How To Paint Stained Wood

How To Paint Wood

How to paint over stained / varnish wood without sanding

Preparing the surface properly and choosing a quality primer are key components to the success of painting cabinets.

Painting your cabinets will open a broad color pallet, so you can create the look and feel you want for your kitchen area or any other areas for that matter.

This section will lay out a simple guide to get you started on your painting- as well as the tools youll need.

How To Paint Stained Wood Without Sanding Or Priming

There are so many ways to freshen up the design of your home. One of the best ways to do this is to paint over wood surfaces in the interior of your home. This has become an extremely popular practice among many. From cabinets, dressers, and shelves, to trim, you can provide an instant makeover to your home by adding a fresh paint job.

Thats why we decided for this weeks blog to share the best way to paint over wood surfaces. You need to know how to do a proper paint job when painting over stains, polys, and other finishes found on wood surfaces.

To make your paint look like it was done by a master painter, youll need to take one of two methods: the traditional method, or the Oil Bond method. Well outline each of these methods and show how the Oil Bond method saves time, effort, and if youre a professional painter, big money on the job site.

How To Tell If Youre Dealing With Oil Or Water

Wow! The process of handling oil and water-based stains is totally different. What if youve got a piece of vintage furniture, and you cant tell what it was stained with?

Heres an easy test that you can do without any addition equipment. Just take a little bit of water and sprinkle it onto the surface of your furniture. If the water beads up, its an oil-based stain. If the water doesnt, then its water-based. Keep in mind that this isnt always 100% accurate and further testing with solvents like Goo Gone might be needed to get the most accurate results.

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Latex Primer And Paint For Painting Over A Water

Paint adheres well over water-based stains, so those are easier to deal with. Apply a water-based latex primer with a brush or a roller after the above steps. Ask the store where you bought the primer to tint it to a similar color as the paint. Then, apply a coat of latex paint over the primer. Wait for the first coat to dry overnight, and apply another coat.

Shade Option 8 And : Raw Wood Finish

Solved! Can You Paint Over Wood Stain? in 2020

The natural wood look is so popular especially on farmhouse furniture now. You can get the same look of a raw wood finish on large or small projects with this easy faux finish. I have painted several pieces of furniture in this finish in the past year and I have been so happy with how they mimic the natural beauty of raw wood surfaces. You can see how to do this natural color finish here: Easy Raw Wood FInish.

To get the natural color of bleached raw wood, you can also follow the directions in the above post by adding one easy step.

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Brush On The Layer 2 Mixture

Apply the second coat of stain with the corresponding layer 2 mixture for your stain color. Repeat the exact same process in Step 5 when we painted on the glaze the first time. But this time, you might want to go a little thinner so you can see more of layer 1 show through this layer. If you want a darker stain, go heavy with layer two.

For the Dark Walnut stain, it kind of looks purplish after brushing on layer 2 but I promise it dries in a beautiful rich brown. All of the stains dry a little lighter and more contrasty than when the paint is wet.

DRIFTWOOD FINISH FINAL STEP: If you are doing the driftwood finish, you have one step to add to your paint job before you add a clear coat. Let layer 2 dry overnight and mix 1 part glaze and 1 part white paint. You will now dab the very tips of your bristles on the white glaze paint mixture and then use a paper plate to wipe off most of it.

When you are sure you have almost no paint on your brush, brush back and forth in the direction of your paint to give a light dry-brush effect. You can see the full tutorial for this paint finish here: Easy Driftwood Finish on Furniture

Ending Thoughts On What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Stained Wood

Painting over stained wood can give your furniture a new and fresh look. You can make your home look more modern if you want, or rustic and vintage. Painting is an easy and effective tool, if only you know how to do it right.

You can paint over any stain as long as you follow the priming procedure. Use the correct stain-blocking primer to make the process easier.

We hope that this guide has been helpful! You can now embark on your wood-painting journey equipped with the right materials.

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How To Paint Over Wood Stain Or Dye

Find out how to paint over wood stain or dye correctly to get a great finish. To get the very best finish when painting over stain and dye you need to prepare the existing surface correctly. To do this you need to sand it down to provide a key for the new top coat paint and once sanded you need to seal the existing surface using a stain blocking primer/sealer. Once primed and rubbed down again, the new top coat paint can then be applied. Using this method you should get the very best finish possible.

Painting over wood stain or wood dye thats been applied to a timber surface or other timber item may on face value seem like a pretty easy job. You just paint your chosen top coat colour over the top right?

Unfortunately its not quite as simple as this if you actually want the new paint finish to last and look good. To ensure that it does, what you need to do is either remove the existing finish or seal it with a primer sealer so that you can paint over it.

