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Best Paints for Wood Crafts of 2021

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Get the best wood craft paint results with these top 8 products

Art helps us de-stress. It makes us feel fulfilled and content. It’s also a great way to spend time with the kids, keeping them entertained by getting creative. Painting onto wood is a cheap and easily accessible material, but which paints are the best?

Let’s take a look at the best paint for wood crafts, judging each set for its ease of use, quality, and price.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set - 12 -Pack Painting Supplies for Canvas, Wood, Ceramic, Fabric - Non-Toxic, Acrylic Paints for Beginners and Professional Artists - Art Supplies
Best Acrylic Paint
Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set
  • High-quality pigments for smoother coverage
  • 12ml tubes for the exact amount of paint
  • Ideal for beginners and professionals alike
Product Image of the Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint, Set of 20 Colors/Bottles 2 oz./59 ml. Rich Pigment Multi-Surface Craft Paints, Art Supplies for Canvas, Rock, Wood, Fabric, Leather, Paper
Best for Outdoor
Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint Set
  • 20 vibrant colors
  • Non-toxic
  • Comes in 59ml bottles with squeezable sides
Product Image of the Apple Barrel Multi-Surface Paint in Assorted Colors (8 oz), White
Best White Paint
Apple Barrel Multi-Surface White Paint
  • Squeezable 236ml bottle
  • 14 vibrant colors
  • Water-based and non-toxic is better for the environment
Product Image of the Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink! Essential Set, Multiple Colors, Set of 6 (3699314)
Best Acrylic Ink
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks
  • Made from finely milled lightfast
  • No fade and no movement when dry
  • Dries completely waterproof
Product Image of the Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set, 6-Pack
Best Metallic Paint
Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set
  • Works on wood, concrete, plastic, canvas, and other surfaces
  • Conforms to ASTM D-4236 standards (safe & non-toxic)
  • 118ml clear bottles with flip-top lids
Product Image of the Krylon K05592007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer for Indoor/Outdoor Use, Matte Black
Best Spray Paint
Krylon K05592007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer
  • Easy to use (sprays upside down)
  • Finishes from matte to gloss
  • Superior adhesion and coverage
Product Image of the Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Interior Chalked Paint 30 oz, Linen White, 30 Fl Oz
Best Chalk Paint
Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Chalk Paint
  • Adheres to wood, metal, ceramics, and even canvas
  • Dries completely matte smooth
  • Water-based formula is better for the environment
Product Image of the Acrylic Paint Pens for Rock Painting, Stone, Ceramic, Glass, Wood, Fabric, Canvas, Porcelain. Set of 12 Acrylic Paint Markers Medium Tip
Best Acrylic Marker Pens
Artistro Acrylic Paint Pens
  • Adheres to wood, metal, ceramics, and even canvas
  • Increased accuracy and control when applying
  • Water-based formula is better for the environment

Types of Wood Craft Paints

With such a wide variety of paints available, it can be tricky knowing which type is best. Let’s take a look.

Acrylic

Product Image of the Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set - 12 -Pack Painting Supplies for Canvas, Wood, Ceramic, Fabric - Non-Toxic, Acrylic Paints for Beginners and Professional Artists - Art Supplies

Acrylic paints are, by far, the most popular choice for wood craft artists. They come in hundreds of varieties and colors and are easy to use. However, there are limitations. Acrylic does tend to soak into the wood, especially as wood is porous.

Plus, you might struggle to get the acrylic to bond to the painted surface. These paints are cheap and readily available, and if you are a beginner, they are a great paint to start learning.

Most acrylics are water-based, so they are easy to mix, dilute and blend; however, they don’t stand up to the rigors of outdoor life too well.

