Is Wood Acceptable For Wall Paint? - Answers & Solutions  

Is Wood Acceptable For Wall Paint?

You are now prepared to paint or apply a finish to your woodworking product. You’re cleaning up your storage shed or garage and you find a can of interior paint. The packaging is still sealed, therefore the book is in pristine condition.

In light of this, it seems silly to go out and buy new paint. Is it possible to use regular wall paint on wood?

Wood furniture can be painted with wall paint. Water-based and oil-based paints both give wood a beautiful polish. Before you can apply paint with a brush, roller, or sprayer, you’ll need to give the surface a light sanding.

This post will show why interior wall paint isn’t always the greatest option when painting wood. Specifically, this is from the perspective of completing wooden structures. We’ll get more into the question of whether you should paint your wood before or after you cut it, as well as the colours you should opt for instead.

All right, let’s get started.

What Is Wall Paint and What’s In It?

But what exactly is paint for walls? Wall paint, often known as interior paint, is a specific type of commercial paint. Wall paint is what you’ll find in a can at your local hardware store.

While some varieties of wall paint include primer already integrated into the paint, others do not. The time-consuming process of priming, waiting for the primer to dry, painting, and then touching up has been eliminated, allowing you to instead apply only one or two coats of paint.

Wall paint is either oil-based or water-based, which may be determined by flipping the paint bucket over and looking at the ingredients. For the time being, let’s talk about the two distinct categories of colour.

Oil-Based Wall Paint

Oil-based paint may be the best option if you need to paint a variety of surfaces throughout the house. This paint dries to a glossy, visually pleasing sheen and has exceptional durability. Oil paint is the best option for use in high-humidity areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

On the other hand, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in many oil-based paints. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paint are responsible for the scent you’ll notice as soon as you open the lid on your new can of wall colour.

VOCs are hazardous to both human and environmental health if left unchecked. While volatile organic compound (VOC) levels in paint are strictly regulated these days, oil-based paints and most other types of wall paint still contain some VOCs.

The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in oil-based paint also contribute to the extremely pungent odour you’ll experience while using this paint. While you are painting, it is important to have the room well ventilated. Don’t forget to take breaks as often as possible!

Water-Based Wall Paint

The disadvantages of oil-based paint have led to the widespread use of water-based paints for interior walls. These paints don’t require any special preparation, and they dry very rapidly.

Water-based paints have many advantages over oil-based paints, including their inability to fracture, their resistance to mildew and fading, and the fact that they emit fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) over time.

Because of the water content of this wall paint, any messes made when painting can be easily washed away with just a little more water.

Can You Use Wall Paint on Wood?

Now that you know a little bit more about wall paint, I’ll answer the question that’s been bothering you. That is, can you paint a wooden wall with a wall paint?

Although wall paints can be applied to most wooden surfaces, a perfectly smooth and polished end result is not always guaranteed. Wood grain can also be obscured by using regular wall paint.

Rather than using a roller to apply the oil-based wall paint you have on hand to your woodworking project, you should go out and get a paintbrush.

Don’t pick up the first paintbrush that comes along. A more expensive, higher-quality brush is what you’re after.

When working with oil-based wall paint on wood, a primer is required. Wood’s high absorption properties mean it will try to soak up your oil-based paint without a primer, which will only impair the quality of your paintjob.

Since latex and oil-based wall paint don’t get along, you should avoid using latex primers. Opening a window or many is a good way to protect yourself and your painting companions from the potent vapours given off by oil-based paint.

Which Paint Should You Use for Wood Instead?

Water-based paints like acrylic and latex are your best bet for a high-quality woodworking project. What you need to know about paints that are safe for use on wood is outlined below.

Water-Based Paint

Most wood pre-treatments are unnecessary if you are using water-based paint on your woodworking project. Time is saved by using this method.

Would you prefer oil-based paint for your walls over the water-based stuff now available? If you want the sheen and durability of oil-based paint but prefer water, you can always get paint that contains waterborne alkyds or aqueous enamels.

Milk paint, chalk paint, and other water-based paints may not give you the same level of depth as oil-based paint, but at least you know what you’re getting into. Nonetheless, the hue will hold up over time.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint, a latex derivative that can be diluted with water, combines the advantages of both oil and water paintings. Amazing longevity and striking colour vibrancy are provided by acrylic resins in the paint, and the water component of acrylic paint means clean-up is a breeze.

Putting acrylic paint directly onto unprimed wood will not work. It’s worth it to go to the trouble, though, because one coat of paint is usually sufficient to seal wood. In general, acrylic finishes can be touched up after two hours.

Then, you have four hours to make any necessary adjustments. Acrylic paint may be used on a wide variety of surfaces, including brick, metal, and plastic, making it a versatile DIY tool.

Because of its elasticity, acrylic may expand and contract with the weather without fracturing. This produces a sturdy finish that keeps paint from flaking and keeps moisture out of the wood. Similarly, acrylic paint is excellent at preventing the growth of mildew, just as water-based paint.

A coat of acrylic paint will not fade or peel, even if your woodworking project is left in the sunlight.

When using acrylic paint, it’s important to have a high-quality brush. It doesn’t have the same fluidity as oil-based paint, so your brushstrokes may be more visible. If the brushstrokes really irritate you, you can simply apply an enamel, conditioner, or any other paint additive to smooth them out.

Make sure you’re using raw, unfinished wood if you’re going to be painting with acrylics. Old paint may jar to the surface due to the acrylics’ bouncy nature, spoiling the appearance of your work.

Latex Paint

You can also use latex paint if you like for your woodworking project. The acrylic resin is another component of this paint. Applying latex paint is best for larger surfaces, so save it for those massive wooden shelves and cabinets.

The shine of latex paint can be brought out with a topcoat, which is why we recommend using one if you’re trying for a matte or satin finish on your wood project. Otherwise, a topcoat isn’t required for semi-glossy or glossy latex because it already has a smooth and lustrous finish.

There are drawbacks common to both acrylic and latex paint because their components are identical. In the case of latex paint, for instance, the brushstrokes you make would be quite visible, diminishing the overall aesthetic value of your work.

Brushstrokes can be disguised when using a latex paint product like Floetrol.

Should You Cut Wood Before or After Painting It?

You have chosen a wood paint for your project based on the information in this page. Holding a paintbrush in one hand and a saw in the other, you may be debating which order to follow when preparing a piece of wood for painting.

Wood should be trimmed prior to painting to avoid damaging the paint. There are a few reasons why this is helpful. Any drilling or sawing done near painted wood is guaranteed to cause apparent traces of damage, such as cracks. It would be a waste of time to go back and fix things.

Cutting the wood to size before painting it is preferable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you won’t have to deal with breathing in paint fumes while you work.

Inhaling paint fumes for an extended amount of time can create symptoms like nausea, dizziness, and headaches; none of which are desirable when you’re trying to get work done.


Painting a woodworking project is a safe bet with water-based paints, especially latex and acrylic paints. Even if you only have wall paints, you can get by with those. As long as you paint the wood after you’ve cut it, you should be fine.



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