Acrylic Paint For Wood Furniture: 11 Transformative Steps

Are you using the wrong type of paint to adorn your wood projects?

Acrylic paint for wood is a great way to create unique artwork. Whether you want to decorate your walls or make an artistic statement, using acrylics can help. 

Painting with acrylics on wood is different from working with traditional flat surfaces because the paint doesn’t immediately soak in to create a smooth finish. It can take several coats before you see any real effect, and it’s important to let each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. If your work area isn’t completely dust-free, you risk introducing dust and other airborne particles back into your paint, causing your layers to separate.

How to paint with acrylics on wood? How does acrylic paint behave on wood? What is the purpose of a primer? What are some of the different types of primers available? When you’re ready to tackle your painting project, what do you need to know about acrylic paints and varnishes before getting started? How will they react on wood when applied in various ways?

If you are ready to use acrylic paint on wood, here are some important things that every beginner should know.

Can I use acrylic paint on wood?

Yes, surely it can be used on wood by using technical and logical techniques of painting and art. Acrylic paint behaves differently depending on the type of wood it is applied to. Lighter woods tend to take dry acrylics well but are sensitive to lifting due to swelling when exposed to water.

Heavier woods are more water-resistant and less likely to swell, but the pigment seeps into the grains making it difficult if not impossible for the paint to hold when dry.

In both cases, painting acrylic on wood will create a unique look that is hard to achieve with any other medium.

11 super easy and effective steps on how to paint wood with acrylic paint?

There are many different methods of acrylic paintings on wood. What’s important is finding one that suits your style, the subject matter, and the medium you are working with. Each method comes with its own set of considerations that can help or hinder achieving great results. Here are some suggestions for how to approach painting on wood.

1. Prep your wood  (How to prepare wood for acrylic painting?)

Before you start painting wood carvings with acrylic paint, it’s important to prep the surface of your wood. This can involve sanding acrylic paint on wood, priming it or even coating it with a sealant. Properly preparing a wooden surface for painting requires three simple steps: sanding, priming and finishing.

Sander: An electric sander with coarse paper removes wood grain quickly and cuts preparation time in half.

Primer: Use a good-quality primer formulated for use on bare wood, bare metal or masonry surfaces.

Finish: Bring out the beauty of hardwood floors with an oil-based finish that will enhance the color, sheen and depth of the wood’s grain.

All wooden surfaces should be clean, dry, and free of dirt, wax, or oil before they are primed. Surfaces that have been previously painted have to be sanded until the old paint is taken off. Dust created by coarse-grit sandpapers must be cleaned off since it embeds itself in the pores of the wood and may result in problems later.

2. Choose your colors

Next, choose the acrylic wood paint you want to use for your art piece. You may want to start by sketching out your idea on paper first so you have a general idea of what you want to achieve, but if you’re confident enough, just dive right in your wood paint art.

When making acrylic painting on wood, take into consideration that acrylic paint dry time is very fast .The type of coverage you get from one coat to another will vary depending on how thickly or thinly you apply them. For an easy painting on wood make sure your paints are well mixed and properly diluted before use.

3. Apply primer for acrylic paint on wood

Acrylic paints are water-soluble; therefore, they can cause damage to your wooden projects if you don’t prime them first.

Priming is a process used in painting where the surface of something is covered with an even coat of paint so that the next coat applied adheres evenly and hides any imperfections. It also provides a surface that can be painted upon with any type of paint.

The purpose of priming is to prevent the formation of holes, cracks and other defects in the finished surface. Some surfaces have to be primed before being painted because they are absorbent, porous or rough-textured, or their final finish is a different color from the topcoat.

There are two types of primer:

Solvent-based primers: which evaporate quickly,  allowing you to move on to the next step quickly; and

Water-based primers: which take longer to dry, but can also be cleaned up with water. The water based craft paint primer emit more fumes than solvent-based ones.

4. Adding a background color

Pour out small amounts of your background color in several areas of your board (about three or four little puddles), and use a flat synthetic brush to apply your paint.

Building up color: When you want to create lighter values, such as those used for shadows and highlights, it’s important not to load up your brush with too much paint each time you dip into the container. If so, the paint will be too thick and won’t flow onto your board evenly. Instead, you’ll get lumps and small ridges on your board that are more difficult to cover with subsequent colors.