Oil-Based

Product Image of the Oil Paint Set - 12ml x 48 Tubes - Lightfast - Heavy Body - Highly Pigmented Oil-based Colors - Excellent Coverage - Artist Quality Painting Supplies - Professional Craft Paints by MyArtscape

Oil-based paints handle the weather better than water-based acrylic paints. When they harden, they form a waterproof layer that stands up well to the elements. The downside is they take longer to dry, and they are bad for the environment because you need thinners or mineral spirits to clean the brushes.

Oil-based wood craft paints are less common and cost more, but they are excellent for painting outside.

Alkyd

Product Image of the Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Color Tube, Titanium White, 200-ml Tube

Alkyd paints are essentially the same as oil-based paints. They stand up to dampness, moisture, and rain, are excellent at repelling the UV effects of the sun, and stay looking vibrant for a long time.

Alkyd paints are the ideal choice for outdoor use and if you are painting on high-traffic areas like pathways and decking. These paints are more expensive to buy, and you get less choice, but if you want your wood art to be enjoyed for the longest possible time, choose alkyd paints.

How To Choose the Best Wood Craft Paints

So the time has come for you to choose, but with thousands of options, which do you take. We look at some of the primary factors you should look for in your new wood craft paint.

Pigment Quality

The pigment of the paint is the main reason why it looks so good when you apply it. It is the number one factor in determining the quality of the color.

Here are some things to look for:

Concentration of Pigments

This is sometimes referred to as pigment load. It determines the texture, clarity, vibrancy, and continuity of the thickness when applying it with a brush.

To put it in simple terms, get paint with a high pigment load.

Raw Materials

The quality of the raw materials used to create the pigment is also essential. The most consistent quality materials come from Europe, especially Germany.

Grind Quality

Look for the latest grind techniques, like the basket bead-mill technology, which is a submersible milling process that achieves particle size reduction. This gives you a smoother application and a more consistent color.

Opacity Range

When it comes to opacity, it’s best to get a set that covers opaque, semi-opaque, and transparent. Opacity is the translucence of the paint and should be denoted on the label with a square. The size of the square tells you the opacity.

By mixing and matching, you can create more vibrant images, shades and add your style to the artwork.

Light Resistance

This is called the lightfastness rating, and it determines how well your chosen paint reacts with light. Paints with a higher rating cope with light better, which means it stays looking good for longer.

Look for ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or BWS (Blue Wool Scale) on the label. A BWS-1 rating means the paint will last for 50 years.

Absorption Capability

Wood absorbs paint, so getting a product that performs better on wood will yield you better results. However, you have to get the balance right. If the absorption rate is too high, you risk the paint seeping into the wood and disappearing. It costs more because you need more paint.

Too low, and the paint will fail to adhere, plus you will get uneven surfaces. You can mitigate some of the absorption effects by pre-painting the wood. If you work on untreated, natural surfaces, they will be more porous.

Paint Protection

Look for paint that has built-in rust and weather protection. Check the containers to ensure the caps are airtight. This ensures you keep the paint inside in good conditions and stop it from setting or drying out.

Fast-Drying Features

Without fast-drying technology, you will find your work rate slows, and the paint becomes difficult to work with. Adding edits and new tones mix with the wet paint, creating a muddy effect.


The Best Paints for Wood Crafts of 2021

We have scoured the internet to bring you our top 8 wood craft paint choices based on quality, application, and price.

1. Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set

Best Acrylic Paint for Wood Craft

This acrylic paint set comes in 12 vibrant colors and is perfect for all skill levels. It works on most mediums, like rocks, wood, canvas, and paper. Each tube holds 12ml of paint, and you also get 3 bushes as part of the set.

This set is made from the highest quality pigments to ensure the smoothest coating and the most vibrant color. Because the paint is stored in tubes, it keeps the acrylic fresh, without any oxidization, and you always get the exact amount of paint you need.

Crafts 4 All use the finest ingredients to get their consistency and color, importing pigments from Germany, and they dry fast, which means you can preserve the integrity of your work. Each paint has the ASTM D-4236 and EN71-3, which is the European standard to confirm they are non-toxic and eco-friendly.

