How to spray paint wood?

Have you ever wondered how difficult is it to paint wood? If you did – the answer is – It is easy, just use spray paints. Here are the best pieces of advice on how to do it and what is involved in this process.

How to spray paint wood

A guide to how to spray paint wood

The process depends on the state of wood you are about to paint. What paint you are going to use. How you will prepare the surface before painting, and how it is going to be finalized at the end for a better result. Let’s look into each topic separately.

Is it best to paint or spray paint wood?

You need to consider a few things before deciding what kind of paint you are going to use.

If your project is big, or area is large, then it’s better to use a regular paint.

It is also:

  • Cheaper
  • Has more choices of colour
  • Less harmful for your health               

If your piece of furniture is small and oddly shaped, then spray paint is a preferred option. It is

  • Easy to use. Using paint in a sprayer is way faster, than painting wood with a brush.
  • Dries fast. Best spray paints on the market dry to the touch just within a few minutes.
  • Perfect finish layer. Spray paint doesn’t leave any brush marks on the surface.
  • Durable finish. The spray paint coverage lasts longer than one painted with a brush.
  • Working on many materials. Even though most spray paints are designed to work well on wood, it can also be used on metal, plastic and other materials.
  • The variety of finishes. From glossy finish to smooth matte.
  • Colours are more vibrant. Spray paint will provide vibrancy to any piece of wood you are going to work with.

Spray paints do have some disadvantages though such as:

  1. Quite expensive, if you have a big project or a large piece of furniture
  2. Spray-paint cans can get the nozzles clogged if you don’t use the whole can at once
  3. The area you are going to be painting in must be ventilated properly
How to spray paint wood

What are the types of wood you can spray paint?

Correct preparation for painting wood is the key to success. It all depends on the state of the wood you are going to be working with. There are two types of wood such as

  1. Raw wood
  2. Varnished, painted or stained wood

The preparation of wood for spray painting includes checking the surface for any cracks or any rough spots. It is important if you want to get a smooth result.

What is the best spray paint on the market?

There are different types of spray paint you can get. They are classified by:

  1. Textures (satin, matte, gloss, semi-gloss, eggshell, and flat)
  2. Colours/shades (modern or classic tones)
  3. Compounds (water or oil-based, extra durable)

The finished result of spray painting the wood will also depend on which type of paint you are going to choose.

You have to choose a product that works well on wood and specifically designed for the task. Check the descriptions on the cans of paint before purchasing.

The best spray paint on the market are Krylon and Rust Oleum, which any hardware store has. They provide the smoothest surface coverage and have the widest range of finishes and colours.

Krylon Spray Paint

  1. It is designed to work on different types of materials, including wood.
  2. It has a fast dry to touch time of under ten minutes.
  3. The variety of colours and finishes will surprise you.
  4. It has an exceptional metallic line, that will give a metal look to the piece you are working with.
  5. The tip of this spray paint has an EZ Touch no-drip feature that will help you to lay coating with ease. You will archive a great professional result using it.

Rust Oleum Spray Paint

  1. This paint is an oil-based one.
  2. The can works at any angle and leaves a smooth coverage with just a single coat, allowing to paint up to twelve square feet of surface with one can
  3. It will provide a soft matte finish to the piece of wood you are painting.
  4. It also has a quick dry to touch time of under ten minutes.
  5. Durable finish

How much spray paint will you use?

Every can of spray paint has instructions written on it. Make sure you read them and calculate the amount needed prior to buying it. Running out of paint at an inappropriate moment can put your whole project on hold. As a reference, a standard size chair will use around one and a half cans of spray paint.

If you use a well-known brand of spray paint, a single coating might be enough to do the job. Unlike with cheaper spray paints, when the second layer may be required to get a full coverage of the surface.

How do you prep wood for spray painting?

            There are different steps you have to follow depending on the type of wood. Let’s look into the main ones.

When working with raw wood

1. Sanding

How to spray paint wood

It is one of the most important steps in preparation for spray painting. Depending on the surface of the wood, you might need to use different types of sandpaper. For rough surfaces you should get an 80 grit one.

If the wood is in good condition and only needs a final smoothing touch on the surface, a 150-grit sandpaper is the choice.

2. Cleaning

First of all, make sure the surface of the wood is clean. A wet soft cloth, dipped into soapy water will do the job. It will clean all the dust off. Bear in mind, that too much water can be harmful for the bare wood.

How to spray paint wood

3.   Applying a Primer

Primer prepares the surface of the wood for the actual painting. It is not always necessary to use a primer before spray painting wood, but it provides a better grip between the wood and the paint.

If you want the wood to have a solid base coat, use a primer. Raw wood can absorb a lot of paint. Using a primer minimizes the issue.

Using a primer also prevents any discolouring, chipping off or bubbling, that might occur over time.

As an option you can consider buying a 2 in 1 spray paint, which is a primer and a paint. That way you skip an applying a primer step and move onto “a spray paint wood” step.

When working with painted or vanished wood

If a piece of wood has been previously painted or varnished, the process of preparation will be slightly different.

1.    Sanding

The first step when working with painted or vanished wood is to remove the top glossy layer that can prevent paint from sticking to the surface. Use a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly hand sand the wood.