5. Add some shading

Shading is the process of lightening colors by adding white paint or water-based glaze medium or both. When you mix white into a color it becomes lighter in value, and when you add water-glaze medium it becomes even lighter and more transparent.

Shading is also a process in which you use the side of your brush to paint with. When doing this, hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and press lightly on the board while pulling the color across the surface. This will give you a nice, smooth, gradual value change.

6. Add some toning and highlighting

Toner: A tone is a mixed version of a color that has been lightened or grayed slightly with the addition of white paint or water-based glaze medium. It’s also called an off-white because it’s not as intense as your background colors.

1. Use a flat synthetic brush to apply your toning color over the entire surface of your board in one direction using long strokes. Remember that when you add white paint to color it becomes lighter in value, and when you add water-glaze medium it becomes even lighter and more transparent.

2. You may also want to use some light toning colors to create even tints or lighter versions of your colors. To do this, mix a little bit of the off-white color into your paint color and apply it in the same manner as above.

Highlight: A highlight is a round stroke of white paint diluted with water and applied over a darker tone. The highlight helps to accentuate the light source on your object.

7. Using a palette knife with texture capabilities

If you want to add textured effects to your painting, try using a palette knife for this step. Use the rounded side of the blade with smooth strokes to create a gradient effect.

8. Add details with color

Small areas of highlights, shading and toning help to create an even lovelier finish for your piece. But you also need to consider what will happen next since this is the last step before applying a protective coat of varnish.

The varnish will not only seal the painting but will also act as a protective coat against stains and water damage. It also brings out all of your fine brush strokes so you can appreciate the workmanship that went into creating your artwork.

9. Add a sealer

If you’re going to be using acrylic paints, apply a clear coat such as Polycrylic (or another brand) after the painting is completely dry. This will provide added protection for your project and give it an extra shine, too!

10. Make it shiny

You may want to apply one or two coats of a gloss, semi-gloss or satin varnish to give your project a shiny finish. If you choose to do this, make sure the coats are dry before displaying your piece.

11. Display and enjoy

Now that you’ve finished your painting, display it in a safe place where it won’t be damaged by water or direct sunlight.

Acrylic paint for wood: Wet or dry?

The unique properties of acrylic allow it to bond well with both dry and wet surfaces. You have two options when using acrylic paint on surfaces like wood. The first option is to apply your paint directly onto the wood while it is wet. You can also use a stencil to create different patterns and effects. For the best results, make sure that you prime your wooden surface before applying any coats of acrylic paint.

Acrylic paint for wood

Whichever method you choose, be sure to seal the entire piece with a protective clear coat once completed.

Note that when painting on wet wood, not only are their precautions you must take to protect your project from warping due to water exposure, but also it is important to allow the paint to dry thoroughly before applying any clear coat, as this will protect it from lifting due to swelling.

Do not forget the clear coat to give your paint a nice shine and protection for your project.

Painting on Dark and Light colored wood:

Acrylic paint is a versatile medium that can be used in many different applications. There are various applications for diverse tones of wood. Let’s learn how to make the best use of acrylic paint on the dark and lighter colors of wood?

If you are going to make a print from an artwork applied to a lighter-colored wood, it is good practice to first prime the surface with a coat of gesso–a mixture of acrylic binder and chalk. The priming will seal the wood grain and give you a better print.

For darker woods, it is better to prime your wood with an oil-based primer since this will allow the paint to adhere more readily than an acrylic primer might.

Painting acrylics directly onto darker woods will give you unique, rustic results.

Brush marks are less visible in lighter woods with small grains. Lighter woods are also more forgiving to paint mistakes – if something goes wrong you can always sand the surface and start over again.

With light-coloured woods it is best to paint your background first, then follow up with your foreground pieces. This will help to achieve a more cohesive look in the end by painting each layer over the next without too much space between them.

You can also apply an acrylic glaze to dark woods after priming with oil-based primer after all colors have been applied and dried thoroughly.

How to use Acrylic paint for wood? What are some tips for painting with acrylics on wood?