The only downside with this paint is when it dries, some people have reported that it has a plastic-like sheen.

Pros

  • HIgh-quality German pigments for smoother coverage.
  • Comes in 12ml tubes to deliver the exact amount of paint.
  • Ideal for beginners and professionals alike.
  • 12 vibrant colors and 3 spare paintbrushes.

Cons

  • Some report that when dry, it looks like plastic.

Additional Specs

Sizes 12ml
Type Acrylic
Container Tubes
Use Indoor
Number of colors 12
Accessories 3 paintbrushes
Price $$

2. Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint Set

Best Paint for Outdoor Wood Craft

When you want your paint to last outdoors, you need paint that withstands the elements. This Arteza set is a perfect choice. You get 20 vibrant colors, ranging from electric yellow and dijon to charcoal black and chocolate.

You can use these paints indoors and out, and it has a high viscosity and is scuff-resistant, making it the ideal paint for areas with high footfall or exposure to weather conditions.

The paint comes in 59ml bottles with flip-top lids and squeezable sides to keep them from oxidizing during storage. They are certified safe and non-toxic, so your kids will benefit from their creativity as much as professional artists.

This set costs a little more than some, so if you are a beginner, you might be better opting for something cheaper.

Pros

  • 20 vibrant colors give you plenty of choices.
  • Non-toxic and certified safe to use.
  • Comes in 59ml bottles with squeezable sides.
  • Scuff-resistant and high viscosity.

Cons

  • The price tag might put some people off.

Additional Specs

Sizes 59ml
Type Acrylic
Container Tubes
Use Indoor and outdoor
Number of colors 12
Accessories 3 paintbrushes
Price $$

3. Apple Barrel Multi-Surface White Paint

Best White Paint for Wood Craft

This Apple Barrel acrylic white paint comes in a generous 236ml bottle with a flip-top lid and squeezable sides. It means you need never run out of white paint again. You can use it on tin, fabric, terracotta, paper mache, concrete, glass and so much more, making it a versatile product.

You can also use it indoors and out, and when dry, it can even be dishwashed without harm. This paint is non-toxic and water-based, so it’s great for the environment, and cleanup is easy with soap and water.

Apple Barrel doesn’t just make this paint in white; you get 14 vibrant colors ranging from Acapulco to True Green. This paint is popular with crafters and artists alike, thanks to its consistency, pigmentation, and smooth application.

The only downside is the size of the bottle. If you paint often, the price tag is worth it, but once you factor in the cost for the other colors, this paint is not cost-effective.

Pros

  • Comes in a squeezable 236ml bottle.
  • 14 vibrant color varieties.
  • Water-based and non-toxic is better for the environment.

Cons

  • Some might be put off by the individual price of the paints.

Additional Specs

Sizes 236ml
Type Acrylic
Container Squeezable bottles
Use Indoor and outdoor
Number of colors 14
Accessories None
Price $$$$

4. Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks

Best Acrylic Ink Paint for Wood Craft

Acrylic inks are different from acrylic paints in that they are liquid form rather than a paste. It means you can add extra detail to your creations thanks to the way the paint moves across the surface of your project. When it dries, it is waterproof, although it might not be the best option for outside creations.

The quality of these paints comes from the way the pigment is milled. It is made with finely milled lightfast, which is an artist-quality pigment instead of dye, giving it no-fade and no-movement when dry.

You also get total water resistance and a permanent range of color opacities. This set includes opaque and semi-opaque core colors, giving you the freedom to create unique tints and shading.

This is a semi-professional paint set, so it is unlikely to appeal to beginners; plus, you pay a lot of money for just 6 colors. If we compare them to the Arteza set, you get 14 more colors for the same price.

Pros

  • Made from finely milled lightfast for the highest quality.
  • No fade and no movement when dry.
  • Dries completely waterproof to protect against moisture.
  • Includes opaque and semi-opaque colors.

