Can You Paint Over Stained Wood?

Stained wood is beautiful, but unfortunately, it can also be very expensive. Yet it isn’t for everybody. You may have decided that stained wood isn’t right for your home anymore.

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood

If so, you want to repaint your wooden furniture or cabinets. This raises the question “can stained wood be painted over? If so, how?” With these instructions, you can make your stained wood look stunning. 

What Is Stained Wood? 

Wood is a natural material that comes from trees. Wood has a wide range of uses, from building houses to creating musical instruments.

Unfortunately, wood can become damaged due to exposure to water, sunlight, heat, chemicals, and other elements. This damage can cause discoloration, cracks, and even rot.

Stained wood is when the surface of the wood becomes discolored. It’s usually caused by exposure to chemicals such as oil-based paints, solvents, varnishes, stains, lacquers, and preservatives.

These substances penetrate the pores of the wood, thus altering its color. This staining can also make the wood stronger, thus enhancing its durability.

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood?

Yes, you can paint over stained wood. This is so long as you’re willing to do some work. You should bear in mind that painting stained wood is often more challenging than unstained wood.

How To Paint Over Stained Wood

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood


To follow our steps, you will need these items

  • Stained wood
  • Drop cloths
  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • A rag
  • A soft towel
  • Grit sandpaper
  • Protective clothing
  • An oil-based primer for wood
  • Foam brush, paintbrush, or roller
  • Oil-based paint or latex paint


Step #1 – Find a Space That Can be Used for Painting

The first step you need to take before starting any project is finding a space where you can safely perform this task.

The area needs to be large enough to allow you to move around freely without tripping on anything.

Also, it needs to be somewhere that you don’t mind getting dirty. You may even want to paint outside if the weather is warm and dry.

Once you have chosen this location, cover the ground and any nearby spaces that you don’t want to accidentally paint.

Drop cloths can be used for this task. Ensure that you have all your painting supplies close at hand. 

Step #2 – Ensure that the Wood is Clean

You will need to clean the wood before you start painting. Use soap and water to remove dust, dirt, grease, and grime.

Wipe down the surfaces with a damp rag. Make sure that you wipe away the excess moisture using a soft towel.

Step #3 – Sand the Wood

Sanding is an important part of preparing the wood for painting. Use grit sandpaper to sand the wood until it’s smooth. This ensures that there are no rough areas that could scratch the new coat of paint.

You may want to use protective clothing, such as goggles, a mask, and gloves, to protect yourself from the sanding dust.

Likewise, you should wear clothes that you don’t mind getting messy. Clean up this dust once the wood is nice and smooth. 

Step #4 – Use a Primer

Before applying the first coat of paint, you’ll want to apply a primer. A primer helps the paint adhere better to the wood. It also makes the coat last longer.

There are a variety of primers out there. You should find one that is oil-based and suitable for wood. A foam brush will be an optimal way of applying primer.

Once this primer has been applied, wait for it to dry. There may be some information about how long the primer usually takes to dry on the product’s packaging. 

Step #5 – Begin Applying the First Coat of Paint

Once the primer has dried, begin applying the first coat of your choice of paint. This can be done with a simple paint brush or roller depending on the size of the wood.

Be sure to paint the entirety of the wood. It is recommended that you use oil-based paint for this task. You can also use latex paint, which tends to be odorless. This makes it better for interior furniture. 

Step #6 – Wait for the Paint to Dry

Leave some time for the paint to dry completely before adding additional coats of paint. The more coats you use, the more consistent and even your paint will be.

The length of time it takes for the paint to dry will vary. You should read the product’s packaging to give you a reliable estimate. 

Step #7 – Apply the Second Coat of Paint

Using a brush, once again apply paint throughout the wood. You may want to use further coats of paint, though this is optional.

You must wait for the paint to dry in between coats. Once you are happy with the color, wait for the wood to dry fully. Then, you can enjoy your beautifully painted wood. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know When My Paint Is Dry?

Most paints will tell you when they’re dry. If not, then just leave them alone for another 24 hours. They should be dry by then.

You can also lightly prod the paint in an inconspicuous area. If it feels dry and there is no paint mark on your skin, then the paint is dry.

If you want to make the drying process faster, you can leave the wood in a warm place. For example, you can leave it outside on a sunny day. 

What Kinds Of Paints Should I Use?

You can use any kind of paint you like. However, you should choose high-quality paint. Cheap paints tend to chip off after a few years.

You should also ensure that the paint can be used on wood. Our recommendations are latex or oil-based paint.

You can always try a test patch paint on a piece of wood before covering the entire piece. If you don’t like the color or feel of the paint, you can try an alternative. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are many ways to paint over stained wood. By using our technique, you can ensure that your wooden surfaces, such as furniture, look completely new.

This is a great idea if you want to mix things up with your decor.