How to Spray Paint Wood

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Things You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • 2 tbsp. liquid dish soap
  • Cloth
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Spray primer
  • Spray paint

Spray painting wood is a simple way to customize a piece of furniture or art. Wood is naturally porous, so it is necessary to apply a coat of primer before spray painting to prevent the wood from absorbing all the paint. The primer will also make the color bolder. Sanding the wood beforehand ensures an even application of the spray paint, and gives the primer a better hold on the wood surface.

Fill a bowl with warm water and add 2 tbsp. of liquid dishwashing detergent. Dip a clean rag in the soapy water and wipe down the surface of the wood to remove any dust or grime. Rinse the cloth and wipe the wood again to remove the soap residue. Let the wood air dry for 24 hours.

Sand the surface of the wood with a fine grain sandpaper. Follow the grain of the wood while sanding. This will remove any existing varnishes or potential splinters. Stop sanding when the surface feels smooth.

Wipe the wood with tack cloth to remove dust from sanding.

Shake a can of spray-on primer for two minutes. Hold the can 12 inches from the surface of the wood and begin spraying on the primer in a back-and-forth motion. Overlap each pass by one-third. Continue until you cover then entire surface of the wood. Let the primer dry according to the package directions.

Shake the can of spray paint for two minutes. Hold the can 10 to 12 inches from the surface of the wood and begin spraying on the paint in a back-and-forth motion. Overlap the passes by one-third each time. After each 60 second period of spraying, shake the can for 10 seconds. Continue until you have painted the entire wood surface.

Let the wood dry according to the directions on the spray paint can.


About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Photo Credits

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