Which Acrylic Paints Are Best For Wood Crafts?


Which paints are best for wood crafts? Whether you are working with balsa wood, popsicle sticks, or something similar you want to be sure they have a beautiful look after a paint job and that it will last too. So choosing the right kind of paint is so important. So is the type of wood – a little more on that in a moment.

In this article I will go over different brands and why they are my top picks plus some tips for getting the most out of them So let’s dive in now!

Prep Tips For Painting on Wood

Before you lay a dab on that scrap of wood you came across , don’t forget to get it in ready condition. Because wood is semi-porous (especially when unfinished), it will “grab” paint more quickly. It is a good idea to apply primer to hide the natural flaws that show up.

Sometimes I’ve used balsa wood, which is a dream to paint over, very light and buttery soft. Also those ready-made, preassembled decorative unfinished wood objects you might find at stores like Michaels and Joanne’s, like Christmas ornaments, birdhouses, wall hangings. etc. You won’t need to sand those first. but I would be sure to prime them.

prime before you paintIf your scrap is a little rough, be sure to sand it first, and always with the grain. before priming and painting. And now on to my favorite brands of paint that are ideal for wood craft (when used as indicated!)

Now, on with my favorite picks for the best acrylic craft paint and what you can expect from all of them.

1. FolkArt (My Top Pick)

I have always had a large collection of what’s known as ‘all purpose” craft paints. You may have seen these before. They come in 2 oz bottles and are known by many names, like DecoArt, Folk Art or Apple barrel, all of these are under the subsidiary name Plaid – that part’s not so important, but what is , is these paints’ wide range of colors and fun applications.

As a “low viscosity” kind of acrylic paint, I don’t recommend them for serious work on canvas, but they do great on finished wood projects. Here are a few of mine, a tissue box (I later on stenciled the sides) a jewelry holder and a mini drawer thingy (used to store knickknacks, no doubt)

best acrylics for wood crafts

All of these items I have painted with one of these. Correction – the jewelry rack in the middle, I mean the base. The “other” part is actually a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll that I adorned with colored tape – but that is neither here nor there, I know 🙂

Because of the low viscosity factor, it’s also ideal for embellishments too after you have put down your base coat color. This paint works great with stamping, stenciling or splatter effects, as you can see with this other jewelry corral here, how I added a stencil accent to the middle of it for a little bit of added flair.

which acrylics for woodcraft

Yes, I did add a little “bling” to it as well, in the form of faux rhinestones. Fun, fun.

There’s a wide range of colors to choose from, and effects too – such as glitter, metallic (my favs!) neons, or pearlescent looks.  Rather than a la carte, it’s cheaper to get them in small bundles of 3-8, so if you have a particular project to tackle, you can get a set with different colors all in that style.

AMERICANA DAZZLING METALLICS FAN FAVORITESAMERICANA DAZZLING METALLICS FAN FAVORITESAMERICANA DAZZLING METALLICS FAN FAVORITESDecoArt Acrylic 2 oz 12 Count Brights Craft Paint Value PackDecoArt Acrylic 2 oz 12 Count Brights Craft Paint Value PackDecoArt Acrylic 2 oz 12 Count Brights Craft Paint Value PackDecoart Chtms6pc Americana Acrylic Paint VP Christmas 6pcDecoart Chtms6pc Americana Acrylic Paint VP Christmas 6pcDecoart Chtms6pc Americana Acrylic Paint VP Christmas 6pc

Also, they come in different finishes, matte, satin and gloss…so if you’re seeking a certain look, you can get that too. I prefer the Satin look.

How to Use

In addition to the wide range of colors, you won’t need to spend a lot of time mixing them. They all have a flip-top so you can dispense them easily into a palette. Also, many of them have a circle sticker on top that indicates the color, so when you store them, that helps to locate which one(s) you need.

acrylics for wood craft

Now when I get all the way to the bottom, usually they won’t squirt out as easily and I just remove the top, and dip with my brush, no biggie.

Also, these kinds of paints would be great for kids to work with, as they’re non-toxic as well as easy to use. So they would be ideal for classrooms, with a little supervision.

blender for acrylic craft paintSpecial Techniques

The speed at which acrylics dry is always an issue, but there are ways you can “buy a little time” so to speak, including times when you are painting woodcrafts.

Because of the quick drying issue, I would also suggest you look into a blending gel too, there is also a proprietary brand that is made for adding a little more resiliency to drying as quickly, so you can create some unique special effects.

A small amount does help the paint dry more slowly; it does not affect color saturation.


  • Excellent selection of colors and finishes
  • No color mixing or prep work involved
  • Easy to use, kids and adults both can make use of them
  • Inexpensive


  • Paint may separate with time
  • May require additional coats to get good coverage
  • May develop a strange odor if aged (5+ years)

Chalk Finish Craft Paint SetChalk Finish Craft Paint SetSee on Amazon

2. FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint

These would be ideal for you if you’re into the rustic look. You can get one (or more of these in a vast array of colors, all of them in vintage shades of gray, green, blue, pink and there are also a few metallics for good measure, how this works with a matte finish I have no idea but there they are.

It has great coverage and each jar is 8 oz size. You may want to use a foam brush applicator or a chalk brush for best results. If your wood craft repertoire is in the “farmhouse” oeuvre, I think you will love using these. They are highly popular too, between the crafters/DIY crowd and the furniture distressing enthusiasts, who (mostly) give high reviews.


  • Excellent color selection
  • Good coverage
  • Matte finish that will suit vintage decor well


❌ Major one is that colors may vary slightly from label or upon drying

And if you’re looking to use a more “professional” brand of paint…may I suggest you take a look at

Liquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, 6 x 59ml (2-oz), Muted Collection + WhiteLiquitex Professional Heavy Body Acrylic Paint, 6 x 59ml (2-oz), Muted Collection + WhiteSee on Amazon

3.Muted finish by Liquitex

A brand you know well and trust, the Muted finish colors are calm and sedate versions of popular colors like green and pink. The colors are vibrant and rich with high pigment load, yet just the right tones for those of you into shabby chic decor, these will fit the bill nicely. Things like kitchen and coffee bar signs will have just the right panache as these have an ultra matte finish.

Being a heavy body formula, you may be able to go in with one coat and get a beautiful, quality top coat. The set includes 6 tubes of paint total (each 2 oz) in white, pink, violet, green, teal and gray.


  • Excellent pigment
  • Appealing vintage colors
  • Trusted quality brand with good reputation


❌ A tad expensive (in my opinion)

Pin for Later?

best acrylics for wood crafts


I hope this article helps you out with your wood crafts paint concerns. And that you have many happy painting sessions, as a result of having great colors and looks as these to work with. Have fun!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top