Cons

  • You don’t get a lot for your money.
  • Not suitable for exterior use.

Additional Specs

Sizes 30ml
Type Acrylic ink
Container Glass bottles with pipettes
Use Indoor
Number of colors 6
Accessories None
Price $$$$

5. Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set

Best Metallic Paint for Wood Craft

Sometimes you need something extra to add a little sparkle to your wood craft project, and this metallic art paint set is a perfect choice. This paint is non-toxic and conforms to ASTM D-4236 standards, and it adheres to wood, concrete, metal, canvas, and just about any other surface you can think of.

This set has 6 colors: metallic gold, antique gold, copper, and silver. Aztec gold and bronze, so it should satisfy your metallic desires. The bottles are clear, squeezable, and have flip-top lids to prevent oxidation.

Obviously, you will need to invest in other paint colors if you want to expand your color range, which will cost you more money. However, the bottles are 118ml, so you should get a decent amount of coverage from this set.

Plus, you can only use this paint indoors because it fades in the sun and rain.

Pros

  • Works on wood, concrete, plastic, canvas, and other surfaces.
  • Conforms to ASTM D-4236 standards, so it’s safe and non-toxic.
  • 118ml clear bottles with flip-top lids.

Cons

  • Limited to just metallic colors.
  • Extra paints required if you want to increase your versatility.
  • Indoor use only as it fades in the sun and rain.

Additional Specs

Sizes 118ml
Type Acrylic
Container Squeezable bottles
Use Indoor
Number of colors 6
Accessories None
Price $$$

6. Krylon K05592007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer

Best Spray Paint for Wood Craft

This Krylon COLORmaxx is the perfect choice when spraying wood, metal, concrete, plaster, and ceramic surfaces. It delivers premium coverage with superior color adhesion. You get so many options when it comes to the finish. It comes in satin, gloss, matte, metallic, and flat, so whatever your project, there is a paint to match it.

This can of paint is easy to apply. Just press down on the button, and the spray discharges. You can even spray it upside down. It dries to the touch in 10 minutes, but you should leave it for 24 hours to allow it to cure fully, and one 12-ounce can have a 25 square-foot coverage.

Unlike other paint methods, this spray can is extremely flammable and releases toxic odors in the atmosphere, so it is advisable to wear a face mask to avoid contamination.

It’s also not the best choice for detailed work as the nozzle is designed to cover as much ground as possible in a short space of time. Plus, this single can costs more than some entire paint sets, so if you want more than just black, you will have to spend big.

Pros

  • Easy to use and even sprays upside down.
  • Plenty of surface finishes from matte to gloss.
  • Superior adhesion and coverage.
  • Covers metal, concrete, plastic, canvas, wood, and any other surface.

Cons

  • Expensive for each individual color.
  • Lacks the detail of other paint sets.
  • Highly flammable and toxic.

Additional Specs

Sizes 12ml
Type Spray
Container Spray can
Use Indoor and outdoors
Number of colors 18
Accessories None
Price $$$$

7. Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Chalk Paint

Best Chalk Paint for Wood Craft

This 30-ounce can of Rust-Oleum chalk paint is incredibly popular. It has sold over 22,000 units on Amazon alone, so we could hardly overlook it when we came to the chalk paint category.

This low-odor, latex formula is ideal for painting wood, metal, ceramics, and canvas to provide that distressed vintage look. It is touch-dry in 30 minutes, and one can covers up to 150 square feet, so you can get a lot done with a single tin.

If you need to apply a second coat, it’s best to wait 30 minutes between layers to allow it to dry completely. It dries to a super smooth matte finish, and the wooden surface requires minimal preparation. To fully cure, it takes 2 to 4 hours.

This is water-based paint, so it is good for the environment and cleans with soap and water. The only downside to chalk paint is that it easily scuffs and chips, so you may need to keep the can handy for repairs.

