It’s easier than you think to transform a piece of old wood into something beautiful using just a little paint. For this, acrylics are your best choice.

While it’s possible to paint on wood right away, there are a few steps that we recommend to take your artwork to the next level, ensuring a neater and longer-lasting finish. This step-by-step guide which will teach you how to paint on wood with acrylic.

1. Prep your wood

The key to a successful wood painting is to prepare the wood properly. Having a good base to work on really does make all the difference. Firstly, start by sanding down the wood. This step is essential in achieving a smooth surface. You may find that your wood has already been sanded down, and if this is the case, go ahead and skip this step. However, if you do need to sand down your wood, we recommend doing so with 140 to 180-grit sandpaper or a sanding sponge. Simply dust off any excess grains with a clean cloth and ensure that your piece of wood is as smooth as possible.

2. Apply a primer

This step often goes amiss when it comes to painting on wood. Applying a thin layer of wood primer will help seal the wood, allowing the acrylic paint to apply easier. When a layer of primer is applied, lighter colours will also appear more vibrant. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before proceeding. If you are looking for an even smoother surface, repeat the process of sanding and priming until you reach your desired texture. The smoother the better!

3. Adding a background 

It’s good to start with a base layer. Select the colour of your choice as your background colour, and add a small amount onto a palette. Please note that acrylic paint dries fairly quickly, so only pour out your background colour at this stage. You can use any type of acrylic you like for painting on wood. Take a look at our brilliant range of acrylic paints here if you are looking for some. 

Use a wide, flat paintbrush to apply the paint to the wood. Allow the paint to dry before applying a second coat, and then paint the back if you wish. Most acrylic paints will take roughly 20 minutes to dry. However, this will vary depending on the brand of paint you use and how thick the layers are.

4. Adding details

Once your background layer is dry, it’s time to get onto adding the details. Use a soft brush of your choice to do this, and be careful when applying the acrylic. Ensure that you are dipping your paintbrush into water often to keep the bristles clean and soft. It is still important to do this even if you are using only one colour. Once you have completed your artwork, allow it to dry completely.

5. Apply a sealant

Applying a sealant is important as it will protect your artwork from peeling or chipping. Sealers come in a wide range of finishes, so select one of your choice. You can choose from a range of finishes, including matte, gloss, satin and many more. It’s up to you whether you choose to use either spray-on or brush-on sealer – each application is different but the results are the same.

Apply a thin coat and allow to dry. Voila! You have your finished acrylic artwork on wood. These look great as wall hangings or simply as they are.

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