How to Paint Over Stained Woodwork

Although stained woodwork may seem like a challenge to refinish, you should not allow it to prevent you from doing a room makeover. You can paint over the woodwork and create a cohesive new design for any room. Painting over stain is not a difficult task; however, you will need to prepare the woodwork carefully. If you do not, the paint will not properly adhere.

  1. Prepare a bucket of warm water with woodwork/furniture cleaner. Wash the woodwork thoroughly with a cloth rag. Allow the woodwork to dry.
  2. Sand the woodwork with fine-grit sandpaper until the shine on the woodwork is completely removed. Removing the shine will allow the primer and paint to adhere to the previously-stained woodwork.
  3. Wipe the sanded woodwork down with a tack cloth to remove any dust from the wood surface.
  4. Apply a coat of primer to the woodwork with a paintbrush. Allow the primer to dry at least for hours before continuing.
  5. Paint the woodwork with a paintbrush. Apply a second coat if you desire to have a more durable finish. Allow the paint to dry at least four hours between coats.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Woodwork/furniture cleaner
  • Cloth rag
  • Sandpaper, fine-grit
  • Tack cloth
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint


  • Paint the woodwork a contrasting color to the walls to further accent the room features.


  • Wear eye protection when sanding wood.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.