Can You Spray Paint Wood? | DIY Guide How To Spray Paint Wood

can you spray paint wood

Spray paint is the fastest and most comfortable way to paint small and medium-sized woodcrafts and DIYs. The test is how do you implement a flat, level layer of paint without flows, drips, and errors? Spraying paint is deceivingly mild to do but daring to perfect. Training and practice indeed help, but numerous methods support you in spraying paint like a pro.

The best way to implement the paint depends on what sort of woodcraft you are portraying and what kind of appearance and finish you are seeking to accomplish. The buying guide on the 10 best spray paints for wood.

Can you spray paint wood?

Spray paint is often chosen by tradespersons and DIYers who do various projects due to its professional-looking and efficient outcome. Spray paint is also the way to go if you want a high-gloss lacquer finish. Some of the advantages shared by the spray paint include:

  • Equal paint over the surfaces without any brushstrokes.
  • You can utilize spray paint on every medium, such as woodcrafts, metal, wicker, plastic, and resin.
  • Spray painting is faster than painting with brushes.
  • Spray paints are oil-based and provide a long-lasting finish than latex paint.
  • Easy to clean the aftermath as there are no brushes, rollers, buckets, or paint trays to wash.
  • Spray paint dries much more quickly than brushed-on paint.
  • Spray paint is easier to apply on woodcrafts with spindles, trim pieces, or intricate nooks and crannies.

Even coverage becomes difficult when going back and forth over large surfaces with a spray can, resulting in a splotchy finish. There are two available remedies for this problem:

  • For a satin or gloss finish, apply a clear, water-based acrylic sealer with a sponge-chip brush, working in cooler temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.
  • For a matte finish or subtle sheen, apply wax with a soft cotton rag, and buff it out.

Always apply spray paint in thin, even coats to avoid drips. It’s also essential to test the nozzle first in an inconspicuous area; a wrong nozzle spatters the paint, ruining the finish. Start with miniature woodcraft, and move on to more significant pieces as your technique improves. Read How to remove spray paint from wood?

Prime and Protect Wood

prime and protect wood

No matter which printing method you choose, always prepare the piece with a high-quality, stain-blocking primer. If the woodcraft has a glossy sealed finish, sand it first with 100-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface and help the primer bond. Spray primers come in white and gray, with gray working best under darker colors. On high-traffic woodcrafts that receive a lot of wear and tear, such as tabletops, use a more durable brush-on primer.

Protect painted woodcraft with clear, water-based polyurethane or acrylic sealers. The finishing topcoat determines the final sheen of the woodcraft, from velvety smooth satin finishes to glossy, lacquer-like finishes. Distressed and antiqued finishes typically call for paste wax or glazes.

How to Prepare Wood

how to prepare wood

The process listed below for prepping, priming, and painting wood furniture is simple, straightforward, and will be problem-free, given that each step is done thoroughly and completely. If you are a tradesperson or DIYer, your reward will be a durable, beautiful piece of woodcraft.

Prepare a suitable worksite. Prepping, priming, and painting outdoors will allow for excellent ventilation, but a DIYer or tradesperson is at the mercy of the weather—and bugs, dew, and other factors as well. Inside a garage is the next best option.

Cover the floor and any nearby items to keep them dust-free. It’s also essential to have proper lighting when painting in an enclosed space.

The first step involves a process known as “sand, vac & tack,” or SVT.


First, remove any loose finish from the woodcraft by scraping and sanding areas where the existing finish is flaking or peeling off. Then scuff sand the entire piece of woodcraft lightly to give the surface some “tooth” so that the new primer can adhere. A detailed guide on how to remove paint from wood.


Use a shop vac with a brush attachment to vacuum up the dust.


Remove any residual dust with a dampened microfiber rag.

How to spray paint wood?

how to spray paint on wood

Step 1:

If you are painting an object that sits nicely on sawhorses, you may want to use these to balance the woodcraft in the air. It will help make it easier for you to spray paint the woodcraft because you won’t have to be bending over as much. Having the woodcraft up on sawhorses will make it easier to reach areas that might be hard to achieve if the woodcraft is on the ground.

Step 3:

If you have small woodcraft to spray paint, then a DIYer like you can also try putting it inside a box placed on its side. You can then spread the paint into the box to spray paint the woodcraft, reducing the chances that paint will end up on nearby surfaces. You can also put woodcrafts on a small piece of cardboard or a turntable inside of the box to make it easier to turn the woodcraft around as you paint.

Step 4:

Paint won’t stick to surfaces that are dusty, greasy, or otherwise unclean. Take a few minutes to wipe off any debris that might be clinging to the surface of the material you will be spray painting.

Step 5:

Before you begin painting, make sure to put on your respirator mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves. The safety goggles will help protect you if any of the paint blows back towards your face, and because spray paint is toxic, disposable gloves and a ventilator mask are necessary. Put these on before you do any painting.

Step 6:

Shake the can of primer for about three to four minutes before using it. Then, start spraying back and forth across the object you want to spray paint. Apply an even coating of primer to the entire thing. Then, wait for the primer to dry completely.

Check the primer can to find out how long it will take to dry. DIYers only need to apply one coat of primer before spray painting an item. Using a primer before spray painting helps to ensure that your spray paint will have an even finish. Otherwise, DIYers may need several coats of spray paint to get consistent coverage.

Step 7:

Make sure to slowly sweep the paint across the surface of your project from left to right to get an even coat. Don’t aim the nozzle at just one spot. Also, make sure to overlap each of your passes slightly to ensure that you do not have gaps between the areas you spray paint. Hold the can of paint about 8 inches (20.3 cm) away from your object, and move the can back and forth slowly at a rate of about one foot per second. Find out the best Paint for Wood crafts.

Step 8:

Don’t apply a heavy coat because the paint may drip and be tacky longer. It will make it more likely that your paint will get smudged. Instead, use multiple thin coats of paint to your project and let each coat dry completely before applying a new one. Keep in mind that the first coat will likely be splotchy and show the original color through the paint, but you will cover up any splotchy areas with the second coat of paint.

Step 9:

Most spray paints require a minimum of 24 hours of drying time before you can apply a second coat. Don’t rush this process. It is best to be patient and let the paint dry completely before applying any more paint. A detailed review of Best Outdoor Wood Sealer.

Step 10:

Although this might not always be necessary, applying a second coat will likely give you more even results. It will help to provide total coverage of your project and give you the brightest possible color.

Step 11:

Most spray-painted woodcrafts do not require a topcoat unless they are handled frequently. However, you can add a top coat to any item that you spray paint. Get a clear spray paint topcoat and apply a light layer over your spray-painted item after it has dried completely. Then, let the top coat dry for at least 24 hours and apply another coat if desired.

Step 12:

Wait for the last top coat to dry completely before touching or moving the item. Keep in mind that applying a top coat is optional. If you are happy with the finish on your item after using the spray paint, then done, don’t worry about applying a topcoat.