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

Spray painting wood furniture and other items is a quick and affordable way to spruce up your home.

You don’t want to waste time or money during a home renovation, no matter how  much spray paint costs. 

Can you best spray paint wood? Read our handy guide for our advice. 

Can best spray paint be used on bare 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.

Use a piece of cloth or a towel and some soapy water to clean any dust and debris off of the wood. Most furniture pieces just need some elbow grease, soapy water and a soft cloth.

You can find the best 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 paints can be used on wood, metal, and brick with the right prep. Some spray painting wood furniture needs to be lightly sand and dusted before painting wood, while other spray paints can just be spray painted wood without a spray primer.

You can apply the primer dry directly to a varnished surface, but only if you use a high-bonding Primer.

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

A spray gun can provide a more even finish and is a worthwhile investment, particularly if you are spray painting more than one item. You can bring new life to wood furniture with spray paint!

Can You Spray Paint Wood

Can You Spray Paint Wood Furniture?   

Spray paint wood 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 water based or oil based paint like rust oleum 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  dust-free and smooth finish is key to having a perfectly spray-painted wood 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 spray painting furniture. 

Which you choose depends on the style and smooth 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 to dry paint 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 get from a local hardware 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 furniture 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 marks, spray paint gives smooth thin, and even layers with every stroke. Provided you stay the recommended distance from the wood surface and prepped it correctly, you can be confident in receiving a perfect finish.
  • Can be expensive for large projects 
    While spray paint for wood 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) 

Whatever wood you want to spray paint, a good preparation routine is key to a good paint job.

Here is our guide on the best way to spray paint for wood furniture and other wooden surface items.

For the best results, we recommend avoiding spray painting in windy or dusty conditions. 


  • Spray paint or oil based paints 
  • Drop cloths/plastic/old newspapers 
  • Protective clothing and face wear 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Fine grit sandpaper or rough grit sandpaper
  • Spray Primer 
  • Paint Primer 
  • Topcoat 
  • Cloths and rags 

Step By Step Guide

  • 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 wood 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 primer according to manual instruction (optional). Leave it to dry for the recommended amount of time.
  • 9
    Apply spray paint as recommended, leaving it to paint 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 wood 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 paint dry for at least 24 hours 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 surfaces can have paint dry in typically 10-30 minutes or so. Wood is a particularly porous material that soaks up paint rather than letting it sit on the surface. 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 bare wood? 

Spray painting will likely last 3-12 months. How long a paint job on any material will depend on various factors.


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.