2.    Cleaning

Clean the surface with a soft damp cloth. Don’t use too much water, as it can soak through the wood and damage it from the inside.

3.    Fill in dents or cracks

It is important to fill in any defects for a better result. Use a regular wood filler. If the defects are more severe you might need wood Bondo, which can be purchased from a hardware store.

4.    Apply a Primer

It is recommended to use a reliable bonding primer for tough surfaces. It’s known for sticking well to any surface, including a varnished or painted one.

A primer will help with any discolouration in future.

Applying two to three thin layers of primer is better than one single thick one.

Give it enough time for each layer to dry.

How to spray paint wood

Do you have to sand wood before spray painting?

Generally, it’s best to use sandpaper. It prepares the wood for an even and smooth finish. If you are working with raw wood, you will have to use a rough-grit sandpaper.

If you are spray painting wood furniture that has been painted before, or varnished wood, then you can lightly sand it to a smooth finish, using a 220-grit sandpaper.

Wood furniture that has been sanded smooth will also result in the primer and paint to have a better adhesion.

Can you spray paint wood directly on wood?

Correct preparation for painting wood furniture is the most important part of the whole spray painting process.

Without sanding the wood down first you are risking the imperfections of the paint job occurring in the future. Loose paint will start peeling or the coat of spray paint might start coming off.

There is time when sanding might not be needed though. If the surface of the wood is already smooth and doesn’t have any damage, it is possible to start spray painting directly onto the wood. In this case, applying light coats of primer will be required though.

For a beautiful finish and a lasting result, you have to prepare the surface of the wood or any furniture piece you are working with, according to the general rule, which involves sanding.

How to spray paint wood?

The right approach to the process of spray painting wood is the key to a success. Following these steps will help you to obtain a professional result.

1.   Pay special attention to choosing the area you are going to be working at

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The best place to do a paint job is outdoors. At the same time for those, whose circumstances don’t allow them to spray paint wood outside, it is possible to do it inside.
Just make sure the area around you is protected from overspray. You can use a large drop cloth underneath a piece of wood you are working with. The area also must have good ventilation.

2.   Wear protective gear

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It is necessary to wear protective equipment such as a mask, eye protection and gloves. Spray paint isn’t something you would want to inhale or accidently get into your eyes. It is also difficult to get off your skin.

3.   Sand down the wood

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It is recommended to sand raw wood pieces down as well as painted wood. For a professional finish look, sand smooth the existing paint on the wood. Use different types of sandpaper depending on the surface you are working with.

4.   Apply a primer

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For a better adhesion apply a primer. For small wood projects or furniture items it is better to use a spray primer. There is a spray primer specifically designed to adhere to wood.

A 2 in 1 spray paint might also be an option. If you are going to be using one of those, then start painting straight after sanding and cleaning.

5.   Prepare furniture or any other wood piece for the actual spray paint

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You can use masking tape to cover the surface areas of the wood you don’t want to be spray painted.

6.   Apply spray paints

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Use the spray paints you have chosen. Read the instructions on the can carefully. It might be necessary to shake the paint sprayer. Most spray paints require multiple layers applied. While spray painting, use long and even strokes. Consistency is the key.

Don’t stop moving the can to prevent formation of drips and pools. Paint application must be overlapping.

Don’t hold the can of spray paint too close to the surface. For a top-quality finish rather paint with thin layers. A second layer of spray paint might be required.

7.   Let the spray paint dry

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To avoid paint running, let it dry thoroughly as per instructions. Most spray paints dry within thirty minutes. After that, the second coat of paint can be applied.

Painted wood will be fully cured in twenty-four hours.

8.   Sealant

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The top-quality known brands of spray paint seal the wood as well. It creates extra protection for your job. But most spray paint require a separate sealer to be used.

It’s best to use a sealant after painting furniture for a high-quality result.

1.  How to choose a sealer

Before buying a sealant, read the instructions on the spray paint can. The sealant must match the paint you have chosen.

Purchase a spray version of sealant to avoid brush marks

2.  Use protective gear

To prevent inhaling and spraying into your eyes, it’s recommended to wear protective gear.

3.  Applying sealant

Follow the same process as with spray painting. Spray paint wood furniture with a sealer.

Apply using long and even strokes.

4.  Let the sealant dry

Wait for the required time as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

 Is it possible to fix uneven spray paint?

Absolutely. Just follow these steps:

  • Let the spray paint dry fully first
  • Sand the unevenly painted/varnished wood down. You have to make sure that any damages or imperfections are gone. The wood has to be sanded smooth.
  • Clean the wood. It is important to remove any dust off the wood.
  • Painting furniture. Spray paint wood with a new layer of paint.
  • Let the spray paint dry

Wait the required amount time for the spray paint to be dry.

Here we go, your beautiful piece of wood is ready to be used.

In conclusion

Now you know how to spray paint wood. It is quite easy as long as you follow the steps in this guide. Choose the right spray paint and prepare your wood accordingly. Do not neglect all the small steps we went through. Then you will achieve great results and will get professionally looking piece of wood.

Hopefully this article was helpful. If you have any questions, write them in the section down below. Share the article with people who are also in search of information on how to spray paint wood.

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