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Choosing the Best Paints for Wood Projects

Whether you’re painting kitchen cabinets, a wood bookcase, a desk, a custom wood project, or your front door, the paint you choose is essential. You want something long-lasting, durable, and easy to use. When painting wood, there are several considerations to determine the best option, including what you’re painting and whether it’s been painted before. At Hoover Paints, we can help you find everything you need for your next painting project!

A person using a paint roller to paint a wall green

Water-based vs. Oil-based Paints

Oil-based paints dry faster and harder than water-based paints, but recent technology and hesitancy regarding VOCs (volatile organic compounds) have made people move away from oil-based paints towards friendlier formulations. For most projects, modern water-based paints will  suit most people perfectly, and be much easier to deal with than oil-based paint.

However, if you are repainting wood that has been previously painted with oil-based paint, you must use an oil-based primer, like Benjamin Moore Fresh Start All Purpose Primer. If you paint over it with water-based paint, it will peel as it dries. Fortunately, once you’ve applied the primer, you can paint over it with either paint type. To see if you have water-based or oil-based paint on your wood, rub it down with some denatured alcohol on a cloth. If the paint comes off, it’s water-based or acrylic. If it holds fast, it’s oil-based or alkyd.

Paint Sheen

What kind of sheen do you need for your wood painting project? This depends on what you’re painting and what purpose you want it to serve.

Gloss paints, like satin and semi-gloss, make a piece stand out more. They’re shinier and reflect light better, making them stand out, but tend to show more imperfections. Make sure you fill and dents or gaps and sand the surface before you begin.

Low-gloss paints, like flat or matte, are more forgiving regarding paint errors and offer better coverage, but they’re harder to clean. For exterior projects, choose flat paint for siding, satin or semi-gloss for trim and shutters, and high-gloss for doors or architectural details.

Exterior or Interior

The last thing you must consider is whether you need interior or exterior paint. Either way, you need something durable. Furniture, doors, and cabinets tend to take more abuse than a wall, and so different kinds of interior paints have been formulated to deal with these different kinds of challenges. Exterior colors are specially formatted for varying weather conditions, including high heat or cold, and are perfect for any project you are painting outdoors. 

The Best Wood Paint Choices

For your exterior wood projects, the best paints for wood are:

For your interior wood projects, consider the following:

  • ADVANCE Interior Paint, which is easy to apply, easy to clean, offers a furniture-like finish, and is available in Satin, Semi-gloss, or High-gloss.
  • Aura, which is paint and primer in one, offers excellent coverage, resists fading, has UV protection, and comes in Eggshell, Matte, Satin, and Semi-Gloss finishes.

Contact Us

As you embark upon your next wood painting project, get your tools and Benjamin Moore paint from Hoover Paint. Talk to our experts and get the answers to your questions so your project is a breeze. We carry paint, wallpaper, and painting tools, making us your one-stop shop for many interior home design projects. Give us a call or visit one of our locations in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Cool Springs, Shelbyville, Cookeville, Green Hills, Manchester, Mt. Juliet, Clarksville, and Pleasant View, Tennessee.