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Can You/Should You Paint Hardwood (How To)?

Painting the floor hardwood

Adding a pop of color to our homes is the best way to improve the appearance of a room. Whether you are wanting to change the countertops or the flooring, if you have hardwood, you might be wondering if you can paint them. Can you/should paint hardwood?

You can/should paint hardwood if the wood is in condition. Painting hardwood will extend the life of the wood. You should paint hardwood if you are looking for an inexpensive, and less time-consuming, alternative to replacing or improving the hardwood.

Painting hardwood is also a great way to hide imperfections in the wood. Depending on the type of paint you use, the paint will even out gouges and dents in the wood, making it look more unified.

But before you head to your local paint store and buy paint and roller brushes, there are some important things to consider before starting.

Should You Paint Hardwood, Why Yes And Why No?

Confused man standing

Hardwood often consists of oak, maple, or walnut wood. You might be wondering if painting wood is a good idea. Should you paint hardwood, why yes and why no?

You should paint hardwood, why yes and why no if the wood is in good condition and you are wanting an inexpensive way to add a pop of color or a design to your home. You should not paint hardwood if the wood is in an area that is exposed to moisture or heavy foot traffic.

Painting hardwood is not as simple as it sounds. There are some important things to take into consideration before you start.


It may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to think about the time involved in painting hardwood. For example, if you are wanting a quick weekend project, painting the living room floor may not be the right project for you.

Painting floors is not a quick job. Advanced planning will be needed to plan around not using an entire room for several days.

The floor needs to be properly cleaned and prepped. Hardwood flooring also requires several hours of dry time between each coat of paint.

Hardwood floors will require a minimum of 3 to 5 coats with 12 to 24 hours of dry time between each coat. During the required dry time, the floor cannot be walked on.

Foot Traffic

Considering the amount of foot traffic the room gets is often overlooked but is probably one of the most crucial factors to take into consideration. A room such as a living room that gets a lot of foot traffic or humidity will affect the life and appearance of the paint.

High foot traffic and humidity will cause the paint to chip and peel. High moisture levels will also cause the paint to become discolored, especially if the color is light.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Similar things need to be considered when painting hardwood doors, window frames, and even stairs. Each location requires a specific type of paint and top coat to seal and protect the surface.

When you take the time to properly paint hardwood, you will be able to enjoy the results for years to come.

Can You Paint Hardwood Floors?

Painting the floor hardwood

You want to upgrade your flooring but you’re not sure about painting the hardwood. Can you paint hardwood floors?

Yes, you can paint hardwood floors if they are in good condition and are not exposed to a lot of foot traffic or humidity. An area that gets a lot of foot traffic or humidity, such as a hallway, bathroom, or laundry room, should not be painted. The paint will chip or become discolored.

Painting hardwood floors is a great way to add your own personal flair to your home. Make sure to use paint that is designed for heavy use and then the proper topcoat to seal and protect the hardwood.

Can You Paint Hardwood Stairs?

Confused man standing

The stairs are often a focal point in our home. They are the first thing you see when you open the front door. Can you paint hardwood stairs?

Yes, you can paint hardwood stairs with hard-wearing paint that is water-resistant and ideal for wood surfaces. This type of paint holds up well to knicks and scratches and can be directly applied to the hardwood, even if there is some old paint or varnish left behind.

To help the paint dry quicker, do not use thick coats of paint. Wait until each coat is dry before applying the next coat. Typically, at least two coats are needed, but depending on the look you are going for, more coats may need to be added.

Can You Paint Hardwood Doors?

Painting the door

Whether you want to freshen up the appearance of the outside of the home or you want to get creative inside the home, the doors are often made of hardwood. Can you paint hardwood doors?

Yes, you can paint hardwood doors. Choose paint that is appropriate for the door’s location. An outside door will need waterproof paint and a sealer. An inside door can be painted with latex-based paint.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Whether you are painting the door in place or you are removing it, you will want to use a paintbrush to paint the edges and any grooves in the door. Next, use a paint roller to blend the edges and cover the rest of the door, using long, vertical strokes.

