Although, the summer is over. and there is not a lot to do outside. You still got some of the old furniture, perhaps other wood materials you didn’t get to paint yet.

You might probably also be wondering if you should use a roller, perhaps a brush, or spray paint.  After all, spray painting is much easier. 

But you don’t know if you can spray paint wood.

  • The answer to that question is yes. You can spray paint wood.

But you need to take into consideration a few things like;

  • Does the wood have varnish,
  • Does it have any other paint stains, 
  • Has it been sanded or primed already?

On top of all that choosing the right spray paint is also a crucial step

In this blog, I’m going to tell you if you can spray paint wood, how to spray paint wood, and all the other questions you may or may not be asking related to this very topic. 

Can You Spray Paint Wood?

Yes, you can spray paint wood. but it’s important to choose the right type of spray paint when painting. Because there are many types of spray paints and many types that I meant for different tasks. So picking a spray paint that is specifically designed for spraying on wooden surfaces or at least can handle such surfaces is your first step.

But If you want your job to go smoothly and not have issues after work. You’re also going to want to pay attention to a few more things like if the wood is raw.  Because the raw wood absorbs more or is likely to absorb more paint whether you spray paint or apply it with a brush. 

So if that’s the case then you’re going to want to prime the surface before you spray any paint on it. but there are times when It’s also possible to choose a certain type of paint that already includes primer inside. So you need to check whether you want to paint and primer an all-in-one type of product or you want to do the job separately.

If the wood has been previously painted or varnished, this also can have a huge effect on whether your spray paint sticks or not. This is why, to prevent this from happening, you will need to sand the surface before you spray paint.

Sanding itself won’t help you, it’s also recommended that you prime before spray painting.  If you prime it before you spray paint the job, it is likely to be more durable leading to less bubbling, chipping, or flaking in the long run. 

Preparing wood for spray paint

Preparing wood for spray paint

Preparation of the wood for spray paint is an important step. Start by finding out whether you will need priming and/or sanding. You also need to make sure that you have a protection area for your overspray, so it won’t damage anything important.

You’re also going to want to make sure that you have a mask on because sometimes some types of spray paint can have harmful effects on health. So you want to protect yourself from that. 

You also need to make sure that you have gloves on. Because it’s more likely that you’ll be holding with one hand and spraying with the other hand. And you definitely don’t want to spray over your hand.

You know by now that if you’re dealing with bare wood you need to prime it. Of course, it goes without saying that you also will need to sand it. 

Thus, considering that you are actually going to sand first and then prime it. Either way, before you actually get to do any one of these things. It’s always a good idea to wipe the wood with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris or dirt.

How to Spray Paint Wood

As I  promised in the above section I’m going to show you how to spray paint wood step by step. 

If you have been paying attention clearly. You know that I’m about the things that you need to do before you can get to spray. And in this section, I will organize it all into a clear step-by-step guide so that you could use these tips to paint any wooden material or surface.

The first thing you need to do is to inspect the condition of the wood. If it is new furniture then you can skip this step. However it’s not, then it’s important to take means like a damp cloth and wipe the wood of every type of dirt.

Next, you’re going to want to prepare the area in such a way that if you miss the wood, spillage wouldn’t fall onto an area that you wouldn’t want. The best advice would be to do it in the garden outside or to lay down some tarp

Then if the wood is bare it’s better to sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper. Of course, you’re not obligated to either sand or prime the wood. But using spray paint on bare wood might mean it will require you more than just a few coats of paint.

If the wood has been varnished or painted before then sanding and priming becomes more necessary. So assuming that you have already done all the previous steps clearly, the last thing you need to do is to spray paint.

Should I do the “W” motion?

The best thing about spray painting any surface is that you don’t necessarily need to follow its certain technique for a motion to achieve a certain look. 

For example, if you were to use just regular paint with a brush, you would need to paint from the bottom to top, or left to right. To achieve consistent traces after work. However with the spray paint. This old technique goes out the window. 

However, there’s still the issue of thick and thin spray. 

