Does acrylic paint work on wood?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

To use acrylic paint on wood, you need to know the solution. Yes, acrylic paint can be used on wooden surfaces and offers many advantages. To prepare the wood surface for the color, there are specific steps you should follow. Learn more about the benefits of using acrylic paint on wood and how to prepare the character in the following sub-sections.

Acrylic paint is perfect for giving wood surfaces a unique look! It provides lots of design options and is resistant to scratches and fading. Plus, it doesn’t need priming or sanding.

For best results, work in a well-ventilated area and use soft-bristled brushes. And don’t put too much paint on at once – apply thin coats and give them time to dry before adding more layers.

Transform your wood with acrylic paint and show off your creativity!

Paint On Wood
Paint on wood

Advantages of using acrylic paint on wood.

Acrylic paint is an excellent option for painting wood – it dries quickly, adheres well, resists water damage, and provides a smooth finish. Plus, you can mix it with other mediums like gels and pastes to add texture and depth.

Clean and sand the surface before applying the first coat for the best results. Sanding makes the surface smoother for better adhesion of the paint. Plus, after finishing, use a clear protective sealant for added durability.

Pro Tip: Use high-quality acrylic paints for better coverage and durability. Give that wood surface the proper prep before painting – because no one likes a flaky relationship!

I prepare the wood surface for acrylic paint.

Ready to Paint Wood with Acrylics? Follow this Professional Guide!

  1. Sand the surface with high-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.
  2. Wipe away dust or debris with a tack cloth or damp rag.
  3. Add a primer suitable for use with acrylics.
  4. Allow sufficient time for drying before applying any lead coats of acrylic paint.
  5. Add a final coat of sealer for extra protection and longevity.

With proper preparation, an even finish that looks professional is achievable.

Beware: Don’t try to paint and hold a drink simultaneously – you could end up with a wood-colored carpet!

How To Paint Wood with Acrylic Paint?

To successfully paint wood with acrylic paint, follow these steps. Knowing how to paint with acrylics on wood properly can bring new life to old furniture or add creative flair to a woodcraft project. Let’s dive into these steps and learn how to make acrylic paint work beautifully on wood.

Steps to follow to paint wood with acrylic paint:

Painting wood with acrylic paints? Follow these steps!

  1. Ensure the surface is clean, dry & primed if needed.
  2. Gently sand & dust off. Avoid too much pressure while rubbing.
  3. Choose a suitable type of acrylic paint.
  4. Apply evenly with a brush or roller.
  5. Let dry before applying the second coat.
  6. Repeat until desired color & texture.
  7. Let the final skin dry for 24 hours.
  8. Use clear acrylic sealer for added protection.
  9. Clean up with soap & water after use.

Varying surface types may demand varied prep & techniques. Use quality brushes to avoid brush strokes. Try steel wool & alcohol to scrub off stubborn paint on fabric cushions. Patience & practice will make painting fun & easy! Pick the perfect color for a disco-ball shine finish.

Choose the right paint.

When picking the paint for your project, it’s vital to think about the surface you’ll be painting. The type of paint and prep needed can change depending on whether you paint bare or painted wood. Here’s a 4-step guide to help you:

  1. Find out if your surface is raw or painted wood.
  2. Put on a primer before the acrylic paint if it’s bare wood.
  3. Choose an acrylic paint made special for wood surfaces.
  4. Think about using a sealer or topcoat after painting to protect the project.

Remember that some wood might need special primers or paints, so research first.

Also, high-quality materials can significantly affect the finished look and the project’s length. Sherwin-Williams said, “SuperPaint Interior Acrylic Latex Paint gives great coverage, hiding power, and durability for color that lasts.”

Sanding wood is like therapy, don’t tell your therapist you’re using acrylic paint.

Sand the wood surface.

Sanding is necessary to perfect the finish while wood is painted with acrylic paint. Uneven paint coverage can result from a rough wooden surface. For preparing the wood before painting, here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Choose a fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block.
  2. Gently and uniformly sand the wood.
  3. Use a tack cloth to clean any dust or debris.

Also, remember that the sanding direction should follow the wood grain. Random scratches may ruin the final finish.

Pro-tip: Excessive sanding pressure can hurt softwood and lead to uneven paint coverage. Sand with gentle pressure and inspect the surface regularly for smoothness.

Finally, remember that even Picasso didn’t appreciate splinters in his works.

Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint

Clean the wood surface.