Can You Paint Hardwood Window Frames?

Confused man standing

You have painted the walls but now the window frames are screaming for help. Can you paint hardwood window frames?

Yes, you can paint hardwood window frames. Remove any loose old paint and fill in any problem areas with wood filler. Prime the wood with a moisture-resistant sealer. Paint the wood with water-based paint.

Use painter’s tape to tape off any areas you do not want to get painted. This will also make cleanup easier. Paint in the direction of the wood grain for a more consistent and cleaner look. Let the paint dry completely between each coat.

Can You Paint Hardwood Plywood?

Man checking the plywood

Hardwood plywood is smooth and durable. But can you paint hardwood plywood?

Yes, you can paint hardwood plywood. Lightly sand the surface of the wood and then remove any dust. Apply an oil-based primer to protect the wood from moisture. Once the primer is dry, use a wide, flat-bristle brush or paint roller to apply the paint or wood stain.

For the smoothest finish, use acrylic and enamel paints. Using water-based paint will raise the grain of the wood, making the surface rough. Once the paint is dry, lightly sand between each coat of paint to achieve the best result.

Can You Paint Hardwood Garden Furniture?

Confused man standing

Your garden furniture looks rough, but you don’t want to buy new furniture. Can you paint hardwood garden furniture?

Yes, you can paint hardwood garden furniture. Clean the furniture and remove any loose paint. Use wood filler to fill in or level off any damaged areas. Lightly sand the wood surface and remove the dust. Apply one coat of exterior primer. Once dry, apply an exterior paint.

If the hardwood garden furniture is particularly weathered, you will need to apply several coats of paint. Let each coat completely dry before applying the next coat. The amount of coats needed depends on the final look you are going for.

What Kind Of Paint Should You Use To Paint Over Hardwood?

Paint for hardwood

The hardest part of painting hardwood should be deciding what color you want, not what type of paint you need. What kind of paint should you use to paint over hardwood?

When painting over hardwood, the kind of paint you should use depends on the location of the hardwood. Acrylic is a chemical-based paint while latex is a water-based paint. Acrylic is more durable than latex, but it is also more expensive.

We take for granted that not all paint is created equal. It’s not until you walk into a paint store that you realize how many differences there are in the paint world. Taking a few minutes to know which type of paint you need will save you time and money in the long run.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.


Oil-based paint is durable and is often the first one people reach for. It leaves a nice smooth finish once dry. The best part about oil-based paint is that you don’t need a top coat to get the smooth sheen.

When using oil-based paint, though, you can’t just use any paint brush or roller. You need a brush or roller that is designed to be used with oil-based paint. Cleaning the brushes or rollers, or your hands will require the assistance of paint thinner or mineral spirits.


Latex-based paints are much easier to work with than oil-based paint but they are not as durable or forgiving. It can be difficult to achieve a smooth, stroke-less finish with latex.

Depending on the type of finish you want on the hardwood surface, a gloss or semi-gloss paint will not need a topcoat. A satin or matte finish will need a top coat.

The best part about latex paints is the clean-up. You can clean your brushes and rollers, and yourself, with soap and water.


The majority of paints sold in paint stores are water-based because. Water-based paints do not require the wood to be pre-treated unless it was previously painted with an oil-based paint.

Water-based paints do not have a strong chemical smell and they dry very quickly, which makes them ideal for outdoor wood because the color resists fading and cracking.

What Preparation Do You Need To Paint Over Hardwood?

Confused man standing

You have finally decided to paint the hardwood in your home and you’re ready to get started. What preparation do you need to paint over hardwood?

To paint over hardwood, you need to prepare the wood surface. Clean the surface to remove dirt and mold. Fill in any holes or cracks with a wood filler and remove any loose, old paint. Sand the old wood and then apply a primer followed by paint. Lightly sand between each coat of paint.

