How to Use the Watercolor on Wood? Read Expert Guidelines

Do you know want to use the watercolor on wood? There are different types of surfaces available for the watercolors. But when we talk about the wood, it is a unique and different surface for the watercolor. The first important thing is the grain on the wood surface, which is perfect to give a new dimension to your painting. Wood can be a unique piece in your painting collection. But you can’t just take wood and start working on it. You need to perfectly prepare the wood before starting the work to get excellent results.


Using watercolor on wood

The preparation of the wood surface for the watercolor painting involves different steps. Let’s see how can we use the wood surface for a unique watercolor painting piece.

Sanding the wood surface

If you are going to use an existing piece of wood, make sure it is perfect for the watercolor. You can use sandpaper over the wood surface to create a bit of tooth so that the wood holds the watercolor perfectly. But make sure that the surface of the wood piece is not too coarse.

Moreover, make sure to choose a perfectly ventilated area to do this process. Because the sanding process will spread the wood particles in the air which can cause respiratory issues. These particles are also bad for eyes and responsible for eye irritations.

Dust removal

Sometimes many fibers come in the way of painting during wood painting. This can cause clumping, and many control issues during painting. Many people use their mouths or fingers to remove these fiber particles from the wood. But the best way to get rid of this issue is the use of vacuum or compressed air.

For the vacuuming of the wood fiber, you can place the wood on the floor and go over the surface several times. Make sure the fiber surface of the wood is facing the floor. This will give you the best results to remove the fibers from the wood surface.

The compressed air can also remove the fiber particles from your wood piece. You can easily find the compressed air next to your computer. It can remove even the tiniest particles from your wood piece.

Prime the wood surface

When you are going to apply the watercolor on wood, a little bit of preparation work is necessary. Although the watercolors are made up of gum Arabic, it can have little difficulties with wood. So, the priming of the wood surface before painting is good. The common medium for priming the wood is gesso. You can use the gesso before starting painting to get the perfect results.

Gesso is a good medium that almost allows you to paint on anything. It is famously used with canvases and oil paints. Sometimes people use the oil paint on unprepared canvas, it leads them to the more absorbed paint into the fabric. That’s why many canvases available in the market are pre-prepared with the primer. It makes the surface hard and allows you to use less amount of oil paint. The rough fibers on the wood surface can draw the maximum amount of watercolor under the wood fiber. But the primer can fill these spaces and allows you to use the less color.

Varnish the wood surface

You can also use the varnishes on the wood surface for archival purposes. This medium can be used on the complete painting to preserve the painting for years. It also gives a perfect shine to the complete painting. Especially when you are living in a high humidity area. Some artists don’t add the varnish when their picture is behind the glass. But when it’s on the raw nature of wood, varnishing of the painting is more important. Varnishing of the painting surface also dry the painting quickly and prevent any kind of pigment mix. Moreover, the varnished piece of painting will never get yellow at all. Varnishing ensures that your piece of art doesn’t look washed out or less vibrant.

Use the aqua board

Many people don’t like to do all the above-mentioned work before the painting on wood. They like to start work quickly. Aqua board is the perfect option for these artists. Although the surface of the aqua board is not wood, still you can get the perfect results like the wood on the aqua board, using the watercolor on it. You won’t find the wood grain on the aqua board surface. This surface has many properties like wood. For example, it is also a rigid surface like wood.

Drawing with watercolor on wood

What is the perfect way to start the painting with watercolor?

The best way to start the watercolor painting is from a light color to dark colors. Because it’s difficult to add the lighter colors in the darker colors. You also need to wait until the first one gets dry completely. It is good to add the depth and detail in the colors. You can also apply the washes of colors on the top of others. A “wash” is a color layer which applied to the paper or canvas.

Is it possible to remove the mistakes of watercolors?

Yes, we can remove some possible watercolor painting mistakes. You can blot the wet area with the tissue to remove the mistake. The tissue will pick all the pigment from the paper. if the pigment is dried, you can re-wet that area and blot it. Make sure to not rub to prevent any surface damage.


From all the above discussion we can conclude that the watercolors are the versatile mediums that can be used for a variety of purposes. You can also use the watercolors on the wood to get the perfect and durable results. But before using the watercolor on wood, you need to prepare the wood surface properly.

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