Wood must be adequately prepared for painting to ensure adhesion. Dust the surface to remove any residue. Clean with a damp cloth or sponge and an appropriate cleaner. Rough it with 220-grit sandpaper to remove dirt, grime, or any previous coat. Vacuum or brush away sawdust. Apply wood conditioner to ensure even absorption of acrylic paint on porous surfaces. Let it dry before applying acrylic paint to avoid recontamination. Don’t rush the process for a durable finish.

Vinegar solution is a quick fix to penetrate wood’s toughest stain. Priming is essential for a smooth finish, like getting dressed up for a first date.

Apply the primer.

Applying primer to painted wood is a crucial step! It secures the paint’s surface and ensures durability, adhesion, and coverage. Here’s how:

  1. Wipe the surface clean by sanding off any coatings with sandpaper or a sander.
  2. Spread a thin layer using a top-notch brush or roller. Cover all wood evenly, but don’t over-apply – it can disrupt dry time, and the finished look won’t be as smooth.
  3. Allow the first coat to dry before adding more. Two coats may be necessary.
  4. Smoothen any rough surfaces by lightly sanding with fine-grit sandpaper between each layer. That’s it!

Drying time can depend on climate, application thickness, and temperature. Read the instructions.

Pick a water-based primer formulated for wood and acrylic paint for the best results. This base coat dries faster than oil-based primers yet maintains its sealing, durability, and adhesion properties. Before painting, ensure the wood isn’t questioning its identity as a tree.

Apply the base coat.

Applying the base color is a must when painting wood with acrylic paint. Follow these simple steps for a flawless finish!

  1. Prepare the wooden object by cleaning and sanding it down. Then, apply a primer to create a uniform surface.
  2. Using a brush or roller, apply a thin layer of acrylic paint. Start from one end and move in even strokes towards the other. Let each layer dry before adding another, if necessary.
  3. High-quality acrylic paint is essential to ensure longevity and quality. Avoid cheap or low-quality brands.
  4. When painting intricate patterns, use painter’s tape to create clean lines and avoid smudging. Let each coat dry before applying the next.

A friend once painted their kitchen cabinets and didn’t sand them evenly. The result? An unintended splattered look instead of a clean, sleek style. Don’t let this happen to you! Get ‘coats on coats on coats’ of acrylic paint for a masterpiece!

Add additional coats if required.

An extra layer of acrylic paint may be needed to complete the perfect look.

  1. Make sure the previous layer is dry before applying.
  2. Lightly sand and wipe away dust with a cloth.
  3. If needed, add a thin layer to increase color depth.

These steps are essential for uniform color and texture. Don’t over-apply the paint, or it will be clumpy and uneven.

Sometimes, a medium like water or gel can dilute thick paint or increase transparency.

Acrylic paint has become increasingly popular due to its fast-drying time. Adding extra layers used to take days or weeks, but projects can now be done much faster.

Finally, seal the paint job for extra protection.

I am sealing the paint.

Secure the longevity of your painted wood with a sealant! Here’s how to protect the paint and get a smooth finish:

  1. Wipe down the painted surface with a damp cloth to remove dirt or debris.
  2. Use a foam brush or roller to apply a thin layer of clear acrylic varnish. Only move in one direction.
  3. Wait for the first coat to dry before applying another. Extra coats give extra protection and shine.
  4. Sand lightly between each coat with fine-grit sandpaper for best results.
  5. Keep using multiple layers until you reach your desired level of security and smoothness.

You can also use a spray sealer for a more straightforward application. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time, distance, ventilation, and safety.

Too much sealer may cause bubbling, curing, peeling, or yellowing over time. Don’t exceed two coats daily; sand lightly between each layer.

Let newly sealed surfaces dry out before touching or using them. The fresh coating may smudge or scratch easily.

Experts suggest waterproofing wood projects vulnerable to water damage outdoors or in damp places like bathroom cabinets or wooden floors with marine-grade sealers.

Sherwin-Williams paint pros say, “Clear sealer over stained wood gives depth and defends against moisture and UV light.”

Boost your wood’s shine and show off your high-gloss obsession to all your crafty friends!

We are finishing touches.

You’ve mastered the basics of painting wood with acrylic paint – now it’s time to add those final touches to your masterpiece! Sand the surface gently with fine-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish. Seal your work with a topcoat sealer for protection. If you want a vintage look, distress the paint with sandpaper. Make your project unique with decorative accents like stenciling or hand-drawn designs. Finally, mount or display your work. Use a sponge roller for those hard-to-reach areas. With high-quality materials and these steps, you’ll have a stunning result that will impress anyone.