Acrylic paint can be used exclusively for art projects such as painting on wood or you can use it to create mixed-media pieces that include additional mediums such as pastel, charcoal, ink, or pencil. Let us learn the pro tips from the insights of expert artists using acrylic paint for wood.

When applying your acrylic paints on wood surfaces, you will want to work quickly but carefully. The nature of acrylics is thin when mixed, and when applied quickly they will create a thin skin on the surface of the wood that you can work into with your brush or roller. If this skin is not worked into in time it will dry and become too solid to do much with, so be mindful when working with thinned-down paint.

When painting on your wood surface, you have the freedom of being able to paint in any direction. When applying paint with a roller, make sure to use smooth and even strokes. For brushwork, either linear or circular motions can be effective depending on how you want the end result to look.

Wood surfaces are porous so be sure to clean your brushes well after use. If you let the paint dry on your bristles it can become virtually impossible to remove, and may damage your brush or cause bristles to fall out.

If you need to paint large areas, it is best to apply several layers of acrylics in thin coats rather than one thick coat. This will help your layers dry faster and allow you more control over the finished look of the surface because each layer can be painted slightly differently to achieve different effects. Don’t rush this process through – thin layers of paint dry much more quickly than thick, wet coats.

To create a fascinating textured effect on a wood surface, apply thinned-down paint with a cloth or sponge and then remove it before it dries completely. This will allow you to control the texture created by the way the paint settles onto your material.

If painting over dark-colored woods like oak and mahogany, be sure to apply a coat of primer first.

When using a primer, make sure to apply it in the same direction as the grain – this will help increase its water resistance.

When applying acrylic paint, you have two options. You can brush it onto the surface of the wood in either a circular or linear motion depending on how you want the end result to look. If using brushes, use a synthetic-haired brush and large flat brushes that cover a larger area of the wood.

Faux finishes

There are a lot of different factors you have to consider when painting with acrylics on wood, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to create some amazing pieces in no time. Here we go to learn faux finishing techniques.

What are some faux finishing techniques you can use for acrylics on wood?

An easy way to give your wooden project a unique look is by applying a faux finish. There are many different finishes that can be achieved with acrylic paint, including:

If you want to avoid the “artificial” look of faux finishes, you can try dry brushing the surface of your wood with one brush for more depth. You can also apply a wash to create naturalistic effects on wood grain.

Just remember that if you are using different paint colors on top of each other, they have to be completely dried first or they will run.

Paintbrushes for acrylic paints on wood

When painting with acrylic on your wooden surface, you have a few options for brushes. Let us dig deep into it what brush is good for which project.

Paintbrushes for acrylic paints on wood

What type/ kinds of paintbrush should you use when working with acrylic paints on wood?

There are several types of brushes that you can use with acrylics on wood.The most important factor is to make sure that the bristles are synthetic, as natural bristles will absorb the paint and become hard to clean.Some of the best brushes for this type of application include:

Flat brushes: These are good for covering large areas, and can be either synthetic or natural.

Round brushes: These are great for details and edging, and should also be synthetic.

Filbert brushes: These have a rounded edge and you can use them for both curved and straight lines, as well as blending.

Angular brushes: These are good for creating sharp lines and edges, and you can also use them for blending paint.

Fan brushes: These are fantastic for washes and you can also use them with dry brushing techniques.

Stippling brushes: These have a round head and short bristles, and you can use them to add texture effects to your painting.

Mop brushes: These have a thick head and are good for creating special effects. You can also use them for applying gesso to large areas of your canvas.

Flat brush: You can also use a large flat brush that covers a larger area of the wood, which is ideal for larger projects.

How do you pick the best brush when painting with acrylics?

Besides the kind of paintbrush you need, there are several other things to consider when painting with acrylics on wood, such as your working environment and whether or not it’s a large or small project.

If you plan on placing your final project outdoors for a while before sealing it, an all-purpose brush will be best because you can use it on a variety of different surfaces.

When looking for a paintbrush, it is helpful to try out a few different types until you find one that you are comfortable with. If you are just starting out, it is best to purchase a range of synthetic brushes so that you have all the options available to you, as well as artists’ quality paintbrushes for acrylics.

