Can I Use Acrylic Paint On Wood Without Primer?

Can I use acrylic paint on wood without primer

If you are wondering ‘can I use acrylic paint on wood without primer’ then I’ve got a little bad news. You should not use acrylic paint without primer. The primer prepares the surface to properly hold your acrylic paint and without it, your paint can run, bleed, and simply won’t adhere properly to the wood that you are painting. Results will be bad at best, so always prime before you paint wood with acrylics.

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you why you need it. After that, I’ll give you some tips on getting your wood prepared, a few ideas for your work, and how to seal it up when you’re done.

You’ve got this, so hang in there!

What happens if I use acrylic paint on wood without primer?Can I use acrylic paint on wood without primer

When you paint your acrylic on wood that you haven’t primed in advance then you are asking for trouble. If it’s too smooth, the acrylic is going to hold poorly, for one thing. You also have to factor in porosity. Woods like balsa and cork are good examples. These woods tend to soak your paint right up and then what results is anyone’s guess.

Your only defense is to get proactive and prime that wood first.

While it’s an extra step that you’d like to skip, I can tell you from my own stubborn experimentation that it’s going to turn out poorly more often than not, so just save yourself the hassle and get it primed right away!

Oh, and before we dive into this subject, if you are painting on varnished wood, here’s a 3rd party link that you might find helpful.

Paint in a background to really show off your work

Paint in a background to really show off your workSo, you’ve swallowed your pride and primed the wood and it’s ready now to be painted. Consider painting in a background to add a little contrast or simply to show off your work with something complimentary.  A nice, light blue is always a welcome background or if you want to get wild, you can always go abstract.

While painting a background does take a little extra time, I prefer to go this route instead of simply painting a single or a few additions to an already painted piece. The addition of a background just makes me like the finished piece more, because I know that I have completely made it my own.

It’s up to you, of course, but it’s a really good feeling!

Add in the details and seal it

Once you’ve got your painting done of the wood, then it’s time to preserve your work for the ages. Employing a sealant at this time is vital for preserving your hard work and you skip this step at your own peril.

This is kind of a fun part, really, because the work is already in place, you’re basically just choosing how to really show it off while making it resistant to the elements. You can try a matte or a satin finish, or even just gloss it up to a brilliant shine but try to keep the seal to a minimum. Apply a single, thin coat or two at the most, letting it dry in-between if you opt for double protection.

Make sure that it’s drying in an area where dust isn’t likely to end up in your seal and after waiting for the recommended time on your seal’s label then your work is preserved and your woodwork is officially done!

Take a nice, long break to admire your work and to show it off to the family so that you may bask in a little well-earned praise. Your work is done and I’ll bet it looks amazing!

In conclusion: You’ve gotta have that primer or it won’t look right

Today we’ve answered the question ‘can you use acrylic paint on wood without primer”. The answer is a definitive ‘no’, as the wood porosity and surface is always going to mean that you will have to prime it first if you want good results. So, do it right, by sanding the wood, wiping it down, and priming it like you’ve always been taught to do.

When you see the finished work, you’ll be very happy that you did!

For more information on acrylic paints and how they play with wood projects, be sure to take a look at ‘Can you use acrylic paint on wood?’ and with said, we bid you adieu and good luck on your project!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.