when you’ve finished it. To get a professional finish at a reasonable price, use Winsor and Newton Galeria Acrylic Paints for painting on wood.

Let It Dry

Allow the painted wood to rest and dry somewhere secure after you’ve completed the design. Do not touch the painted surfaces until all the knobs and drawers have dried.

For certain acrylics, the drying process can take as long as 24 hours. Two hours of drying time is possible for smaller jobs. To seal a paint job, it must no longer feel tacky.

Process Of Sealing Acrylic Paint

You don’t have to apply sealant immediately after painting, although doing so will help keep your paint job looking good for a long time.

A top coat will help protect the paint against scuffs and peels and liquids, and grime by shielding it from the elements.

Sealing the paint with a sealer or Varnish is recommended if you need your paint to be durable. Paint chips and peels away, but painted wood, mainly outdoor, exposed to the natural elements, is particularly vulnerable to these effects.

So applying a sealer is a must to safeguard your paint job. Using a transparent varnish is the ideal option if your wooden product will be exposed to the weather, such as a table that will be outside.

Almost any hardware store carries Varnish, which is a sealer. Using a paintbrush or a roller, just brush it on or roll it on, and it is extremely durable and long-lasting.

If you want to keep the color brightness of your paint job intact while protecting it from the elements, this is the product for you.

Each layer of Varnish should be put in many thin coats before the next one is applied. As a result, the Varnish will dry properly and remain transparent throughout the drying process. Before you paint, apply a layer of primer to the surface and then seal it with the paint job.

Keep Reading: Guide To Apply Acrylic Paint On Metal Surface

Final Verdict

Acrylic is a popular and quite common type of paint that is often used on various surfaces. As wood is not always an even surface and is a natural one, many people get confused about whether they should use acrylic paint on wood surfaces or not?

To help them understand and start with their painting job, we have created this comprehensive article that includes everything starting from the type of wood surfaces, decisions regarding brushes, detailed process of painting, and many more.

Follow the article in detail and make sure that you follow every step to get the professional touch in your DIY job.

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