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It’s a clear fact that stained wood looks very attractive, richer, warmer, and imparts a beautiful look. Nonetheless, can you paint over stained wood? It’s a common query that always comes to mind when working as a professional painter. I was afraid of the settings, paint type, and desired results while working with stained wood. Undoubtedly, it was one of the most overwhelming tasks for me, especially for the first time.

Luckily, painting over stained wood is an achievable task with the best primer for painting over stained wood. It doesn’t matter if you want to paint the stained cabinets, old bookshelves, bathroom vanities, dressers, tables, chairs, or any wood transformations, it’s doable. There are numerous ways to paint stained wood but I’m sharing the best and easiest method. You will enjoy the best results regardless of the wood type you have. This ultimate guide will address: what type of paint to use over stained wood, can you paint over stained wood without priming, and everything about can you paint over stained wood furniture. Let’s begin!

Can you paint over stained wood furniture?

Yes, we can paint over stained wood easily and accurately. After painting, the furniture or wood cabinets look beautiful and fresh. Whether the furniture is too old, it will bring it back to life. However, the answer to the question can you paint over stained wood exterior depends on many factors.

First, how you follow the instructions and your painting skills. Painting over stained wood thoroughly depends on the stain used, the condition of the wood, and several other factors.

Can You Paint over Stained Wood-Infographics Tips
Important tips for paint over stained wood

Go for Latex Primer and Paint for Painting Over A Water-based Wood Satin

It’s a fact that water-based stain offers good adhesion with paint. After completing the overall preparations, start by applying the water—based latex primer. It is possible to use either a brush or a roller to apply the paint.

Here you can also go for tint the primer similar to the top color for efficient paint results. Ideally, you should apply at least two coats to ensure complete coverage. Make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying the second. Wait for a few hours and you are good to go for a second coat.

Do A Special Preparation While Painting Over Oil-based Wood Stains

It’s pretty easy to go with later paint or oil-based paint but it requires some sort of special preparation. Oil-based paints consist of high VOCs; therefore, always wear safety goggles, face mask, and gloves. It is important to keep your paint area well ventilated and to turn on the fan while you are painting.

After that, don’t forget to add quarter of a cup of Tri sodium Phosphate (TSP). Prepare it in one gallon of warm water. Wipe the surface with a soft cloth or sponge as it will help soak all the grime and dirt. Repeat it till all the residue get removed. For a completely dry surface, I let it air dry or use a dry cloth.

This formula is equally helpful for interior furniture paint. You can also go for exterior wood painting with this formula.

Use Chalk Paint with Polyurethane Top Coat For A Matte Finish

can you use chalk paint over stained wood

People usually asked that Can we paint over stained wood with chalk paint?

Well, chalk paints are also most common for stained wood. They imparts high adhesion and able to stick almost all surfaces.

Undoubtedly, it will offer an updated antique look for your furniture.

The application is a bit different and start by testing on an inconspicuous spot. Let it dry for almost 8 hours.

Check the drips of the paint, if the drips are visible, it means you can go without priming.

On the contrary, you can’t skip applying the primer. For better bonding, sealers are also helpful but buy them according to the type of wood.

There are some key differences between stain and paint, which we have already covered. So, you can check that too.

Can You Spray Paint Over Stained Wood?

Yes, of course, we can go with spray paint over stained wood. Undoubtedly, it’s very easy to perform this job because a sprayer brings many excellent features for wood painting. Without the right approach, you will not get good results for spray paint over stained wood. Therefore, set the right pressure and paint all over the surface thoroughly.

You can learn how to spray stain in paint sprayer in detail here.

How to Paint Over Stained Wood Step-by-step Guide

How to Paint Over Stained Wood

Regardless of the common factors, make the furniture look fresh by painting. Whether it’s your new home or an ancient one, painting stained wood is a DIY task if you follow the right instructions. Proper tool selection is compulsory to perform the job in good manners. Let’s move on to the crucial steps for painting stained wood.