Acrylic paint for wood: Priming your wood

Acrylics are versatile, inexpensive, and can be used with multiple art media. These are just some of the reasons why acrylic paint is so popular among artists new to painting on wood surfaces.

The primer can also help to prevent your paint from chipping, peeling or flaking. Wood has a tendency to absorb moisture from the surrounding environment as well as other liquids that it comes into contact with.

This can cause changes to the wood’s appearance and even lead to warping and splitting of the wood. Using a primer on the wood will allow the paint to bond with the primer and not absorb as much moisture from the environment. This will help preserve the wood’s appearance and prevent warping and splitting of the wood.

What kind of primer should you use when working with acrylics on wood?

You have to Prime in situations where you have increased paint adhesion and durability to make an extra effort worth the cost. For example, painting wood to reduce moisture risk. Primers work by filling the wood’s pores and allowing the paint to lie on top of it.

They also promote adhesion improvement and help the paint keep its coating over time. Clean all dust and lose particles from metal surfaces before priming them to ensure proper adhesion.

When working with acrylics on wood, it is important to use a primer. The primer will help the paint to stick to the wood and will also help to protect the wood from the paint.

FAQs – Acrylic Paint For Wood Furniture

The type of surface you use with acrylic paint is important, as not all surfaces will work well with this type of paint.

You can use acrylic paint on a variety of different types of wood, including pine, fir, cedar, and mahogany. However, you should avoid using it on high-gloss surfaces or unfinished wood, as the paint may not adhere properly to these surfaces.

There are a number of benefits to painting on wood, including the following:

-Wood is a durable surface that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

-It is easy to find wooden surfaces in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

-Wood is an affordable surface to paint on.

-It is easy to work with and you can sand down and stain if you need.

-Wood often has knots and grains that will come through the paint, adding to the visual interest of your piece.

There are a variety of different painting projects you can do using acrylic paint. Some examples include:

You can use acrylics for painting furniture pieces such as tables and chairs;

For painting wooden picture frames;

When painting wood cutouts for a wall or door; and

For painting on wooden toys.

1. Always work in a well-ventilated area when painting with acrylics. The paint contains solvents that can cause respiratory issues if you breathe in too much of the paint’s fumes.

2. Protect your work surface before painting on wood, using old newspapers or plastic sheets to do so. The paint can stain surfaces such as concrete and carpet.

3. Use a primer before painting over wood with acrylics; it will allow for better coverage and make your paint last longer.

4. Once your base coat has dried, sand the surface with 400-grit sandpaper before applying another layer of paint. This will allow for an even smoother finish to the wood.

5. Allow 24 hours for each layer of paint to dry before applying another one, as this will ensure that the layers bond together properly.

6. Use brushes that you can clean and reuse for your painting project, as it will reduce the amount of paint waste and save money over time.

7. For a smooth finish, apply three coats of high-quality paint to your piece; this will ensure even coloration and opacity throughout the entire piece.

8. You can use paint markers to add additional details and highlights before the final coat of acrylic dries.

9. Seal your finished piece using a spray sealant meant for surfaces such as wood, metal, or plastic. The sealant will protect the painting’s finish from fading and will prevent the surface of the wood.

10. To avoid water or moisture damage, never place your finished piece on an exterior surface; keep it inside instead for long-lasting results.

11. Paint your piece in sections, rather than painting the entire thing at once before moving onto another section; this will make the painting process easier and more efficient.

12. Store your paints in a dry, cool area away from direct sunlight to prevent them from drying out over time.

13. Clean up spills immediately with a damp cloth to prevent paint stains from staining your work surface or flooring.

Once your project is complete, you may want to take some additional steps to achieve a polished look. One way to do this is by using a sealant on the finished project. This will help to protect the paint and will keep dust from accumulating on the surface.

This will give it a shiny, glossy appearance and will help to protect the paint from scratches and chips.

Finally, you can add additional details and highlights to your project before the final coat of acrylic. These markers come in a variety of colors and can be used to create interesting designs and patterns.

If you want to save your piece for later, it’s important to store it away to protect the finish. One option is a plastic storage bin with a lid; this will keep the painting safe from dust and pests while still allowing