Can You Spray Paint Wood? Does It Make A Flawless Finish?

Can You Spray Paint Wood

The only way I’m going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint~ Reggie Jackson

Spray Painting is a technique that involves the spraying of colors to make an art piece. Applied traditionally on poster boards, this painting style can be performed technically on any non-porous material, like plastic, glass, metal, and ceramic. But the question is Can you spray paint wood, a porous material?

The answer is yes; you can spray paint wood. Exact preparation and proper ventilation are key for a successful wood spray painting. But remember, the spray paint you choose is compatible with a wood board. Fortunately, most spray paint adheres to wood and the results are favorable to regular painting.

Here, I will try my best to share more hacks regarding spray painting on wood surfaces. If any questions peep into your mind, don’t worry!! I hope you’ll get the possible answers here.

A narrative discussion: Can you spray paint wood?

Spraying paint on wood can be defined as opening doors of perception into higher states of consciousness.

Literally, there is no problem spray painting wood, especially if anyone wants to spend a lot ~Paige Murphy (Expert artist from North California University).

Nowadays, many people opt for spraying paint because painting with a brush may result in drips and marks.

Besides, if you want a smooth and even finish, then there is no exception to a Spray paint that comes close to it. Though this painting technique works better on automobiles and roofs, it is also applicable to wood.

Before you start to paint your wood board, you need to consider the following facts.

Things you need to consider before spray painting on the wood surface:

1. Choose the right spray paint that is compatible with the wood surface:

It is essential to ensure that your paint is consistent with wood painting because not all spray paints are designed for the task. So don’t forget to select the right product before spray painting wood.

2. Consider the condition of the wood surface:

Most importantly, if the lumber is bare, you need to apply the wood primer before starting the job. Priming the wood before painting gives the surface a strong base coat. Also, this can protect the raw wood from paint absorption.

3. Sanding and priming:

If you found lumber in varnished or painted conditions, sanding and priming could be a solution. Otherwise, adhesion problems can cause chipping, bubbling, or the same issues.

Problem: A problem you’ve had with spraying large areas with spray paint -the external area of the spray takes longer to cover the area than the central part. Consequently, when the paint touches the surface, they seem a bit drier to start with and comes with a matte finish than the smooth surfaces in the middle.

Expert’s recommendations: Can you spray paint wood?

Spraying paint wood is a common phenomenon, but I found it uneven when it dries. Besides, you need to use enough spray paint to cover everything ~Nicholas McLaughlin (Carpenter at United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America).

According to my own experiment, spray painting wood is an impractical performance where you need to buy tons of costly spray paint cans ~Dan Sotelo, 13 Yr Retail, late 30 Years Inside the Bicycle Industry.

Is primer needed for spray painting wood?

Yes, you need to prime the wood board at least once before spray painting. Also, you can use as many coats of primer as you need to have a solid base coat on the wood. Basically, it depends on some key features and conditions, including,

  • Wood density
  • Wood species
  • Wood moisture density
  • Environmental conditions
  • Preparation and more.

Why is primer needed for spray painting wood?

Now the question is, why is primer important for spray painting wood? It is because, though it seems like an increase in budget, it is significant for the following reasons, Professional House Painter at Bengaluru.

  • It guarantees an exact adhesion of the paint with the lumber.
  • Most significantly, priming before spray painting wood makes sure that the lumber being pained will last longer
  • The aftereffect of spray painting wood is eye-appealing.
  • It ensures maximum paint coverage and a smoother finish

When to apply the primer before spray painting?

Now the question is when to apply the primer before spray painting.

Well, if you find the following 2 points in your wood board, then you need to apply primer before spray painting.

  • If the wood board is sealed with varnish or paintings or it is damaged
  • If the existing paint is peeling off

Otherwise, you can apply the spray paint on your wood without priming the surface.

But, my suggestion would be to prime the surface before starting the job.

It is nice to let you know that priming is good for protecting the paint from peeling off, bubbling up, or discoloration.

Note: You can use spray primer if you think that you don’t want to apply primer with a brush. 2 in 1 spray paint (works as a primer and paint in one) could be another solution you can try.

Tip: Where to find it: You can collect spray primer or 2 in 1 spray paint at Amazon or local hardware stores.

Spray paint for wood: finishes, Colors, and Types

a) Spray paint finishes:

Typically, you will find different types of spray paint for wood with different finishes. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite spray paint finishes.

