Can You Spray Paint Wood? (Yes! Best Methods & DIY Steps)

Spray painting furniture and other items is a quick and affordable way to spruce up your home. However, you don’t want to waste time or money during a home renovation, no matter how expansive it is. Can you spray paint wood? Read our handy guide for our advice. 

Can spray paint be used on wood? Spray paint is paint in a sealed pressurized can that comes out of a valve button nozzle. It creates a smooth, even coat of paint and is loved for its range of styles and portability.

You can find spray paint in enamel, lacquer, and epoxy formulas in a range of colors and finishes. This lightweight painting style is often used in small to medium projects, such as home DIY, graffiti murals, and art projects. 

As a rule, spray paint can be used on wood, metal, and brick with the right prep. Some wood needs to be sanded and dusted before painting, while others can just be painted without a primer.

You want a smooth and dust-free finish, meaning any wooden item that is tarnished or damaged needs prep. Spray paint can stick better to wood that has been prepped and primed, but it is not always necessary. 

Can You Spray Paint Wood

Can You Spray Paint Wood Furniture?   

Wooden furniture is one of the most spray-painted items. DIY fans love how easy and quick it is to give old favorites a facelift. From that vintage cabinet to your worn dining table, you can instantly bring new life to your furniture with a few coats of paint. False wood furniture can also be spray painted without the sanding for a smooth facelift.  

Can You Spray Paint A Wood Deck?  

Can you spray paint wood for the outside? While spray paint is handy and affordable, it may not always be the most cost-effective option for larger projects like decks.

It is possible to put normal paint in a spray painter for the same effect at a potentially cheaper cost. You would need to do the research before deciding on the best method. 

If you are only spray-painting parts of your deck and staining the rest, however, you can mark off any areas that you don’t want to paint and use spray paint just fine. You can even find hardy paint formulas that will withstand hot summers of regular use.  

Can You Spray Paint Glossy/Shiny Wood? 

A smooth and dust-free finish is key to having a perfectly spray-painted item. If your desired project has already received a glossy coat, you are faced with either giving it a quick clean and spray painting it or sanding and priming it before painting. Which you choose depends on the style and finish you want from your final product. 

Why Use Spray Paint On Wood Or Wooden Furniture? (Pros & Cons)

When deciding whether to paint or spray paint wood, you should know the pros and cons of spray painting it. 

  • Fast application and drying times 
    One of the most significant benefits of spray paint comes down to its quick turnaround. Thanks to their thin layers, it is easy for paint to dry in half an hour or less before moving on to the next layer. 
  • Lightweight and portable 
    Thanks to their sealed pressurized cans, spray paint is very easy to store and move from project to project. You can simply put some in a bag or box and be on your way.
  • Range of colors and finishes 
    No matter what design you have in mind, there are sure to be colors and finishes that help bring your vision to life. 
  • Affordable for small to medium projects 
    Spray paint comes in a range of qualities and price tags, but most folks can afford to pick up a can or two and get painting.
  • Different nozzles 
    Just as there is a range of paintbrushes, there is also a range of nozzles to choose from. Each nozzle can give a different effect, expanding your project’s horizons.
  • Smooth, thin, even layers 
    Unlike painting with a roller or brush, spray paint gives smooth thin, and even layers with every stroke. Provided you stay the recommended distance from the surface and prepped it correctly, you can be confident in receiving a perfect finish.
  • Can be expensive for large projects 
    While spray paint is affordable for small-scale to medium projects, it may not be the best option for larger projects. 
  • Can spurt or clog the nozzle 
    Spray paint nozzles can squirt or otherwise produce less than perfect results if the nozzle is not cleaned and unclogged correctly. 
How To Prime A Paint Sprayer

How To Properly Spray Paint Wood? (Best Way + Pro Tips) 

Here is our guide on the best way to spray paint furniture and other wooden items. For the best results, we recommend avoiding spray painting in windy or dusty conditions. 

Materials: 

  • Object/s you want to paint 
  • Spray paint 
  • Drop cloths/plastic/old newspapers 
  • Protective clothing and face wear 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Primer 
  • Paint 
  • Topcoat 
  • Cloths and rags 
  • 1
    Ventilate your painting area and put on protective gear.
  • 2
    Cover the area with drop cloths etc.
  • 3
    Remove any hardware if necessary.
  • 4
    Clean the item by vacuuming and wiping it down with a damp cloth.
  • 5
    Wrap any areas you do not want to paint with painter’s tape.
  • 6
    Sand your surface if necessary. We recommend starting rough and working down to a finer grit.
  • 7
    Vacuum and dust your project again as above.
  • 8
    Spray on a primer according to manual instruction (optional). Leave it to dry for the recommended amount of time.
  • 9
    Apply your chosen spray paint as recommended, leaving it to dry in between coats for the suggested time. Make sure to keep your hand and the nozzle around 10 inches away from the project’s surface with each stroke. 
  • 10
    Repeat for 1-2 more coats.
  • 11
    Apply up to three layers of topcoat if necessary.
  • 12
    Leave your project to dry for at least 24 hours to a week.
  • 13
    Put the hardware back on and remove the painter’s tape. 

While spray paint can dry in less than an hour, each formula is different; follow manufacturer instructions carefully for optimal results. 

unwrapping scotch tape

Common Wood Spray Painting Questions

How long does the spray paint take to dry on wood? 

Wood is a particularly porous material that soaks up paint rather than letting it sit on the surface. This, combined with the thin stroke from the can itself, enables the paint to dry in typically 10-30 minutes or so. 


However, this depends on a variety of factors, including the ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed, and type of paint.  


How long does spray paint last on wood? 

How long a paint job on any material will last depends on various factors, including whether the paint was sealed, how often and gently it is handled, the material of the object, and more. You may likely have to top up the paint job sometime in the future. 


Conclusion

Knowing how to spray paint wood properly is the first step in transforming any project. If you prep well and carefully consider your options beforehand, you can make any design come to life.