Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Expert Home ReportExpert Home Report

Home Tips

9 Tips For Painting Stripped Wood

How to Effectively Paint Stripped Wood

Painting stripped wood can seem like a hard task, especially when it’s wood that’s been painted many times before. The paint becomes faded and peels away from the grooves of the wood easily. I recently tested out different methods of how to paint stripped wood and came up with some tips and tricks to make it an easier process.

What is the best way to paint stripped wood? The best tip for painting stripped wood is to prepare the surface by sanding it. If you don’t, then your paint will not stick to the wood surface and it will eventually peel away after a few weeks of drying.

It is important to use a sander that is not too harsh, but light enough to remove the wood’s top layers. If you sand it too hard, then you risk getting down to the bare wood or plywood, which is difficult to paint over. For areas that are harder to reach with a sander, I recommend using an electric hand drill instead.

Many homeowners who are trying to save funds often choose to tackle at-home projects themselves. Painting stripped wood can be a relatively simple task if done correctly. That’s why we have compiled a list of the best tips for painting stripped wood, making this a fun project!

9 Tips for Effectively Painting Stripped Wood

There are several tips I’ve found to make painting stripped wood more effective and efficient.

1. Prime the Wood Before Painting

Before you can even begin painting stripped wood, it must be primed first. This will ensure that the paint sticks to the wood after drying and it protects the bare wood from damage. It also ensures that your paint job looks more professional once finished with the stripping, sanding, priming, and then finally applying two coats of paint.

2. Sand Lightly Before Priming

Sand the stripped wood lightly before you prime or paint. It is important not to overdo this step. Doing so can lead to you getting down to the plywood or onto sections of untreated wood around grooves or crevices in particular places on furniture or accessories.

3. Use a Paintbrush for Stripped Wood Projects

Painting Stripped WoodIf you try to paint stripped wood with a roller, the fibers of the wood will likely get stuck in it and cause an issue. You’ll also want to use a smaller paintbrush to ensure that you don’t need as much paint as you would using a brush attached to a handle.

This helps you conserve more of your primer and paint mixture so that it goes further than if you had tried painting stripped wood with a full-length brush.

4. Be Careful Applying Primer on Unwanted Areas

Sometimes there are sections of hardware or surfaces that you do not want to be painted, such as drawers and cabinet doors, and sometimes this can be difficult to avoid. You’ll want to mask off these areas or cover them with painter’s tape and newspaper before applying the primer so that you don’t accidentally get any on those surfaces.

5. Layering is Key When Painting Stripped Wood

It is best to apply thin layers of paint, allowing it to dry completely between coats, instead of applying too much at once and then leaving it sitting for an extended period.

This leads to lap marks and brush strokes which are something you will want to avoid when painting stripped wood. It’s better instead to get in there after each layer has dried so that you can smooth out any crevices or rough edges before adding another coat on top of it.

6. Use Newspaper as a Dropcloth

This is a smart tip – painting stripped wood can often cause splatter, leading to accidental marks on your floor or furniture that you do not want. To avoid this, place newspaper down as a drop cloth so that paint does not get on anything it’s not supposed to be on.

7. Use Painter’s Tape for Harder-to-Reach Areas

Painter’s tape does more than just protect cabinet doors and drawers from getting primer or paint on them! It also helps you reach places that are hard to access with a paintbrush. This allows you to create straight lines instead of trying to do freehand brushstrokes around areas like the back of dressers or nightstands.

8. Enlist a Friend to Help When Painting Stripped Wood

Painting stripped wood can be tricky, especially if you’re working on a larger project such as a bookcase or entertainment center. Save yourself some time and energy by having someone else help you paint the wood. It’s much easier when there are two sets of hands! Plus, they may even want to join in on the fun and have a little bit of themselves added to your masterpiece.

9. Have Patience

You’ll need patience after going through all these steps so that you don’t accidentally ruin your brand new paint job! Leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes before applying another coat so that the first layer has enough time to set.

You can then apply one more thin layer after waiting an hour unless the instructions on your primer or paint state otherwise.

When you are finished painting, leave it to sit overnight before letting anyone touch it so that your hard work does not get messed up. After all this time and effort, you won’t regret having patience.

Materials You Will Need to Paint Stripped Wood

All of the painting supplies you will need to paint stripped wood are available at your local hardware store. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • paintbrush (a small one is easier to use)
  • primer (for preparation)
  • regular latex paint


You’ll also want to have painter’s tape on hand, as well as newspaper or drop cloths for covering up furniture or floors. If you plan on painting more than one coat, then an extra can of paint will be required. I recommend having two coats prepared so that when one begins to dry after 30 minutes, then you can immediately grab the second coat and begin applying it right away. This prevents any drying time in between layers which can cause issues with the painting process.

Should I Treat the Wood After Stripping?

Painting Stripped WoodThis depends on the type of stripped wood that you have. If you stripped all of the finish off a piece, then you can probably get away without treating it with anything extra.

However, if your stripped wood has a raw or open grain then I recommend using some sort of primer to seal up any pores in the stripped wood before applying paint to it.

This will help prevent moisture from seeping into the surface and ruining your paint job before it’s time! The best treatments that I’ve used are mineral spirits, boiled linseed oil, or an oil-based primer.

I do not recommend using water-based primers as they tend to wear off too quickly and will lead to more problems down the line. Also, avoid tung oil because it does not provide strong protection against moisture like mineral spirits or linseed oils do.

Are Mineral Spirits Necessary After Stripping Wood?

Mineral spirits are often used when stripping wood to clean up the stripped area and get rid of any chemicals left over in the wood. If mineral spirits aren’t available at your local hardware store, then you can ask for paint thinner instead.

These are mineral spirits with a different name. They should be able to provide you with paint thinner if mineral spirits aren’t available. I had great luck with mineral spirits, but some say it’s not necessary.

However, mineral spirits are a strong chemical and should be handled with care as they can cause damage to your health if the wrong precautions are not taken. This is why I recommend having your stripped wood outside before applying mineral spirits to the surface.

Never use mineral spirits indoors and always wear protective gear such as a mask, gloves, and goggles to avoid inhaling any of the fumes or getting them in your eyes. Plus, mineral spirits can ruin furniture so I don’t recommend using them on anything you care about.

How to Achieve Smooth Results

Painting Stripped WoodIf your stripped wood has an open grain or raw surface, I recommend testing your stripped wood before you buy a primer. Leave it out in the rain and see what happens after about an hour or two!

If it’s starting to warp or bend then I would avoid using that particular primer on it because that stripped wood isn’t going to hold paint very well.

Once your stripped wood dries, and you’re confident that you’ve chosen the right primer, then it’s time to apply your latex paint.

I recommend using a top-quality brand because these paints are generally better at adhering to surfaces and not fading over time.

I wouldn’t recommend getting too fancy with patterns or designs when painting stripped wood because there’s always going to be some darker, open areas where the paint isn’t touching. A little bit won’t be noticeable on lighter stripped wood but if you’re using dark stripped wood then it will show up quite clearly. If that bothers you, then I would recommend getting some sandpaper and very lightly sanding over those areas before painting them.

As you can see, painting stripped wood is an undertaking that often requires patience and the use of your hands. Whether this is a project that you want to take on or not, it’s good to know what steps need to be taken to complete the painting process and avoid unnecessary accidents.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.