  • Metallic
  • Satin
  • High-gloss
  • Gloss
  • Semi-gloss
  • Eggshell and
  • Flat

b) Spray paint colors:

You can try spray paint with different colors. The available spray paint colors include:

  • Trendy colors
  • Classic colors and
  • All between classic and trendy colors
  • A soft pink
  • A vibrant tangerine
  • A bold turquoise
  • Classic black

c) Top 6 Types of Spray Paints

Types of paintsGeneral Features
General-purposeIt works well on different surface types, especially on wood
Rust-preventiveRust-preventive offers different finishes. Ideal for outdoor wood furniture
AcrylicWater-resistant and offers a durable finish
Enamel Versatile, highly durable, fast drying, and ideal for outdoor furniture painting 
Chalkboard It’s highly functional and offers a soft, velvety matte finish
Lacquer It offers a durable and glossy finish

Can you spray paint wood furniture without sanding?

Typically, the answer varies depending on the condition of the wood furniture, meaning it would be both yes and no.

You can’t spray paint wood furniture without sanding if there are any rough spots.

On the other hand, it is possible to spray paint wood furniture without sanding if the wood surface is free from rough spots. 

According to Matthew Lohden, Master carpenter, and skilled cabinet maker- It becomes hard to get desired results without sanding.

Also, a study showed that it isn’t wise to start painting wood furniture without sanding.

If the furniture remains in good shape (free of cracks or chips and the finish is matte or flat), then sanding is an optional matter.

Note: Experts suggest using chalk spray paint to avoid sanding. Instead of sanding, you can use deglosser to glossier paint.

What Happens If You Don’t Sand Before Painting?

What will happen if you don’t sand before painting depends mostly on the present condition of the wood surface.

  • Suppose you are dealing with bare wood with chips, bumps, or other problems. If you don’t sand this type of bare wood, then, of course, you will get an uneven painting surface.
  • When the board was previously varnished or painted, not sanding implies you are not careful about marking cracks, chips, or flaking.
  • Also, you might get adhesion problems if the finish is in any way shiny.
  • Besides these, not sanding before painting means peeling, cracking, and bubbling can occur anytime.

Is spray paint waterproof on wood?

Yes, spray paint can be waterproof on wood and most outdoor or exterior spray paint shows this feature. The presence of water-repellency properties makes spray paint waterproof.

But not all types of spray paint have this type of property to make them water-resistant.

Note: You can check the spray paint to ensure that the paint you choose is 100% waterproof or not.

Experts’ opinion (spray paint waterproof on wood):

Usually, spray paint is acrylic based, which makes it waterproof. If you need waterproof and fast-drying paint for your woodworking project, spray paint would be best ~Namit Bhulani, Consultant for waterproofing.

According to  Petroleum engineer Richik Bhattacharjee, spray paint can be waterproof when dry. It isn’t waterproof before drying.

Most spray paints show waterproof feature as long as it is appropriately sprayed ~Sean Mahan, the former Home Improvement expert

David Cable, who Studied Art History, reported that Spray paint on wood would be water-resistant and it depends on the following two points:

  • What type of spray paint do you use and
  • How do you apply this paint

You might get an excellent waterproof result if you use a shiny enamel evenly. Be careful while spraying paint; otherwise, it will leave gaps.

Can you spray paint wood that is already painted?

The possible answer is yes; literally, there is no problem with spraying paint on already painted wood. But chances are the paint won’t stick well to the wood that has already been painted. If you want to deal with such a situation, sanding the lumber is necessary.

Sanding the already painted woods:

Sanding the already-painted wood means you can smooth out the lumber, mark the defects, and manage any brightness that may protect the paint from sticking.

Consider the type of paint:

Also, it is significant to consider what type of paint it is, oil-based or water-based. This will help you choose the right spray paint or primer that matches the project’s existing paint type.

The number of coats you need:

Now you are ready to prime and paint because you got the details. But how many times you will apply the paint coat depends on the following two reasons.

  • The color you are covering and
  • The color you are applying

Note: You may find some colors that are absorbed higher than others. If you have such types of colors, then you need to apply an extra coat to get the exact coverage (mainly if you don’t use any primer).

Can you spray paint over stained wood?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to spray paint over stained wood and pressure-treated wood. But it wouldn’t be easy if you don’t follow the instructions carefully. 

Spraying paint over stained wood would be easy if you follow the prior instructions like sanding, priming, and then spray painting in a balanced way ~Robert Kindness, studied Building Technology & Carpentry & Joinery at RMIT University.

If you try to spray paint over stained wood directly, then chances are the stain will ruin the paint, changing the color and making an uneven finish.

Usually, before Spray painting over stained wood, you should go through the following processes:

Sanding the surface:

There is a saying that sanding is the unsung hero for wood painting projects.

Ideally, sanding before spray painting is a significant process to restore the wood. It is ideal for removing scratches.