You achieve this by holding the spray paint as close as you want if you want a thick coat, or a little bit further away if you want a thinner coat. The best practice is to keep 20-30 (8-10 inches) centimeters away from the surface.

Once you spray, if the job hasn’t been done yet. Wait for it to dry, then sand it again slightly to smooth the painted surface before your next coat.

Is primer necessary for spray painting wood?

Although the primer is a personal preference on many surfaces when it comes to wood or any material that is made of wood.

It’s always advised to use the primer.

Primer for wood has basic functions that are necessary when spray-painting wood, it  

  • Reduces absorbency, 
  • Equalizes the different absorption rates, 
  • Strengthens the substrate and binding particles, 
  • Ensures adequate adhesion between the substrate and coating, 
  • Acts as the barrier against contaminants.

Although these are some of the fundamental functions of the primer they are extremely useful when using wood. Because as we had already let you know that wood tends to be more observant especially if you’re using a type of wood whose substrate isn’t as thick.

Although there are many types of primers and materials that are meant for their use, if you’re spray painting wood, you might consider using adhesive primers

These are the types that help you rough up and smoothen the area. They are made of plastic particles which makes bonds possible and ensures the final coating adheres to the surface. They also prevent any wood surface from swelling.

Since you are spray painting the woods, you might also be wondering if I should actually first paint the primer with a roller or brush.

Spray paint might seem inconvenient because the whole idea of spray painting is probably the convenience and the quickness of the job. That’s why you might consider spray-painting the primer as well. 

When it comes to spray painting primers, it’s always a good idea to go for airless devices because they provide thicker primers or they spray thinker spray compared to their other type of spray painting device which is HVLP. 

What Kind of Spray Paint Can You Use on Wood?

What Kind of Spray Paint Can You Use on Wood?

This is a tricky question. Because it’s hard to choose spray paint that fits all wooden surfaces. In fact, you don’t really have to use a certain type of spray paint if you want to spray on wood. You could use many types of spray-painting devices that help you spray the paint better.

So in this section, I will quickly give you a small explanation of the usage of spray paint on various types of wood surfaces. and which one works best on what type of surface so that you could make your choice afterward on your own. 

Before we get started, let’s first identify the load of work. If you’re trying to spray paint just small furniture like a table or a chair you might consider buying a can of spray paint.

However, if you’re planning to use a paint sprayer for other jobs and have a lot to spray like a fence then you should definitely consider buying a break.

Another pro is that since you’re going to be spraying the paint, I’d recommend you go for water-based paints. They are the easiest to dilute and prepare for spray paint.

Spray can

My recommendation Would be Behr aerosol spray paint. Perfect for a quick job like a small table or a chair. However, they tend to be more susceptible to scratches than, if you were to use a spray paint gun. You will need to use a primer if you’re using a paint can. Again it’s not a must that you use a primer but assuming that you want longevity and a quality job opting for a primer will be a cheap and effective solution.

Spray Gun

However, if you have lots of spraying to do in and around the house like fences then you should definitely go for a paint gun. There are different types, specifications, and all sorts of other differences that make it hard to choose one.

We won’t go into details on which one you should go for and what types are available on the market but just like the recommendation above I’m going to give you one for general purposes. Wagner Universal paint sprayer would be just that.  It comes with the three-and-a-half mirror house and it has separate guns for spraying metal plus it’s simple to clean and easy to carry around if you need to paint large areas. It’s also perfect to paint the whole room since you can leave the main engine in the middle.

Can You Spray Paint Wood Furniture Without Sanding?

The quick answer to this question is yes. But there are some nuances we need to consider when you’re thinking about spray painting any type of furniture without sanding. 

However, If you want to restore your old furniture like your chairs, tables, etc. And they have been painted before. You will need to make sure that your new paint adheres to the surface. 

And to do that you of course need to prime but even before priming. You are going to want to make sure the surface is smooth without any holes or grains or anything that could potentially hinder the adherence of your paint.

It’s always a good idea and recommended to sand before painting., doesn’t matter whether you’re spraying the paint, or applying it to the roller or brush, sanding the wood is one of the must steps.

