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Can you paint over stained wood in 2023? | A few tips to consider | Painting Tips With the Pros

Paint Over Stains

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Introduction: Can You Paint Over Stains in 2023?

Hey there, Paul from Trusted House Painter. In my 20 years of painting, a lot of people have asked me if it’s possible to paint over stains and the simple answer is yes, you can paint over stains. However, in this video, I’m going to try and make it short and succinct to let you know the different types of stain and how to Paint Over Stained Wood, approach the prep and the priming and the painting of each stain and I’ve got a couple of tips that will probably help you out so uh the first idea is that not all stains are the same, so what I’m going to introduce you to is what stains are there’s what they call transparent stains semi-transparent stains and solid stains solid stains are very much like a paint.


Types of Paint Over Stains: Transparent, Semi-Transparent, and Solid

What are stains in the aspect that they have a full color, and they sometimes look like paint, however, they are a stain. So, clear stains, on the other hand. transparent stains, I should say, are stains that you apply to wood to get a certain look, and then once you have that nice amber or reddish tone or black tone or brown tone or whatever tone you want of that wood, you then apply like a polyurethane coating on top of it and that polyurethane coating acts as a protection to protect against the stain so those are the two primary different types of stains stain that you would use as a protective coating that has pigment or stain that has no pigment or very little pigment in which you need a protective coating in order to coat it I mentioned this because it’s very important to understand these two parts because if you wanted to paint over say a deck that was stained semi-transparent or solid stain, you can absolutely paint over stains a deck or cedar siding cedar shingles a fence that was once stained you can absolutely paint over stains and it’s a pretty straightforward process, and I’ll talk about it in a second however if you’re ever dealing with furniture or cabinets and you want to paint that, the types of stains process might be a little bit more delicate and that’s what I’m here to talk to you about so I’m just going to show you this quickly–as i mentioned before, we have transparent stains right here.

This what you want when you want to get the color of the wood brought out and then up top you have, semi-transparent stains and semi-transparent stains generally have a little bit more pigment in it. They take away from the wood grain so you can’t see the wood grain that much however it still preserves a little bit of the wood and then you have what they call solid stains solid stains, as I mentioned generally look like paint.

They have solid pigment but they act like a stain and that they absorb into the actual wood so here’s a perfect example of what a clear stain would look like on furniture they used a light honey finish or a light cedar finish and then they top coated it with a shiny clear coat like a helmsman minwax or a verithane in order to get that to preserve the longevity of that stain.

So, if you are planning on working on kitchen cabinets or that kind of furniture or any kind of interior work you might want to consider putting a polyurethane coating over top of your paint over stains just in case if you want to give it a little bit of shine and you want to give that durability. However it’s not always necessary and I’ll show you in one minute because we’re going to go into inside my RV and I’m going to show you, how I painted my kitchen cabinets and all the drawers and everything. You’re going to love it so the first thing you want to remember is it exterior or interior if it’s exterior and just painting over a siding fence or like for example this deck here that I’ve done it’s all cedar and it’s all uh solid stain.

Now I could go ahead and paint this and the process would be very similar to the interior and that is one you have to clean it you have to clean it thoroughly make sure there’s no mildew no mold no dirt no grime second thing you need to give it a good sand if there’s any loose and flaking paint then you’ve got to sand that down and prepare the surface ready for paint. Now, depending on whether it’s an acrylic or it’s an oil stain mat it does matter and so what I would recommend is always putting a primer you can get an acrylic primer.  Or an oil-based primer oil-based primers tend to hold a little bit better they tend to be a little bit more resilient a little bit more bulletproof. They do work once you prime the wood then you can paint over stains on the wood with two coats.

Whether that’s your siding whether that’s your cedar shakes whether that’s your fence whether that’s your deck you can go ahead and paint it so that’s the general process for painting over top of stain on exterior you can use a sprayer roller brush you can use a lot of different applicators. But generally speaking you can you can paint over stains now my tip for exterior is you can either wash sand prime.

Then two coat with an acrylic latex uh or what you can do Staining you can just use a solid stain so if you had a semi-transparent stained deck or a clear stain siding or cedar shakes instead of going to the whole conversion of using the primer and paint you can actually just use a solid stain over top of that stain and it saves you the primer coat saves you pretty much 50 more time because you’re putting down a solid stain and a solid stain has it acts as a paint and primer in one in a way so you can save a lot of time.

However the finish may not look the same so you can either primer and paint or you can top coat it with a solid stain and it looks very similar to a paint over stains now the only difference with interior work is that if you’re going to be painting kitchen cabinets or furniture like that you’re going to want to be a little bit more delicate in how you prepare it because it already is in a nice finish and what you want to do is you want to get rid of that glossy look you won’t find any flaking paint but what you want to do is you want to clean it first and foremost wipe it down with a degreaser with a cleaner and then you want to get a light 120 150 grit sandpaper and basically sand it down so that you eliminate any kind of shine from that as you can see there’s a little bit of shine on the side there’s a little bit of shine on the top you really want to get rid of that shine so that it’s a dull sheen and then what you want to do is you want to apply a nice primer.

Then you want to apply two coats of paint now, depending on the color, you might need three coats, four coats of paint over stains doesn’t really matter it’s up to you and how you want that finished look you can spray it, you can roll it with a little mohair roller or a thin nap and that’ll come clean and like I said so if it’s furniture or any kind of kitchen cabinets, you could always top coat it with a clear coating like a polyurethane coating that will help preserve and keep it a little bit more durable and give it that nice furniture look.

However we’re going to take inside and RV take a walk inside my RV right now, and I’m going to show you what I did my wife wanted the RV to be painted keep in mind everything in here was the same as that stand so let’s take a look so here we are this is my RV how we kind of renovated it you can see all the cabinet doors here all these cabinet doors all these drawers back her all these drawers everything everything in here looked like those steps and those steps have a nice sheen to them and they’ve been coated and my wife really did not like that so we went ahead and we painted everything in this RV now it took a lot of time cess was wiping clean everything taking the doors off.

Because we wanted to get new hardware for it sanding both sides of the doors priming both sides of the doors and then coating it probably three or four times with a white because it really had to cover the whites don’t cover very well anyways we didn’t bother going uh with a polyurethane coating over our cabinets we used emerald enamel which is an enamel paint over stains and it worked really really good and it’s just a little if it ever gets scuffed up or we just touch it up and if it gets dirty we just wipe it clean so this video has been hopefully helps you understand the differences between the stains and if you want cupboard style finish coating or whether you’re just going to be painting the exterior of your house the prep is pretty much the same.

However interior staining like or into your painting like this takes a little bit more work and it’s a little bit more detailed because you’re dealing with that polyurethane coating that you have to sand down first and then put an oil primer and then how many coats you want and if you want to be like us you can leave the paint coating with a nice satin finish or you can go ahead and coat it with the polyurethane coating however the only last tip I’ll give you  is that once you coat it with a polyurethane current coating, you can’t just simply touch it up with the paint over stains as you’re now touching up the polyurethane coating, so there’s a lot of pros and cons with this it is quite a deep conversation. I know this has been about 10 minutes; however, speak to your local painting professionals at your paint stores or your local painter and ask him what his advice because truly every project is slightly different and your project is probably unique, so again, it’s Paul from Trusted House Painter I hope this has been an educational moment for you about stains and yes, you can paint over stains. Take care!

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