Whether you are painting hardwood inside the home or outside, you want to do some prep work before you start your project. Here are some things to consider before you start painting hardwood.


If you are painting inside your home, tape off the area you are painting with masking tape or painter’s tape. When painting a large area such as doors, stairs, or even windows, lay down tarps or plastic sheeting to protect the floor from drips and splatters.


Painting hardwood is a project that is done every day and is safe to do. But it still requires some personal protective equipment.

Paint fumes are dangerous when inhaled. Make sure the area you are painting in is well ventilated. If you are not able to open windows or use fans, wear a respirator.

Wearing rubber gloves when mixing the paint and applying the paint will protect your skin from irritants in the paint. Remember, regardless of whether the paint is water-based or oil-based, it is still a chemical.

It is also a good idea to wear safety glasses when mixing the paint or painting hardwood that could be overhead, such as on a high window. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from tiny droplets of paint when mixing the paint or working overhead.

How Long Does Paint Last On Hardwood?

Paint for hardwood

You are about to undertake a project of painting the hardwood in your house but you want to make sure the paint will last. How long does paint last on hardwood?

Paint on the hardwood will last between 5 to 7 years. The more the hardwood is maintained and protected, the longer it will last. Taking the time at the beginning of a project to clean, repair, protect, and seal the hardwood will also add years to the finished hardwood project.

Cleaning the hardwood regularly and touching up any imperfections will keep the painted hardwood looking fresh and will extend the life of the paint. Areas that are used frequently or experience high traffic will need to be touched more often.

How To Paint Over Hardwood Properly

Confused man standing

We get so excited when we start a project that it’s hard to not just start painting. Wood is great to paint but it’s not the easiest, especially if the wood has not been properly cared for in the past.

To ensure you get the best results that last a long time, here are some steps to keep in mind when painting hardwood.

Inspect The Wood Surface

Inspect the wood for any signs of damage. Are there nails sticking out? Has the wood been exposed to wet weather? Are there any holes, dents, or scratches that need to be filled in with wood filler?

Cleaning The Wood Surface

Primer will adhere better to a clean surface. After cleaning the surface, allow enough time for the hardwood to completely dry before painting. If the wood is not dry, the paint will blister, or, worse, mold can begin to grow between the coats of wet paint.

Sanding The Wood Surface

Sanding is not most people’s favorite thing to do when it comes to painting, but it is one of the most crucial steps. Sanding the surface creates tiny scratches in the wood that allow the paint to bond to the hardwood.

Depending on the size of the project, you can use sandpaper strips for smaller jobs or a handheld orbital sander for larger surfaces. If you are sanding stairs or countertops, even doors, don’t forget to sand the corners and ridges.

The next important step in the sanding process is cleaning. You want to remove all traces of dust from the hardwood surface before proceeding further. Any dust left behind will affect the final finish of your project.

You can use a wet rag to clean smaller surfaces. A shop-vac will make cleaning larger areas much easier.

When cleaning the wood, look for any signs of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew will appear black when wet. If you see any signs of mold and mildew, you can purchase specialized mold and mildew killer from your local hardware store.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.


Primer coats and seals the wood surface so that paint can be applied. If the hardwood is exceptionally old or weathered, you may need to add several coats of primer before applying paint.

Sand the primer to ensure a smooth finish. Use a damp cloth to remove the dust and then allow the surface to dry.


You’re now ready to start painting. Brush or roll the paint along the grain of the wood for a more natural and smooth finish.

Allow the paint to completely dry and then sand the paint. Apply the second coat of paint and allow it to dry. The number of times you sand and apply more coats of paint will depend on the type of finish you are looking for.

To paint over hardwood properly, make sure the wood is clean, any holes or cracks are repaired, and the surface has been sanded and cleaned. Apply a primer and allow it to dry. Apply your paint and allow it to dry. Repeat the process until you reach the desired finish.