With the above in mind, read on to find out exactly how this is done.

Why Cant I Just Paint Over The Existing Wood Stain

How to paint over stain / varnish surface – No Sanding

The main reason that you cant simply paint straight over wood stain or dye is that essentially most wood stains tend to be a coloured or tinted varnish and the majority of wood dyes, once applied to an object, are then coated with varnish or lacquer to protect them.

The main issue comes with this protective varnish coating varnish by its nature creates a tough, glossy and waterproof layer to protect the surface beneath it from any and all external elements.

For paint and many other top coat finishes to stay stuck to the surface their applied to, they need to be able to fully bond to that surface.

The presence of the varnish prevents this from happening meaning that the paint simply sits on top. Without the necessary bond it will soon flake or chip off, or at best, look uneven and streaky.

Not preparing stained surfaces correctly can lead to a poor, streaky painted finish and eventually peeling

So, armed with this information, you should now hopefully see why just slapping paint over wood stain or dye is not the way to go if you are looking for a good, long lasting finish.

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Cleaning Before You Work

Before the brushes, the sanding, and the painting, we need to clean our furniture or other stained wood project.

Use warm soapy water to remove any dust, dirt, and cobwebs before we really get to work. Nothing ruins a paint job like accidentally painting over a cobweb or a grimy patch on the side of a new table.

Cleaning ensures you are working with the best piece of furniture you have to work with!

It can be tempting to skip this step, but take our word for it, cleaning is the most important step of painting over stained wood!

Once your project dries, youre ready to move onto step two.

How To Faux Stain Over Paint: Surface Prep Work

Stop! Before you do anythingtake a before pic of your furniture piece. When you are done, post the before and after pics here, so I can see the amazing work youve done!

If you are new to furniture painting, my best piece of advice is to use a piece of scrap wood as a sample board. You can stay one step ahead on the sample board so you can practice and gain confidence. If you mess up, its no big deal because youve only messed up a piece of scrap wood.

Be sure to lay down drop cloths to protect your work area so any excess stain doesnt get on your garage floor.

Now, lightly sand your piece to a smooth finish and then wipe off the sanding dust with a lint-free cloth, or moist paper towel. Its important that the wood surface is in good condition for this painting technique. If you have any damage on your furniture piece be sure to check out this post on How to Fix Furniture Damageso you fill any holes or scratches with wood filler to a smooth surface for your faux finish.

I like to use a mouse sander and you can see which I prefer here: Best Sanders for Wood Furniture. You are not sanding off the existing finish. You are just simply scuffing up the surface to accept paint and it will take less than 5 minutes with very little effort. I give a full tutorial on how to sand here: How to Sand Furniture in 5 Minutes or Less

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Does Stain Protect Wood

No, stain does not protect wood. A sealer provides the first line of defense against water damage, decay, and UV rays. After that, stain adds beauty while still allowing the wood to breathe. If you have an older deck, staining it can revive its appearance and give it new life.

Stain comes in a variety of colors and opacity levels. You can choose from clear to solid, and there are even some semi-transparent options. The level of opacity will determine how much of the woods grain is visible.

When shopping for stain, always check the labels carefully. Some products advertised as stain are actually sealers that dont provide any color. Others may be pigmented stains that dont penetrate the woods surface, sitting on top like paint. Neither of these products will do a good job of protecting your deck.

The basic purpose of staining wood is to get the natural color and not protect it. However, it does manage to protect against moisture. But it fails when protecting against UV radiations, heavy rain, and more external factors. Still, it protects at some level but not as much as paint. For premium protection, paint is often used and proven helpful. Besides, paint also gives a brand-new look to the wood.

How Do You Paint Over Stained And Varnished Wood

How To Paint Over Finished Or Stained Wood?

Here is our DIY guide on painting over stained wood using the right tools and procedures.

Whats needed to paint over wood stain:

  • Sandpaper : Sandpaper is an important aspect of the process. Its used to prepare the surface of the wood before painting it. Sanding is made easy on your hands when you use a sponge or a sandpaper block. Consider purchasing a sheet sander if you want to finish your project more quickly.
  • Primer: A good paint primer seals the wood and prevents the paint from seeping in. Primer also hides flaws and cuts down on the number of coats youll need to apply.
  • Paintbrushes: Make sure you have plenty of foam paintbrushes and foam rollers. For both the priming and painting steps, youll need new ones.
  • Tack cloth: This type of fabric is produced specifically for woodworking and is extremely inexpensive. To clean excess paint and dust from the wood, youll need a set.
  • Protective Finish: The right finish makes all the difference. Choose a reputable brand of polyacrylic that dries quickly and lasts a long time.