Getting even finished and removing any small defects from the wood is possible throughout this process. Also, it works excellent for removing the glossy mill glaze of new wood.

Priming the surface:

After sanding, use a reliable primer. Priming the bare or unfinished wood before painting is a must to ensure the paint’s durability and better longevity.

Before dealing with spray paint over stained wood, ensure you choose the primer that is compatible with the stain. Let’s take a look at our top 5 best primers to deal with stains.

Top 5 Best Spray Paint For stained wood:

Best Spray Paint
  • Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Latex Primer
  • Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3
  • Rust-Oleum Advanced Synthetic Shellac Primer
  • KILZ Original Multi-Surface Primer/Sealer
  • Zinsser Cover Stain Interior/Exterior Oil Primer Sealer

Apply spray paint over stained wood:

Finally, it’s time to spray paint over stained wood. But when it comes to coating the surface, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How to spray paint on wood?

So, you got the answer: can you spray paint wood or not? Now the question may arise in your mind: how to spray paint on wood? Following are some step-by-step processes to spray paint on wood. 

You Can Watch A Smart Video to Get More Knowledge:

Things you need to spray paint wood:

List of tools  Where to find
Painting Mask + eye protection  Click here
Painting gloves  Click here
Clean rag  Click here
Spray paint primer  Click here
Wood spray paint  Click here

Top 7 Steps to spray paint on wood:

Once you have all the equipment, you are ready to spray paint on the wood. Now go through the following steps confidently and carefully.

Step 1: Make sure you wear the safety tool before starting the project

Firstly, it is a must-have to wear all the safety equipment that you will need to cover the spray painting project.

To me, before starting a painting project, especially spray painting, you should wear the 3 essential tools.

  • Painting mask (disposable or reusable painting safety mask)
  • Ey-protection glass and
  • Gloves.

Why these safety tools? It is because, of course, you want to protect your eyes and breathe safely from getting into the paint. Besides, wearing gloves will protect your hands from sticking to the paint.

Step 2: Sand the wood board

It doesn’t matter if you deal with stained, bare, varnished, or painted wood; sanding first is a practical solution. We discussed much sanding above.

There is no alternative solution to sanding that works better to mark rough stains, remove paint peels, degloss the surface, or deal with some related problems. If you are a newbie and want to know more about the sanding process, you can watch this video here.

Additionally, you can use LANHU 100 Grit Sandpaper for sanding wood. However, the grit level mainly depends on the existing problem of the surface.

100 -150 grit range sandpaper would be perfect for dealing with the significant roughness of the wood. On the other hand, if there are any minor issues, then the 200 to 300 grit range would be perfect.

Step 3: Clean the wood piece after sanding

It’s time to clean the surface because you will find dust and debris after sanding. Remove the debris by using a soft and clean rag. You can use Arkwright Cleaning Rags to wipe down the board to ensure better cleaning.

Step 4: choose the best place for spray painting

Undoubtedly, spray painting is a messy job. It is significant to choose the right place before you start spray painting. Choose an area where overspray is not a problem, for example, an open, well-ventilated space.

In that sense, choosing an open space or area would be best. Also, spraying in such an area can protect the background you want intact.

Note: Before spray painting, you can use a large cloth below the board to protect the floor from unwanted painting.

Tip: You should cover the nearby furniture and ensure the place you choose has enough lighting to work with.

Step 5: Choose the best weather for spray painting

Choose an environment for painting that is not too cold, not too hot ~Goldilocks.

So what would be the ideal painting weather, especially for spray painting?

According to Krylon, a renowned paint company, A temperature between 50°F to 90°F would be best for spray painting. Besides this, ensure you start painting where the humidity is below 85%.

Warning: Don’t try to start spray painting under direct sunlight or on a windy day.

Step 6: Prime the Wood

You know much about the significance of priming from my above discussion.

Usually, if the wood condition is smooth and the paint you choose is highly compatible with the surface, then priming might be an optional subject.

However, most often, it is necessary to get better results. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Latex Primer is my favorite for spray painting wood.

Note: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines before you apply the primer.

Step 7: Apply the spray paint to the wood

Finally, I feel that you are ready to spray Paint your woodworking project. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance.

If the manufacturer suggests shaking the spray can before painting, then do so. Also, you can check the spraying direction.

Flip the wood board when you’ve done the first part of the painting and do the same to paint the opponent’s side. While painting ensures a little overlap that can help you achieve complete coverage.

Note: While spray painting, ensure an even coat and be ready if you need a second coat.

Let the coat dry when the single coat is perfect. Also, you can check out the company’s direction for how long you need to wait to apply your next coat. Overall, let the spray-painted wood thoroughly dry for the next 24 hours.

