Can You Use Emulsion Paint On Wood?

  • Find out more about emulsion paint and its uses.
  • Learn about the effect of emulsion paint on different surfaces.
Emulsion paint on wood

The ins and outs of different paint types and their uses doesn’t need to be a subject that you avoid. For using emulsion paint on wood, check out what you need to know here.

What is emulsion paint?

Emulsion refers to water-based paint that is typically used for ceilings and walls. This water-based paint has either vinyl resin or acrylic resin added to it so that the paint has a finish which is more hardwearing than it would otherwise be.

A good rule of thumb for emulsion is to look at the sheen of the paint. When comparing emulsion paints, the shinier one is always going to be more hardwearing than the other emulsion paint that you’re comparing it to.

There are several variations of emulsion paint, but the toughest version is silk emulsion paint. This kind of paint is great for kitchens and children’s bedrooms, where you’re expecting stains to happen.

Can you use emulsion paint on wood?

Emulsion paint is incredibly versatile when it is used to paint wood. Rather than using it as a simple finishing paint, you can also take advantage of leftover emulsion or basic colours and use those as a base paint on the woodwork you’re working on.

Using emulsion as a base or undercoat paint will give your wood a strong paint foundation, though we would recommend also using emulsion paint as the main paint colour to avoid any painting mishaps, cracks, or other unwanted paint nightmares.

Emulsion paint on wood
A stunning mint green paint on smooth wooden boards

Preparing your project

Before you start to paint on wood with emulsion paint, you need to ensure that the wood that you’re painting is smooth. Emulsion is not a cheap or forgiving paint, and sanding down the wood you’re about to paint will ensure that you get a beautiful finish.

Sanding might seem like a lot of work, but we can assure you that it’s the best course of action if you’re set on using emulsion paint for your project.

The beauty of emulsion paint is that it’s available in so many colours, which are then available in either matt or silk emulsion paint finishes (among others). You’re spoilt for choice, really!

See Also
Remove paint from brick

It’s best to use two to three coats of emulsion paint when painting wood.

What other surfaces can be painted with emulsion paint?

Walls and ceilings are the most common areas to paint when using emulsion paint, but there are plenty of other uses for this special paint.

Emulsion can also be used to paint brick, concrete, and plaster, thanks to the thickness and toughness of the paint. In addition to wood, you can also use emulsion paint on metal. Obviously, all of these different materials need prepping in different ways.

However, that’s easily done when you can use a single pot of emulsion as a main paint colour and its own primer. Primer can be created by mixing a small amount of water with the paint – certainly a useful trait for this paint to have.

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