Is It Better to Paint or Spray Paint Wood?

Is it better to paint or spray paint wood? I know that’s a question that has bugged you for years, and I finally decided to give you the answer.

It turns out there are pros and cons to both methods of painting. The choice between painting and spraying wood will depend on your type of project and time.

Here’s what you need to know about each method before deciding which one is best for your project.

Painting Vs. Spray Painting Furniture

Spray painting is undeniably faster than other painting methods. You can use spray paint on almost all surfaces because it gives a long-lasting smooth finish. Using the best spray paint for wood will help you finish the project faster since spray paint dries faster than brushed on paint.

What is Spray painting?

Spray painting is a technique that delivers paint onto the surface via an aerosol. The spray gun used for spray painting usually gives high pressure to make it easier to control how much paint appears on the surface without manual shaking.

To prevent drips, use a paint sprayer and apply the paint in thin, uniform layers. Remember to test the spray nozzle in a hidden area of the wood furniture before spraying the main parts.

Advantages of spray painting

  • You can paint all surfaces, including metal, concrete, wood, wicker, and plastic.
  • It delivers a smooth finish because it is applied evenly in a short time.
  • Spray paint dries faster compared to other types of painting techniques.
  • Spray paints are more durable because they are primarily oil-based.
  • No brushes, rollers, vats, or paint trays to clean up.
  • Spray painting is more straightforward on wooden furniture with spindles, tiny pieces, or tight crevices and corners.

Disadvantages of spray painting

  • You can quickly get a heavy coat that does not look good on your furniture.
  • You will need several coats of spray paint if the surface is porous.
  • If you do not follow instructions with care, there is a risk of getting the finish peeling or cracking.
  • The overspray may need extra clean-up.

What is Brush Painting?

Brush painting is a painting method in which you apply paint to the surface with the help of brushes. This method requires an artist to have adequate skills, especially when it comes to making edges smooth.

The secret to achieving an excellent finish with brush painting is using a high-quality brush and applying thin and even coats of paint.

For large and flat areas, use a round-edged foam roller to prevent roller marks. For touch-ups or detailed grooves, use an angled brush.

Advantages of brush painting

  • You can mix your colors or choose from a variety of color choices.
  • Less toxic as compared to spray painting.
  • It can deliver fine details in grooves, crevices, and corners compared to other painting techniques.
  • Less expensive because it covers much more area than spray paint.

Disadvantages of brush painting

  • You need patience when using this method because it takes a lot of time to finish one part.
  • It can get messy if you have a lot of paint left on the surface.
  • You need more coats compared to other painting techniques because each coat delivers less coverage than spray paints.

Brush or Spray Paint Wood Feature Comparison

Choosing the right painting method is essential because you do not want to watch your project wilt in days or weeks.

This comparison will help you decide between brush-paint outdoor furniture and spray paint.

Safety and toxicity

Brush painting is considered safe to use because it involves less toxic chemicals compared to spray paint. Moreover, you can decorate your furniture with children’s artwork when you go for brush painting.

Coverage and thickness

Spray paint is perfect if you want to apply multiple coats on the surface without missing any spots. On the other hand, brush paint is less effective when it comes to getting a thick coat.

Clean-up and mess

Brush painting doesn’t create as much overspray compared to spray painting. However, brush paintings may require more clean-up because there are times when the bristles get in the way.

If you mistake using spray paint, sand it or scrape it off and still use the paint.

Ease of application

Applying paint with a brush may take a while because you have to go over the same area several times. On the other hand, spray painting only takes a few minutes to complete one surface.


If you are painting a few pieces of furniture, it is more practical and cheaper to go for brush painting. However, if you need to work on a more significant project, then spray paint is the right choice because it covers more surfaces in less time and doesn’t require much clean-up.

What Materials Can I Spray Paint?

  • Aluminum
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Surfaces that already have paint on them
  • Plastic
  • Vinyl


What kind of paint should I use on wood furniture?

If you are looking for a surface that is easy to clean, use either latex paint or oil-based paint. You may also use a lacquer finish, but you will have to sand your surface for this option.

Can wood be painted with spray paint?

Yes, wood can be painted with spray paint. But, first, you will have to sand the wood smooth to reduce blistering, then seal it with either oil or resin before you finally paint it. Also, do not spray paint antique furniture because its value will be altered.

How many coats of spray paint should I use?

Two or three coats of spray paint are enough for your surface. You can stop when you are satisfied with the result. The amount of paint needed depends on the color and condition of your furniture.

Do I need a clear coat after spray paint?

Yes, you need a clear coat after spray paint. A clear coat binds the paint together and minimizes any chipping that might occur. This is especially important if you would like to apply a vinyl exterior over your painted container.


Painting wood furniture can be fun and creative. But, whether you choose to use spray paint or brush paint, the most important thing is that you enjoy doing it!

From our end, spray painting wins!

Spray painting can give your artwork a professional look even if you are not an artist.

Go ahead and give it a try.

Home Base Project Team
Home Base Project Team
At The Home Base Project, we offer practical, real-life tips and inspiration about DIY, decorating and gardening. The Home Base Project provide the best information about home renovation and design, connecting home design enthusiasts and home professionals across the world.