Painting on Wood : Steps by step guide on how to paint on wooden surface

A step by step detailed guide on how to paint on wood using acrylic paint with brush and roller. Best practice for sanding and repainting

Are you wondering how to use acrylic paint for furniture? It is simpler than you think to change a piece of old wood to something beautiful using just a tiny piece of  paint.

Acrylic paint is among the very best paints that can be used on wood. After all, it is simple to paint for the least experienced painters to work with.

While it's possible to paint wood right away, there are a couple of measures that I recommend taking, such that your art is neat with long lasting finish.  

Follow this step-by-step guide to know how you can paint on wooden surfaces.

1. Prep your Wood Surface

Preparing the wood is an excellent foundation to work. It does make all the difference. 

Hence, the first step is sanding the wood. Never skip this step because only then can you get a smooth surface ready. If you realized your wood has already been sanded down, skip this step.

Sanding the surface with a 280-320 grit wet or dry sandpaper will smooth and prepare the surface for the first coat. 

Sanded particles should be removed completely using a lint-free fabric since the humidity of the cloth will pick up all loose sand.

2. Apply a Primer

Painting Brush on wooden surface

This measure often goes amiss when it comes to painting on wood. If you want the desired outcome, do not forget to apply primer. So lay a coat and let it dry for a couple of hours. 

A coating of acrylic wood primer will make lighter colors appear more vibrant. Let the primer dry before you pick it.

If you are seeking a much smoother surface, repeat the process of sanding and simmer till you reach your desired feel. The softer, the better!

3. Sanding the Primer

Sand it down again before painting. Try to use nice 220-grit sandpaper, and apply mild pressure to stop gouging the primer. Remove the primer dust using a flat brush, followed by a gentle swipe of the tack cloth.

4. Start Painting with Brush

It's perfect to begin with, a base layer. Select the color of your choice as your background color and take a small amount on a palette. 

Please note that acrylic paint dries relatively fast, so pour out your background color at this stage. Use a broad, flat paintbrush to paint on the wood, cover the complete area, including the edges. Let paint dry for a couple of hours. 

Most acrylic paints will take about 20 minutes to dry. Nevertheless, this will be different depending on the kind of paint you use and how thick layers are applied.

5. Paint using a Roller 

Roller Paint with red color

Another tool you can use is a roller. Buy a good quality roller since it is an investment and will give you a smooth finish. Some cheap quality rollers will cause problems like paint marks and a rough finish. Buy a six inch foam roller. You can also buy the replacement roller cover together or later.

For painting with the roller, pour about 4 ounces of paint into the tray. Gently dab the roller in the paint, roll up the paint and down the tray's slope a couple of times. It will help spread the paint onto the roller pad. 

Transfer the roller to the wood. Start to roll the paint on the wood, beginning with light pressure only. High-density foam rollers often trap paint in the roller mat, so you might have to increase pressure to release the paint gently. You can wash and reuse the covers or discard this one and use a a new cover.

6. Sand the first coat

You can usually achieve a much smoother coating if you opt to sand and paint one last time. Sanding the paint coat brings down bumps and inconsistencies introduced from the roller or brush. 

Using 220-grit sandpaper, sand lightly by hand or attach the paper to the orbital sander and then operate it extremely lightly through the surface. Don't use pressure on the sander other than the weight of the sander.

After sanding, gently remove the dust from the surface.

7. Paint second coat

Apply a last coat of paint using a brush or roller as you want now. It will be the final coat, so do not make any mistake here, be careful. Allow the paint to dry overnight or more before using it.

8. Apply a Sealant

Applying a sealant is essential to protect the underlying layer. It will protect your work from flaking or peeling. You will find many types of sealers in the market, choose as per your need.

You can choose from gloss, matte, satin, and a lot more. It is up to you whether you want to use spray or brush sealer. Each is different, but the results are the same. 

Apply a thin coat of the sealant and allow it to dry. Now you have your finished and sealed furniture ready.

Best Practices for Sanding:

The best suggestion for sanding between coats is to begin with, coarser grit sandpaper and follow this up with medium grit, then complete with a fine-grit sandpaper. 

A good hint: Spray a fine mist of water over the sanded surface that may raise the grain. Remember that the best approach to sand is in the direction of the grain. Otherwise, it might damage your surface.

Best Practices for Repainting:

If you are repainting a piece, the first thing to do is check the current paint condition of the surface. If you find the paint is peeling from the surface, scrape it to get rid of old paint coats. Then, make the surface smooth with 180 grit sandpaper.

Never attempt to paint a present wood surface without preparing its surface. Applying an immediate coat of paint over the old coating won't function and will tend to peel, largely if it includes a shiny finish.

Best Painting tip:

Use a brush and a roller: Paintbrushes and rollers each have unique usage. Rollers cover large areas quickly but can't reach corners or narrow spaces. If you have smooth surfaces, go for a high-density foam roller. 

Use paintbrushes for painting the corners and edges to get clean, smooth finish. And use rollers for painting large areas to save time. Brushing after rolling to remove lines is an expert technique called back-brushing.