Best paint option for birch wood

I’ve been using spray paint on my designs and using a primer beforehand, and nothing seems to cover the wood up - should I switch to paint instead of spray paint? Best paint suggestions that won’t show the wood through it? This is for home decor signs.

Thank you!

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How many layers are you putting down?

I typically do 6-8 for light colors, sanding between each coat. I usually put down a couple of layers of silver first for white or yellow.

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When you say “cover up”, are you referring to the wood grain? Aerosol spray paint is very thin and will not fill in the grain. I spray paint nearly all of my painted projects. First thing I do is sand the wood with fine sandpaper (220-320 grit), I even sand it before masking and lasering. Next I give a few coats of primer, sanding lightly between coats and then final painting. It won’t give you as smooth a finish as mdf will, but it will give you a nice finish.

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maybe not using wood. MDF or Draftboard would be better

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Good point. I use hardboard for a lot of things that will be painted. Has a textured back, however.

I have spray painted over a fair amount of cheap birch-ply. I use two coats of a cheap primer, like Rustoleum, and several coats of quality spray paints (like Montana Cans.) I have not seen any wood grain. I usually give the ply a quick sanding with 120 grit before starting. No idea what, if any of this, eliminates the grain from showing through.


I am not familiar with this product. I will have to check it out. I just bought a new compressor, air brush and am about to get a detail spray gun.

@KatieStephens If I am needing a really good finish, I will cut my pieces out of white/black board from Lowe’s. It takes paint wonderfully.

Art stores sell higher quality spray paints than big box DIY stores. Go figure right?

If you’re getting into using an air compressor to spray paint, I’m thinking you may be at the next level.

Gesso first.


I recently switched to hand painting my wood, gets better coverage and the price is a lot better in the long run. I sand everything first then paint with a few coats. It depends on how smooth I want the finish on whether I sand the painted layers or not.

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I handpaint also, with a medium quality craft acrylic–not the store brand, but DecoArt or Folk Art for example. Sanding first and between coats is also a good idea if you want it smooth. I could also see putting down a coat or two of spray paint in a white or silver if you had something larger and didn’t want to hand paint it 2 -3 times…


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