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Can You Spray Paint Wood?

A light blue table with glass doors next to a window in a room with shiplap walls.

When you spray paint wood, you can give old furniture and other wooden objects an entirely different look. A traditional flat paint finish, glossy finish and chalked paint finish are just a few of the options when you decide to use spray paint for wood DIY projects.


You can spray paint wood whether it’s unfinished or was previously stained or painted, making it fairly simple to give almost any piece a new appearance. Whether you opt for a classic, modern or vintage look, following a few key steps will help ensure a successful outcome.


How Do You Prepare to Spray Paint Wood?


Before you spray paint wood, it’s important to do some prep work to ensure good results. If you’re painting furniture, remove any hardware, such as handles and knobs, and set them aside.


It’s important that the wood surface is free of any dirt or grime. A solution like Krud Kutter Cleaner & Degreaser will remove buildup from wood, leaving a clean surface for you to work with.


Next, it’s time to do a little surface prep. Lightly sand the wood with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots. Sanding the surface will also help the spray paint adhere to the wood. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe away the sanding dust.


Can You Use Paint Primer on Wood?


Before using spray paint, it’s a good idea to apply a coat of paint primer. Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Spray Primer delivers a base coat for new wood that will help prevent the existing wood color from bleeding through the new spray paint. It also leads to a smoother and longer-lasting spray paint finish.


Be sure to apply the paint primer – as well as the spray paint color – outdoors or in a well-ventilated space, and work over a drop cloth to protect surrounding areas.


Once the primer is dry, you’re ready to apply spray paint.


How Do You Spray Paint Wood?


Choosing your spray paint color or texture might be the most challenging part of your project. Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint comes in a wide range of classic and on-trend colors as well as traditional paint sheens, including ultra matte, flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss and high gloss.


If you prefer a higher-end look, Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint offers an array of premium paint finishes, such as aged metallic, pearl metallic and forged hammered, as well as more classic finishes.


As with any product, it’s important to follow the directions on the spray paint label for best results. This includes details such as how long to shake the can before spraying, how far to hold the can from the wood, how long to wait before applying additional coats of spray paint and how long you should let the paint dry before handling it.


Generally, you’ll achieve the best results if you apply multiple light coats of spray paint rather than a single heavy coat.


How Do You Protect Spray Painted Wood?


After you’ve applied your final coat of spray paint, a clear topcoat can provide extra durability and defense against chips or scratches. Like colored spray paint, clear coats are also available in a choice of finishes, so you can decide if you’d prefer a clear matte finish, gloss finish or something in between.


Spray paint makes it easy and affordable to transform the look of wood, whether it’s a piece of furniture or a simple craft. By following these steps, you’ll be on the right path to a completed wood spray paint project that you’ll proudly enjoy.