It is also recommended to use medium to fine-grit sandpaper. Depending on how deep or how uneven the surface is. But starting to paint without sanding is definitely a good idea especially if you want a quality job.

So my recommendation is that you always clean, sand and degloss, and prime if necessary if you want your old furniture to look like new again. 

What Happens If You Don’t Sand Before Spray Painting?

Then it comes to painting wood, whether you’re painting it with the roller or spray, sanding and priming are two important steps.

Of course, you could go without sanding the wooden surface and nothing serious would really happen. But it is always better to sand before spray painting especially if the wood has been painted before.

The only exception could be when you have custom-ordered new furniture without any color and the wood is smooth.  The only time you can spray paint even without sanding or priming is when the paint is more likely to stick.

Of course, when the wood is raw you will need to spray paint more times than if it wasn’t. But this would be the only exception when you can skip sanding.

Considering that you want to do a good job of spray painting. Of course, recommend that you sand always regardless of the type of wood and material you’re working with. Especially if you are renovating wooden furniture.

It’s recommended that you sand with medium to fine grit sandpaper and sometimes you can’t even use a sponge, the kind that has a harder side than prime before you spray-paint.

So If you’re wondering what happens if you skip sanding, it’s okay in certain situations when it wasn’t quite necessary but if you’re dealing with an old or painted surface it is one of the steps that you must complete to get a smooth and even sheen without any knots or imperfect greens of the surface.

Sealing Spray Paint on Wood

So at this point, if you’re thinking about sealing, you have just spray-painted. You might have a few questions. First perhaps how do you seal the wood after spray paint, or should you seal spray paint on the wood? 

To answer both questions let’s assume you have just finished spray painting a project, oh, and you wondering if should you finish it up with the sealer. Of course, you might also be wondering what type of sealer you want to go for.  We will stop and explain further down in the section before we get to it.

Do you need to seal the raw if you use spray paint?

Technically no. but it is highly recommended that you seal your wood after any sort of painting if you want to be waterproof or have higher gloss, or just have the normal protective features that most painted wood usually has.

If you are, on the other hand, painting your fence or piece of furniture that’s meant to be used outside it is even necessary to seal your paint because usually sealers leave radiation resistance, and resistance against rain, humidity, and other such harsh weather conditions.

If you are wondering which one to do first, obviously it’s always better to spray paint or paint the surface before you seal it. Because sealing is normally the last that people take to finish up the job. 

Can You Spray Paint Varnished Wood?

The quick answer to the question is yes. and in fact even if there were a longer answer, it would definitely still be yes.

If you read online somewhere else where people might have told you that you need to scuff it up first or sand it. You don’t need to

Because a varnished wood is already or is more likely to have a smooth surface and had already been sanded and scuffed and made ready for the paint.

The only thing you’ll need to address is the stickiness. To address, and to solve this issue you will need to use a primer or the correct type of primer for your wooden surface.

Of course, if you’re about to spray paint an old piece of furniture that’s been left for ages, you might consider robbing it all out first with a damp cloth or perhaps at least dusting it up to make it ready for the primer. But that should come without saying. But it should be understandable without me telling you to do that specifically.

So once you find the correct primer, you need to prime it using your roller or a brush or even spray paint and wait for the primer to dry. Then apply the paint

It’s important to note that there are types of paint that already include primer in it. Those are the best type of paint to use in your situation. 

  • First of course because you spray paint it, 
  • Second, because those painting primers are meant for the surface has been they have been prepared already., by sanding, scuffing, etc. 

How Long Does It Take for Spray Paint to Dry on Wood?

The drying times of spray paint dippers among various materials. So it’s natural that you’d like to find out how long it would possibly take to try on the wooden surface.

Although it actually depends on the type of paint when it comes to drying times, it could be longer than usual. Especially if you’re applying the spray paint to raw wood or wood that hasn’t been primed yet.

The drying time will be different depending on whether you’ve applied primers before spray painting or whether you’re spraying it onto raw wood or not.