How long does spray paint take to dry on wood?

The drying time of spray paint on wood should be 15 minutes to an hour. Within 15 to 60 minutes, the paint will get to a state that seems dry to the touch. But, you need to allow the paint to dry for up to 24 hours thoroughly.

On the other hand, if the outside temperature is 60 to 70 degrees, the paint will be dry within 30 minutes.

However, the drying time will vary based on the following two variables.

  • Types of paint you choose and
  • The thickness of the coats.

Typically, water-based paint dries faster than oil-based paint. Besides, the paint line plays a significant role.

Moreover, you will find other points that can change the drying time. Suppose the drying time will be faster in arid weather than in a humid climate.

Comparably, if you live in a warmer area, then spray paint will dry faster than in a colder region.

Best water-resistant spray paint for wood

When it comes to answering the question Can you spray paint wood, another question is obvious: what is the best spray paint for wood? Among many other choices, my favorites are:

1. Krylon K05125207 ColorMaster Paint + Primer

The Krylon color master paint primer could be a worthwhile solution for those who are struggling to get the best and most reliable spray paint for their wood painting project.

What draws my eyes to invest in this paint is its paint-and-primer-in-one feature.

The Krylon color master spray paint is highly recommended for wood painting. Besides, painting Paper, Ceramic, Glass, Plastic, Wicker, and metal with this spray paint is a bonus.

If you ask me what other thing you like best, then my answer would be its brilliant touch and fast-drying feature. Yes, you don’t need to wait 10 minutes; rather, it dries even faster.

2. Rust-Oleum 249857 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

If you want a Satin finish for your wood painting project, then choosing Rust-Oleum 249857 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover wouldn’t be wrong.

You will be happy to use this item because it lowers the surface imperfection and gives an excellent hide. Like Krylon color master spray paint, it is a fast-drying paint.

But it needs 20 minutes to dry while Krylon spray paint needs less than 1o minutes. With Double Cover Technology, you can cover up to 12 sq. ft. per can. Also, it is applicable to plastic and metal.

3. Rust-Oleum 302591 Chalked Spray Paint

The Rust-Oleum 302591 Chalked Spray Paint could be an excellent choice for those who demand a smooth and chalky finish.

This is an Acrylic paint by Rust-Oleum recommended for metal, ceramic, furniture, and wood surfaces.

It features Linen white ultra matte, which is ideal for covering 12 sq ft/can. With easy application and superior adhesion, you can cover even hard-to-reach areas.

FAQs: Can you spray paint wood

Can you spray paint wood cabinets?

Yes, you can spray paint wood cabinets. It would be a better option if the wood cabinets had enough areas. Also, it works best for raised panels which are difficult to paint with a roller or paintbrush.

If you use spray paint on wood cabinets, then it will dry fast and allow you to use the cabinet earlier.

How Long Does Spray Paint Last On Wood?

Usually, the Spray Paint will Last On Wood between 6 months to 5 years. The average lifespan of Spray Paint On Wood is 3 years or more. However, the result will change based on the following points.

  • Paint preparation
  • Types of spray paint and
  • wood types.

However, you should know that the durability of the spray paint depends on the prep work carried out before the paint was applied, the type of spray paint used, and the type of wood.

Note: If you want to prolong the lifespan of spray paint on wood, choosing an exterior or moisture-resistant top coat would be best.

Can you spray paint wood furniture?

Yes, of course, you can use spray paint on wood furniture. If you feel uneasy with manual brush painting, then spray painting could be the best choice. It is not just good for wood furniture, but also it works better for metal and plastic-made furniture.

Can you use spray paint on interior doors?

Yes, you can use spray paint on interior doors, but it needs more preparation. If you can make the interior doors properly, then you can get the best results. Also, spray paint on interior doors is an easy, super quick, and cost-effective solution.

Summary: What’s My Opinion

Generally, it isn’t possible to make excellent performance with paintbrushes and rollers. On the other hand, Spray paint can offer you more professional results on any kind of surface like wood, metal, or plastic.

However, if you want tidy and clean aesthetics for your wood painting project (small or large), then spray painting could be a great bang for the buck.

Allow the Spray Paint to Give Your Wood Surfaces A Flawless Finish.

About Adam Larry

Hello everyone! I’m Adam Larry, a pro woodworker, an expert project planner, and woodworking tools expert also owner of this website. From hand tools to power tools, I have extensive knowledge of all aspects of woodworking and take pride in creating beautiful and functional pieces for clients. I feel glad to share my woodworking experience with you with enormous excitement and enthusiasm.

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