Randy Charles
Professional Painter

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

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

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

How to Paint Wooden Letters?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

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

Before painting wooden letters, take important steps to get the desired results. Following the right steps guarantees a beautiful, professional look. Here’s how to prepare the letters properly:

  1. Clean the letters with a damp rag to remove any dirt or dust.
  2. Sand the letters with fine sandpaper.
  3. Wipe the letters with a clean, damp cloth to remove dust particles.
  4. Apply a coat of wood primer.
  5. Let the primer dry completely.
  6. Sand the letters again with fine sandpaper.
  7. Apply a coat of paint.
  8. Let the paint dry completely.
  9. Apply a second coat of paint if desired.
  10. Let the paint dry completely.
  11. Apply a sealant to protect the finish.

Choose the type of wood letters.


When prepping to paint wooden letters, the first step is to select which type. You can find them anywhere – from stores to online. Make sure it’s suitable for painting – some woods need a sealant beforehand.

Think about size and shape. Where will you put it? For entryways, large block-style letters work well. For walls, single or stacked letters are better. Some letters have special features like routed or ‘raised’ faces, adding color depth.

The type and design depend on personal preference and existing decor. Unsure? Ask knowledgeable pros at craft stores for advice.

Sand the letters

Sanding the letters is vital before you start. It helps to stop paint bubbling. It also makes the letters smooth and even. A palm sander or fine-grade sandpaper works best. Use light pressure when moving the tool over the material. Make sure your sandpaper is secured if using a palm sander. Wear hearing protection. A dust mask is not essential, but it’s recommended too. When working with wood, protect your area from sawdust. When finished sanding, wipe away any excess dust. Then you’re ready for the next step.

Wipe off the dust

To start painting your wooden letters, make sure they are dirt-free. Wipe them down with a damp cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Be gentle; don’t scrub too hard, which may scratch the surface and spoil the finish.

Let the letters dry completely before painting. This may take a few hours, depending on the wetness. Use a fan or a cool hair dryer if you’re in a rush. But don’t overdo it, as this could warp or split the letters.

Priming the Letters

Are you prepping to paint wooden letters? Here’s the deal. Get your letters primed! Priming locks in moisture makes a smooth surface for the paint, and fills in any tiny flaws. Here’s how to prime your wooden letters. Step-by-step!

  1. Clean the letters with a damp cloth.
  2. Apply a coat of primer.
  3. Allow the primer to dry completely.
  4. Sand the letters lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.
  5. Apply a second coat of primer.
  6. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Apply a coat of primer.

Paint Wood
Paint wood

Cleaning the surfaces of the letters is important. Apply a coat of primer before painting. Get primer at home improvement stores. Primer may add waterproofing for outdoor sign letters. Follow manufacturer instructions.

  • Choose a suitable primer.
  • Sand any rough edges or bumps on the letters with a fine-grit sandpaper. This helps paint provide an even coating and smooth finish.
  • Use a brush or roller to apply a primer in thin coats. Allow proper drying time between coats. The primer must completely dry before painting.

Let the primer dry

Apply primer to wooden letters and let it dry. Time varies from 1-4 hours. Then, paint with a brush or roller. Use even strokes and fill all spaces. Let the first coat dry before adding a second one. If still not covered, add more layers.

Once done, sand any rough edges and vacuum any excess wood or sawdust. Lastly, let the painted letters dry before displaying them.

Paint The Letter
Paint the letter

Painting the Letters

Paint wooden letters? Sure! Here’s how:

  • Sand
  • Prime
  • Paint

Sounds easy? It is! Plus, you’ll make a lovely, personalized art piece. Get the right materials, be patient – and voilà! A gorgeous touch to your home or room.

Choose the colors

Select paint colors carefully before starting your project. Pick out colors based on the size of the letters. Consider any accents you’d like to add and choose colors for those. Mixing paints is possible, but it depends on the finish you want. Bright colors may be tempting, but lighter hues create more depth.

Ensure you have enough of each color – you may need multiple coats!