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Wood Stain Vs Paint On Furniture

Natural Look Full color look

When it comes to Wood stain vs Paint on furniture both look brilliant on furniture however, they may vary a lot in the finish. Paint offers a wide range of variety, but the stain has restricted colors. Since the stain provides a natural look, its colors do not vary too much from the original look.

Another significant difference to notice for furniture is covering the furnitures flaws. If its mild, sanding and applying the stain can make it look new. But you may require painting single or double layers to cover the severe issues to make the piece look new again.

Before You Get Started: Pick Your Stain Color

This paint/stain process has 9 different options to choose from and they all look stunning. There are lighter and darker colors to give you a full-color range to make finding the perfect color easy. You can see examples of some of these shades on furniture at the bottom of this post.

The process for each stain color is the same, just slightly different paint colors are used for each stain. After you have picked your stain color, see the information below on what sample containers of latex paint to buy.

The stains above can all be made darker by adding more stain paint. So if you are looking for a darker version of one of the stains above, its easy to get that look!

Now that you know what shade you are going to paint on your furniture piece, you can find out what sample colors you will need below.

For each of the colors listed, you will need to get a half-pint sample size of paint that looks like this in the Sherwin Williams paint at Lowes. You can use any latex paint as long as it is color-matched to those colors but the glaze is only sold at Lowes.

If you are new to getting paint at the paint counter, no worries! Just go into your nearest Lowes and tell them you want a Sherwin Williams Sample container in . The samples always come in a satin sheen so they probably wont ask you what sheen. I usually tell them Ill be back and loiter around the store for a few minutes until my paint is done.

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What Is The Difference Between Wood Stain And Wood Paint

Wood stain basically contains color pigments that penetrate deep into the wood while giving a natural look besides enhancing the original look and color. When it comes to wood paint, it provides a colorful protective layer while covering all the holes and cracks to give an entirely new look to the wood.

Another difference between these two products is that stain will protect your wood from weathering, while paint will not. This is because the stain penetrates deep into the wood, creating a barrier against moisture and sunlight.

Also the cost of wood stain is cheaper than the cost of paint.

If you want to show off the natural beauty of your wood, go with a stain. If you want to change the color of your wood or protect it from the elements, go with a paint.

Can You Paint Over Stain

How to Use Paint as a Wood Stain | Rockler Skill Builders

While stained wood is an attractive look, giving your cabinets or a fresh coat of paint can bring your home back to life. But can you paint over stain? The right answer depends on several factors, including how much time you can allocate to the project and your skill level.

The process used for painting over stained wood depends on the type of stain you use, the current condition of the wood, and whether or not the piece youre painting is furniture.

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Apply A Layer Of Finish

A finish layer is important to protect the stained wood piece. A polycrylic protective finish will protect the integrity of the paint job for a long time. Depending on the product, you can apply the finish with an aerosol or a cloth.

Topcoat is another form of protective finish that protects against moisture, scratches, and the sun. If you have pets or kids, then you should spring for a topcoat layer.

Add the topcoat to the painted wood surface using a fresh brush or foam roller. Try to make the application as even as you can. Then, wait for the topcoat to dry. Under normal circumstances, it can take 24 hours for a topcoat layer to dry.

If you notice an untouched spot after the protective finish dries, you can add a second layer. Just make sure to touch every part of the wood piece this time around.

Tools And Equipment Used In Painting Stained Wood

Tack cloth


1. Get suitable paint for your wood be it chalk paint, latex, alkyd, water, or oil-based paint. Get the one that suits your furniture perfectly.

2. In any woodwork, sanding is a major aspect and shouldnt be omitted. Sanding enhances a wonderful finish.

3. Before painting your wood, make sure you clean using a tack cloth. You can get a tack cloth at any nearest hardware store.

4. When painting over stained wood, apply 3 to 4 coats of paint, and most importantly, let it dry completely in between coats.

5. Also, while the paint is still wet, clean any form of lumps.


Can I paint over painted wood?

Definitely, you can paint over your painted wood. Perhaps you dont like the color of your furniture, all you have to do is simply get paint that suits your furniture best.

How do I go about painting crevices on my wood?

Painting crevices can be so tactical,, but you can get brushes that are basically designed for that and take your time to paint.

How can I paint worn-out painted wood?

Having peeling paint on our furniture can be so uncool. To start with, you can get a hand scraper to totally peel off the paint, but while doing this be careful not to disfigure the wood by creating dents in it. Then you can use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the wood before going on to clean the wood and finally paint.

Best paint for painted wood?

Latex or oil-based paint?

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