Plus, it is only intended for inside use as it doesn’t withstand the rigors of outdoor life. And if you want additional colors, it will cost you a lot of money.

Pros

  • Adheres to wood, metal, ceramics, and even canvas.
  • Dries completely matte smooth.
  • Water-based formula is better for the environment.
  • Touch dry in just 30 minutes.

Cons

  • Scuffs and chips easily, so repairs are likely.
  • Not for outdoor use.
  • Single colors are expensive.

Additional Specs

Sizes 30ml
Type Chalk
Container Can
Use Indoor
Number of colors 15
Accessories None
Price $$$$$

8. Artistro Acrylic Paint Pens

Best Acrylic Paint Marker Pens for Wood Craft

When you want precision, you can’t beat acrylic pens. You get better control of the paint and a more even flow because the pens only disperse a tip-full at a time. The acrylic ink adheres to almost any surface, so whether you are working on glass, ceramics, wood, metal, or any other surface, these pens work.

You get 12 bright colors with medium-sized tips so that you can infill your designs much easier with less visible lines. You can even decorate your favorite shoes and T-shirts, thanks to the Italian ink’s water resistance.

These are more craft pens, designed for kids and hobbyists alike, so they are unlikely to appeal to professional artists, but they are a fun way to apply paint.

Pros

  • Adheres to wood, metal, ceramics, and even canvas.
  • Gives you increased accuracy and control when applying the paint.
  • Water-based formula is better for the environment.
  • Comes in 12 vibrant colors with 3mm tips for better coverage.

Cons

  • More suited to use by hobbyists and children.

Additional Specs

Sizes 3ml
Type Acrylic
Container Pen
Use Indoor and outdoor
Number of colors 12
Accessories None
Price $$$

Wood Craft Paint Comparison Chart

Product Best Sizes Type Container Use Number of colors Accessories Price
Crafts 4 All Acrylic Paint Set Best Acrylic Paint 12ml Acrylic Tubes Indoor 12 3 paintbrushes $$
Arteza Outdoor Acrylic Paint Set Best Outdoor Paint 59ml Acrylic Tubes Indoor & outdoor 12 3 paintbrushes $$
Apple Barrel Multi-Surface White Paint Best White Paint 236ml Acrylic Squeezable bottles Indoor & outdoor 14 None $$$$
Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks Best Acrylic Ink 30ml Acrylic ink Glass bottles with pipettes Indoor 6 None $$$$
Sargent Art Metallic Acrylic Paint Set Best Metallic Paint 118ml Acrylic Squeezable bottles Indoor 6 None $$$
Krylon K05592007 COLORmaxx Spray Paint and Primer Best Spray Paint 12ml Spray Spray can Indoor & outdoors 18 None $$$$
Rust-Oleum 285140 Ultra Matte Chalk Paint Best Chalk Paint 30ml Chalk Can Indoor 15 None $$$$$
Artistro Acrylic Paint Pens Best Acrylic Marker Pens 3ml Acrylic Pen Indoor & outdoor 12 None $$$

FAQs

Does Acrylic Paint Peel Off Wood?

Acrylic paint doesn’t peel off wood because wood is porous. If you have primed the surface and not used a sealant, it might flake off, but in general, acrylic paint adheres well to wooden surfaces.

Should I Prime Wood Before Painting?

Whenever you are working on raw wood, you should always use a primer because primer has thicker qualities that fill small gaps to help your paint sit on the surface rather than absorb into the material. It also makes the surface smoother for the paint to sit more evenly.

Can I Use Acrylic Paint on Wood Outside?

You can use acrylic paints outside. When they dry, they harden and have water-resistant qualities that repel rainwater. However, like all paints, it will fade over time and eventually wash away, but if you prime the wood and correctly apply the paint, it should still work.

How Do You Seal Painted Wood Crafts?

You use a clear sealer like polyacrylic, which dries clear and adheres to the paint and the wooden surface. A simple, clear varnish will also do the job.


Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.

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