Painting is a craft that varies depending on the paint used and the material being painted, and this is especially important to know for wood.

Due to the wide variety of both paint and different types of wood, it is important to be aware of what you are painting, what you are painting with, and what you want your end product to look like. All of these aspects impact one another and can hinder you from achieving your goal if you are not careful.

Therefore, research is your best friend when it comes to attempting to accomplish your vision for your project, as it helps you avoid disappointing surprises. So, here are some things to know as well as think about when it comes to painting your wood material:

Before You Begin

First of all, when painting anything, it is highly suggested that you lay down a large tarp or a painter’s drop cloth so as not to get paint all over your floor or yard. You will want to keep the space contained, so make sure you are painting carefully and on a safe, slip-free surface. The key for any craft or activity is safety, so be sure to be aware of your surroundings when taking on this venture.

If you are painting an object or a piece of furniture that has already been painted, it is imperative to remove all of the layers already applied to the unit before you begin. First, you must wash the surface with tri-sodium phosphate, or TSP. This contributes to breaking down and removing the outer layer on top of the wood.

Then, sand down the item so as to remove the polish and some of the already-existing paint so that the new layer of paint applies and sticks accordingly. Your first sanding should be done with coarse grit sandpaper in order to fully get the outermost, unneeded layers off. Sandpaper, regardless of type, is a typically affordable tool that can be found easily at any hardware store, both on- and off-line.

If your item was not painted prior to this process, you should still sand it down before painting despite not using TSP beforehand.

Priming Your Surface

Once the wood has been sanded down, you must prime it before you begin painting. Primer is another formula that should be researched prior to using it, as its contents will impact the paint in a variety of ways—some less than helpful, if not planned accordingly.

Priming the wood prepares it for the paint, providing a base layer that helps ensure that your paint looks even and equally distributed over the piece once you are done, as well as possibly adding unique texture or enabling certain colors. It also prevents the paint from running through into the wood itself.

After priming, sand your project once more—this is to even out the primer itself. Your second sanding should generally be done with medium grit sandpaper.


Now, you are able to begin painting! Do research on the type of paint that you intend to use to make sure that it will hold and give you the desired effect you seek. This means identifying which paints are prepared for the conditions they will be in, and the look they will give off. Additionally, do as much research on proper brushes, considering how large your wooden project is, its surface(s), and the best means of painting it.

For an even smoother product, you should yet again—yes, you guessed it—sand down your wooden project before you go in for a final coat. Sanding is an easy but vital part of this craft due to its assistance in smoothing out, evening, and generally preparing a wooden surface for painting. For this final sanding, try for a fine grit sandpaper. This will give you the desired effect without wearing down your wood excessively.

Final Tips to Keep in Mind

Naturally, multiple pieces of equipment will be required for this process just beyond your favored paint—primer, sandpaper, and even power tools if you are creating your wooden paint-project yourself. If you find yourself at a loss for further wood-related tools, a series of products are reviewed just for your browsing pleasure on our our website for extra assistance. We have an assortment of reviews and guides for woodworking power tools in particular.

Painting wood can be a more demanding craft than many assume, particularly if you want something painted well and effectively to last years. That is why it is so vital for you to make sure you are using the proper materials and steps for your specific project and end goal, and that you do it at your own pace so as to finalize your project to the best of your abilities.

However, even considering the several unexpected steps it takes for you to paint your wooden projects efficiently, this hobby is a fun and rewarding one that will leave you with a stronger appreciation for your items once you have painted them yourself. If you are having any trouble, visit our website for further help, whether for reviews, guides, or additional blog posts. We are certain we have the means to assist you.