Due to the high absorption rates of raw wood, the first coat of spray paint dries usually within 30 minutes. Sometimes if it’s your second coat or the third coat it could take up to an hour but not longer. 

However, in cases when you have already primed wood and the surface is not likely to absorb the paint In these situations you’re going to want to wait more than an hour.

Remember it also depends on how thin or thick you spray the paint itself. It can also depend on the type of spray paint to buy.  

Although there are many different types and companies producing spray paint the underlining ingredients and the way they’re prepared is pretty much the same. So it won’t have a huge effect when it comes to drying. But you still wanna check the labels for it too.

What I simply mean is that it doesn’t matter much if you’re using Rustoleum or Sherwin-Williams or perhaps any other firm when your spray paint since they are going to be more or less the same when it comes to drying on a wooden surface.

Can You Spray Paint Already Painted Wood?

Can You Spray Paint Already Painted Wood?

The shortest answer is yes. You definitely can spray paint already painted wood. It just depends on the condition of the wood. And the condition of the paint.

If you have newly painted the wood then it’s very easy to paint it again. And in fact, many people paint wooden surfaces more than once so it’s actually a common practice to paint it a few times.

However, it’s a material that had been painted before and the paint is about to peel off or old. You want me to sand the surface before you apply any type of paint, be it spray paint or other kinds.

Sometimes if you would like to change the color of the old paint, you might want to sand with fine grit sandpaper or even use other Home Improvement tools to take it off fully. Then apply the next coat of paint. Filling the holes with caulk or spackle, making sure you have covered any potential overspray areas with a tarp, etc are also important steps that I assume you know.

Can You Spray Paint Over Stained Wood?

Again, the short answer is yes. But spray painting stained wood requires quite a bit of prepping. In fact, you might end up spending more time prepping for spray paint than actually spray painting the wood itself.

The good thing about prepping is the steps are similar whether you want to spray paint or use a roller, perhaps a brush. The actual painting part is quite up to you. Since we are talking about spray paint, you’re probably going to spray paint the wood.

Remember when you’re prepping the wood, your goal is to make sure the wood is ready to take on the new paint. 

The best practice to make sure your wood takes on the next coat of paint is;

  • First, clean the surface with trisodium phosphate. 
  • Then, make sure to fill the holes, with wood filler to make it even and smooth
  • Sanding is the third step that helps you remove the existing stain and give the wooden surface more texture
  • Because this is stained wood, you also need to buff it. Very well. Make sure to buff it along the direction of the grain of the wood.
  • Prime after you finish all the previous steps. Also, make sure to go for a blocking primer. Because you need to block the old color.  
  • Sand them once again to prep them for painting. 
  • The last step is to actually spray paint your previously stained, now primed wood 

Best Spray Paint for Wood

When it comes to choosing the best spray paint for wood, you might come across online all kinds of advice and recommendations thrown around left and right.

In the section not only will I recommend you also a certain brand but also give you an understanding of what you should look for and what kind is actually really good for wood.

If you’re thinking of spray-painting your old furniture or perhaps giving them a beautiful retouch repaint then these are the things that you need to pay attention to.

  1. Sheen
  2. Durability
  3. Indoor or outdoor
  4. Primer included or not
  5. Other features for wood

The sheen is obviously important, that’s why you’re going to want to choose the type that fits the design of the room where your furniture is going to be placed. 

You need to also pay attention to the durability of the spray paint. If you are finished furniture will be placed in the high traffic area, the more durable is always better.

In most cases, there are many spray paint canisters that are meant for both outside and inside. However, depending on your preference you might want to focus on one type. For example, if you’re repainting a piece of furniture which likely going to be indoors. Then, any indoor spray paint might as well do.

Some spray paint comes with primer. That’s also an important factor because when you repainting your old furniture means you need to prime it. It’s not a step that you can skip with old furniture. That’s why having paint that already has primer in it not only will make sure that it sticks better but also last longer. But some painters still recommend you use separate primer and paint.

