How to Paint Artwork on Wood

by Nicole Schmoll
Wood can make an unlikely but effective backdrop for a sunset.

Wood can make an unlikely but effective backdrop for a sunset.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

The object of a painting is as important as what you paint it on. Choosing wood as a painting surface for acrylic paint projects can add an element of excitement to your creation. If you've mastered the art of painting still life or landscapes on canvas, a move to wood may be just the twist you've been looking for to fascinate your mind and further hone your artistic skills. Wood has an appealing grain texture that has long been used for oil paintings. By applying a simple sealant first, you can turn a piece of wood into an earthy, warm surface that's perfect for a bowl of fruit or forest scene.

Items you will need

  • Hardboard wood panel
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Gesso sealant
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint palette
Step 1

Select a piece of hardboard wood panel on which to create your masterpiece. Look for boards or panels made from hard woods like oak, cedar, birch or walnut at your local home improvement center or art supply store. Bring home two or three boards in various sizes, or buy large boards in a few different styles of wood and cut them to size with a hand saw.

Step 2

Identify the shiny side of the hardboard and sand it lightly with a fine piece of sandpaper, such as 150 grit.

Step 3

Decide which side of the board you want to use for your painting surface; you will be coating it with three layers of gesso.

Step 4

Cover the board with the first thin layer of gesso, let it dry and sand it down. Apply another layer and another until you have completed this process three times.

Step 5

Paint a still life scene, sign or other subject on the sanded, sealed and dried hardboard. Use light and dark colors, just as you would on canvas. Use a variety of acrylic paint colors to stand out on and complement the specific wood grain and color you've chosen. Experiment with different grains and colors of hardboard wood panels to create rich hues and natural art projects.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images