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Can You Use Enamel Paint on Wood? (Explained)

Wood is adaptable and an ideal material for decoration and furniture. Other products also do well with wood and not just furniture. In order to preserve the beauty of such natural furniture, the wood will need painting.

Paint for wood is a different kind of paint that will work for the protection of the product itself. The most effective type of protection a wooden product would need is protection against the negative effects of frost, moisture, and high temperatures.

The main reason to paint our outdoor is to make them waterproof. Water facilitates other types of damage besides dry rot. They can include unsightly stains and cold spots or even mold growth.

To be honest, ultimately the best type of paint depends on the wooden surface as well. Not all wooden surface is the same as the other one. Thus, different wood surfaces need different treatments.

We are here to help you make that decision and choose the right product for your wooden furniture or any other surface of the same texture. We are going to go through enamel paint and its different variants as well to answer if we can use it on wood or not.

Can you use enamel paint on wood?

You can apply enamel paint on wood. This is rather a beneficial practice for the wood because of the protection it gives to it. The enamel paint is perfect for painting on surfaces that will experience regular tear and wear. This usually happens for furniture in outdoor usage.

When it comes to painting, there are a vast number of different types of paints out there. Among them, the Enamel Paint also has some different variants. We will learn below, a bit about those types and if they are applicable on wood or not.

Acrylic Enamel Paint:

Unlike the other surfaces wood is completely compatible with acrylic enamel paint. Normally other surfaces will degrade and peel over time. However, paint does not degrade like that.

Metal Enamel Paint:

Normally on wood, we can use acrylic paint the same one is also usable on the metal surface.

When it comes to metal enamel paint, the same is applicable too. Even colors like bronze, silver, chrome, copper, and gold are applicable to wood.

Humbrol Enamel Paint:

This kind of paint is solvent-based.

The humbrol enamel paint can be applied on a variety of surfaces like wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, metal, sealed plaster, cardboard, and many more. It is because it dries too hard to finish easily.

Enamel Spray Paint:

This paint is rather a versatile one that we can apply on copper, glass, plastic, metal, and wood.

This type of paint is a moisture-resistant one, thus it can help keep the wooden furniture that is usually on the outside in good shape.

Rustoleum Enamel Paint:

This paint is generally used on metals, as they are designed for such a purpose.

However, if you want to use this product on wood, you can use it on wood. You also need to prepare the surface of the wood properly for the painting process.

Water-based Enamel Paint:

The water-based enamel paint does what it is called. The water-based acrylic enamel has excellent gloss and durability. It has great adhesion on non-ferrous surfaces like for example, “wood”.

High gloss Enamel Paint:

The surface of the wood will have a glossy look if we use high gloss enamel paint.

The surface will be more durable and have a hard finish. Glossy finishes are a good choice for wood, these work effortlessly and dry faster.

Does enamel paint seal wood?

Yes, enamel paints provide an extra layer of protection against corrosion, rust, chipping, and tarnishing. We can use it alone or as a sealer on top of another coating. This gives the product that is painted a long-lasting coat.

These paints can be highly practical because of the benefits they bring to the table. Regular wear furniture especially can utilize this paint to its full potential.

Because the paint provides a seal to the product that is painted, that seal protects it from the elements.

This is why applying this paint on wooden products is especially great. Usually, such furniture is used for outdoor usage, that is when it is protected. This will make them last a long time all the while giving the furniture a hard glossy finish.

Does enamel paint need a primer on wood?

Enamel paint as a product is widely used for wooden products. This is because this paint gives the products a hard glossy and durable finish, that acts as a seal for the furniture.

However, when it comes to painting on wood and similar other irregular natural elements, cabinets, walls, molding, or any surface that has uneven dimensions and textures, we always need to use a primer.

Sometimes some of the enamel paint brands will contain built-in primers. That built-in primer will make the paint more adhesion-friendly. But if the product does not include built-in primer, then we need to buy them separately.

3 reasons why you can use enamel paint on wood

Enamel paint can come in different variants. The general enamel paint can be used on wood, that’s because there’s no other paint in the market that can work as well as enamel on wood.

Let us have a look at the main reasons why you can use enamel paint on wood.

Congenial Product:

The enamel paint is a versatile product. This is easy to clean and works well on furniture because it is easy to apply.

Any surface like a wooden patio, stairway, or porch, these all can be easily painted with enamel paint to extend its life.

Designed Ideally:

The enamel paint is specifically designed for surfaces like wood or metal that are uneven and need proper adhesion.

Also, these paints have the property of sealing the outer surface and giving the wood a hard durable glossy surface.

Wood Surface:

Surfaces like wood, plastic, glass, metal, copper, and uneven walls all of these can be painted with enamel paint.

The enamel paint is able to co-operate with such texture of the surface. The paint is also moisture-resistant, which is a must for wooden furniture.

How long will enamel paint last on wood?

Enamel paint is the perfect type of paint that you would want to use on metal or wooden surfaces. This is also the ideal choice if your furniture is situated outdoor.

The coating of the enamel paint has moisture-resistant elements and will keep the furniture healthy and durable.

Latex and acrylic types of paints will last a person for up to 10 years after opening. Furthermore, alkyd and oil-based paints like enamel paint can last up to 15 years, but once applied to the wood, they can last anywhere from 5-to 10 years.

Such long-lasting paint is the main reason why it is preferred over other paints. Especially specifically for the wooden surfaces or any other jagged surface.

How to use enamel paint on wood?

Enamel paint is and also looks different from the traditional paint we find in the market. It is likely because of the properties of the product being oil-based. Thus, the consistency of the product is different as well.

However, even though they might look different, the process of painting something is the same more or less. Here is a step-by-step guide for us to follow below.

Clean surface:

The first step would be to remove any dust from the furniture, with the help of a dry cloth before we start brushing with the enamel paint. Then we sand the wood with care and use fine-grit sandpaper for this process.

Prime and paint:

You will need a primer and a brush and finally we start painting the enamel paint. Preferably the brush we use should be natural-haired. We should make even strokes of enamel paint for efficient results.

Avoid soaking the brush with too much paint. This will allow the coat to dry evenly and after it is dry for a week, you can proceed with the post-application.


After the painting process is finished, we give another round of nice dusting with fine-grit sandpaper.

Final Thoughts 

Enamel paint is one of the most versatile uses of paint for surfaces that need a little bit of extra protection from the elements as well as need more adhesion. So, using enamel paint on wood is one of the best decisions one can make. It is because enamel paint is great for wooden furniture.