Acrylic Paint On Wood
Acrylic paint on wood

Tips and Tricks for Using Acrylic Paint on Wood

Take note of these practical tips and tricks to achieve the best results when using acrylic paint on wood. Avoid common mistakes and know the difference between drying time and curing time. You’ll also learn how to clean and maintain wood surfaces painted with acrylic paint properly. Let’s explore some ways to create stunning art pieces on wood using acrylic paint.

Tips for achieving the best results.

Knowing specific tips when using acrylic paint on wood is essential for better results. Here they are:

  • Sand and wipe the surface with a damp cloth before painting.
  • Use a primer or undercoat for better adhesion.
  • Apply thin layers of paint, and let each layer dry before adding another.
  • Protect your work with a varnish or clear coat.

Also, be aware of high humidity or extreme temperatures. They can cause issues with drying.

Mixing different paints can provide unique textures and effects. Try different mixtures to find the perfect look.

Remember, acrylic paints are versatile and less toxic than oil-based paints – Wood Magazine. So, learn from other’s mistakes, and avoid making the same ones.

I avoid common mistakes.

Achieving perfection with acrylic paint on wood? Don’t make blunders! Work with clean, dry surfaces. Avoid excess water or paint on the brush. Apply even coats for better coverage. And use a suitable primer! It’ll give paint adhesion and longevity.

For details, use fine brushes with more minor strokes. Don’t let acrylic paint linger on brushes. It can damage bristles and disrupt the smooth flow.

Take your time to prepare. Minimize potential hazards. Keep practical safety measures at the forefront of art projects. Drying time is when you tap your foot. Curing time is when you remember the edges. I learned this from a disaster: spilling paint on my laptop!

Understand dry time and cure time.

The drying and curing acrylic paint on wood is critical to a smooth finish. The difference between the two is essential to know when your project is ready for handling or more layers of paint. Drying is simply the evaporation of the water in the paint, leaving behind a dry surface. Curing is the chemical reaction that hardens the paint over time.

Keep the workspace well-ventilated and at room or higher to ensure optimal drying and curing times. Avoid painting in humid conditions or using fans that blow directly on the image. This may cause bubbling or cracking. Allow for at least 24 hours before applying another layer of paint. Depending on the thickness of the layers, it may take up to 48 hours for complete curing.

Thinning the paint with water before application can help speed up drying. Use a heat gun or hairdryer on low heat to expedite drying time, but not too much, as this can cause uneven contraction and expansion, resulting in cracking or discoloration. Cleaning up after painting with acrylics on wood takes effort, but it’s worth it.

I cleaned and maintained wood surfaces painted with acrylic paint.

Use the right products and techniques to keep wood surfaces with acrylic paint pristine for years! Here’s how:

  1. Start by dusting with a soft-bristled brush or cloth. Then, soak a sponge in warm water mixed with mild detergent.
  2. Gently clean using circular motions, avoiding abrasive cleaners that can scratch the paint.
  3. Rinse the sponge, then wipe the wooden surface with warm water alone. Wipe dry with a clean, soft towel or cloth.
  4. For extra protection, apply a clear sealant over your acrylic-painted wood once it has dried.

Remember not to saturate the wood! Harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia-based products could harm the dry-undried edges of acrylic paints. For long-term protection, use oil-based paints over acrylics. If all else fails, paint over mistakes and call it a ‘happy accident.’


Acrylic paint can be excellent for coloring wood. Clean and dry the wood first. Acrylic dries quickly and sticks well; a sealed coat will protect it. Heavy-bodied paint works best. I am sanding smooths out rough spots. Prep is critical to success. And to add texture, layer colors, stencil, or sponge. Pro Tip!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to prep the wood before painting with acrylic paint?

Yes, sanding the wood and applying a primer before painting with acrylic paint is recommended.

What kind of brush should be used with acrylic paint on wood?

A brush with synthetic bristles is best for painting with acrylic paint on wood.

How many coats of acrylic paint should be applied to the wood?

It typically takes two to three coats of acrylic paint to get complete coverage on wood.

Can you seal acrylic paint on wood?

Yes, sealing the paint with a clear acrylic sealer will protect the paint and prevent it from chipping or fading.

Is there anything else I should know before painting with acrylic paint on wood?

It is essential to allow each coat of paint to dry completely before applying the next one and to avoid painting in areas with extreme temperatures or high humidity.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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