Essential Tools & Supplies

  • Screwdriver
  • Tarps
  • Tack cloth
  • Paint brush or roller (multiple sizes)
  • Paint
  • Wood primer

Sand The Wood

Sanding is compulsory to get good paint strength and a smooth surface. I always recommend reading the manufacturer’s guide. 150 grit sandpaper is a good choice for all kinds of wood and imparts the best results. Sand everywhere on the surface, especially on the corners. Don’t apply too much force, perform this task gently.

Wipe Everywhere

Take a high-quality tack cloth and wipe everywhere on the wood furniture. It helps remove all the residue which can’t be removed by the sandpaper. Using tack cloth is necessary because paper towels do not provide efficient results.

Prepare The Wood

Wood preparation is crucial as it helps remove unnecessary things such as nails, holes, etc. Start by eliminating the nails, fill up the holes with plaster of Paris or spackling, and make other repairs. For tables or cabinets, remove the drawers, handles, or other things.

Apply The Primer to Wood

It’s a very important step and I don’t recommend skipping it. Keep in mind that stained wood is darker in color. Therefore, always buy a high-quality primer for the wood and apply it thoroughly. You must know what type of stains the furniture has i.e., oil-based or water-based. It will make the wood surface smooth.

Wait A While

You must wait and be patient after applying the primer. It will dry within a minimal time. Check the dry time on the container or wait for almost an hour. The dry time also depends on the humidity and available temperature.

Paint The Wood

After priming, the wood is ready to get painting. Take a new brush or roller and apply the paint coat. I recommend you go for latex paint or oil-based paints for furniture. For oil-based, beware of the toxic fumes and wear a face mask. Both paints last longer on wood. After that, don’t apply the second coat until the first one is dried properly.

If you’re wondering about an easy and practical way to update your wooden surfaces, check out the guide on using gel stain over paint.

Apply The Finish

Wood protection is a compulsory thing you must take care of. A polycrylic protective finish might be your primary choice. Take a soft cloth and apply it softly all over the wood. Congrats! You have done painting over stained wood.

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood without Sanding?

It’s always recommended by professional painters to start by sanding the wood before getting started. However, you can skip it while priming the wood. Likewise, there are many items you can go without sending such as trim molding, cabinets, etc. besides all, sanding is suggested for the best wood painting results.

Online Resource:

You can consult many online resources before painting stained wood. Here are a few helpful tips in this Washington post article, but it does not give comprehensive, step-by-step instructions.

Finally, this detailed guide may assist you in getting started!

Furthermore, paint professionals at PPG paints are available to answer any questions you may have before or during the process!

FAQs On can you paint over stained wood

What kind of paint do you use on stained wood?

You can go for painting stained wood with numerous paints. Nonetheless, some of them are extremely common such as spray paints, oil-based paints, and latex paints. All these paints bring the best results on stained furniture.

What is the best way to paint over stained wood?

The finest way is to follow the right procedure. Start by sanding and cleaning the wood all around. Primer the wood and let it dry. In the end, apply at least two coats of paint to get the best-stained wood painting results.

Do I need to prime stained wood before painting?

Yes, it’s compulsory to prime the stained wood before painting. Otherwise, the paint you are using will not adhere to the wood surface. Also, it will not dry properly and will be eliminated in a few weeks.

Can You Paint Directly Onto Stained Wood?

Yes, it’s pretty straightforward to apply the paint on stained wood directly. Several methods guide you to paint directly onto the stained wood but only choose a suitable paint according to the furniture type. Also, the selection of paint depends on other factors such as wood’s condition, structure of the stained wood, etc.

Conclusion On Can you paint over stained wood!

In conclusion, painting over stained wood is a simple process as long as you follow the steps. It’s a simple DIY task, everyone can perform. Don’t forget to bring the necessary tools and equipment for the best results. To get the best results, give some time to the paint before applying the second coat. I always recommend completing the painting over the stained wood task in about two days.

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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