Paint the letters

Letter Paint
Letter paint

Painting wooden letters can be a fun and creative way to customize any room. With the right materials, you can finish your project in no time or take your time and get creative. Once painted, you can hang the letters on any wall in your home or frame them for a work of art. Here’s what you need to do for success:


  • Wooden Letters
  • Paint Primer
  • Skill Saw/Jigsaw (optional)
  • Paint Brush or Sponge
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Varnish (optional)

Step by Step:

  1. Start by sanding the surface of the wooden letters with a sanding block or light grit sandpaper. This will help make sure any dirt, sealant, or debris won’t interfere with the paint. Sand out imperfections too.
  2. Apply two coats of primer. Sand lightly between each coat if needed. Allow ample drying time between coats.
  3. Optional – Use a skilled saw/jigsaw to cut out removable designs from each surface of the painted letter—Mark with a pencil where the design needs cutting.
  4. Fully cover all primed surfaces with desired acrylic paints. Wait for full dry time between layers. If extra coverage is needed, apply several thin layers instead of one thicker layer.
  5. Seal off the finished product with an optional varnish coat. Choose matte, gloss, or flat finishes depending on the look desired. This will also protect the surface against scratches and fading due to weather conditions.

Let the paint dry

Once you’ve painted the wooden letter, let the paint dry fully. The time needed depends on what type of paint and how thick you use. For best results, wait until there is no stickiness when you touch. When completely dry, use fine-grit sandpaper or steel wool to lightly sand any rough edges or uneven paint. This will help prepare the wood for decorations and make a smooth finish after sealing.

Finishing the Letters

Finishing wooden letters is a must! You must sand, prime, seal and paint them. Doing this right means your letters look great and last long. We will now take a look at how to finish them.

Apply a coat of sealant.

Before painting wooden letters, it’s essential to apply a protective sealant. Two types of sealants are available – water-based and oil-based. Each has its advantages and drawbacks.

  • Water-based polyurethane is easy to clean up and won’t turn yellow. But it won’t add extra strength or shine to the wood.
  • Oil-based polyurethane gives an excellent glossy finish. It also adds strength and durability to wood surfaces. However, it’s harder to work with and takes longer to dry.

Whether you choose water or oil-based, apply two coats before painting. Allow each coat to dry adequately. Doing so will make a huge difference in the outcome of your project!

Let the sealant dry

Once you have painted your wooden letter, let it dry. Overnight is best, or at least four hours. When it’s all dry, use a sealant for protection and appeal.

Sealants come in many forms. Water-based, oil-based, and lacquer are the most popular. Choose the one that suits your display. Look for an all-purpose sealant that won’t be yellow. Apply with a foam brush. Use gentle strokes, and don’t disturb any lines or designs. Cover all areas and let the sealant dry before you hang or display it.

Enjoy your wooden letters!

Congrats on customizing your wooden letters! A paint or stain finish will protect against moisture, wear, and fading. By taking proper steps, chipping, cracking, and peeling can be avoided.

Using the appropriate tools for each step in the process is vital. After sanding and burning, use a sealer or primer. This will protect your project and stop the paintwork from flaking. Add a top coat of varnish to avoid yellowing in the future. Remember to let each coat dry before applying the next.

Use small amounts when using any grain enhancer or wood stainer to ensure an even tone. Brush it onto the wood with a clean cloth. When painting, use an artist-grade brush to avoid streaks.

For longer-lasting results, many people recommend sealing the letters with polyurethane. This works best with a roller as it holds more polyurethane and reduces brush strokes. Let all coats dry before handling or displaying – it usually takes 5-10 days. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to paint wooden letters?

You will need a wooden letter, paint, paint brushes, sandpaper and sealant.

Should I sand my wooden letter before painting it?

Yes, it is recommended to lightly sand the wooden letter before you begin to paint it to ensure that the paint will adhere properly.

How do I apply the paint to the wooden letter?

You can use a paintbrush or a foam brush to apply the paint in thin layers. Allow each layer of paint to dry before adding another layer.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, 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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