Recently that those new types of spray paints came out that protect against rust, resist scratches, or other such features. So you should also make a note of other special bonus features.  And you should always go for the most optimal and the best version for your specific situation.

However, there is one type of spray paint that I recommend that has the best spray paint that will most likely work and has all those boxes checked. 

It is the Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover, the spray paint comes in various colors so you should choose the one that you like and they usually tend to be very glossy as well. It is universal and works for different purposes.

Will spray paint stick to finished wood?

The simplest answer to this question is no. Because we assume by finished would you mean a wooden surface that has not only been primed, and painted, but also gone through a process of prepping with sanding and other such things. 

If it’s home through all these processes, spray paint on top of it will not help, in fact, I may do more harm than good. Because not only will the paint that’s been sprayed on top of the finished wood, will be more likely the peel off and more prone to scratches but also good make the surface look very ugly when that happens.

So you’re going to want to stay away from spraying or the finished wood. if you insist however try to paint the finished wood. Then you will need to follow the steps that we have listed above on how to spray paint wood. They were 

prepping the surface by cleaning the church using trisodium phosphate alcohol

  • sanding it 
  • buffing it 
  • priming it 

spray painting it. And many people actually send it once again once they’ve applied primer. 

All in all, 

If you’re wondering whether can you spray paint wood or not. the simplest answer is yes you can.

As I have written extensively already on this blog, it’s not about whether they can you or not, but it’s more about how you go about it.  for example, prepping was and is one of the most important steps when spray-painting wood.

Thus, if you need to take anything from this blog.  Then it is that you need to prep the surface very well to spray paint on it; this includes 

  • Cleaning the surface either using just a simple damp cloth or sponge or any other sort of duster, 
  • Making sure you sand. Sanding is a step you can’t miss. 
  • Filling the holes, buffing it if necessary 
  • Priming once the surface is ready,
  • Sanding it once more, and only then spray the paint with your favorite paint sprayer.

These are the general steps of the painting world. This game changes depending on the type of wood you’re dealing with. If you’re dealing with raw wood, perhaps include another coat of paint.

However, if you’re dealing with new furniture or perhaps you might even skip the priming step, which is not recommended but possible. 

Those are the conditions that can only be determined by you and your knowledge and logic. The knowledge you have, the logic you must use.


Is it better to spray paint or brush the wood?

It is, of course, better to spray paint, because it is faster and more efficient. Plus, spray painting leaves no brush marks whatsoever, making your wooden furniture or surface look as new as it once was.

When should you not spray paint wood?

You should not use spray paint on wood when your wood is not ready. That means when you haven’t done good enough of a prep job. There are times when the wooden surface had been painted more than once.  Some parts had started peeling off, while other parts still remain, those wooden surfaces must be evened out and sanded down harshly before you even think about spraying.

You should also not spray the second or the third quote before your spray paint is dry. 

Lastly, If you’re using water-based paints which is not really recommended but some people still do it because it’s the cheapest and the most accessible type of paint on the market. You really should not. Because water-based paint actually causes wood to raise as they contain water inside. 

Does spray paint stay on wood?

Yes, spray paint can and will remain on the wood. In fact, there are a few things you can do to make sure your spray paint stays on wood. 

To do that you need to do an excellent prep job sanding, evening out the surface, filling the holes, and priming properly. 

Some people even consider using varnish or sealant after they’re done with their paint job.

Is spray painting permanent?

Yes, spray painting is permanent. Whether you spray paint a wooden furniture cabinet or chairs coma any paint you spray on to those surfaces is likely to remain permanently. Of course, it is possible to send it down somehow clean off the surface when it’s necessary. But considering that it’s going to take a lot of time and it will be super difficult it’s much better to First plan and thinks and decide before painting if you want to paint rather than painting first I’m going through all this hassle.

How long should you let the spray paint dry on the wood?

10 to 15 minutes will suffice in most cases. But that depends heavily on the type of paint you using and the thickness of your spray and coat number.  But in most cases, it’s enough to wait about 20 minutes to half an hour to make sure that it fully dried up. 

Do not also forget to look at the instructions.