How to Make a Wood Panel for Painting

How to Make a Wood Panel for Painting? DIY Tips

If you want to start painting at home but don’t want to waste money on canvases – then you can always use a wood panel. It is easy to use, paints as well as any canvas and offers tons of convenience.

But you won’t find them in stores or shops – so you’ll have to learn how to make a wood panel for painting.

The process is not too hard, though. So, with the right steps to follow, and with sufficient attention, you will end up with a perfect wood panel for painting at home.

Care to learn how this is done? Then head further into this article to find out!

How to Make a Wood Panel for Painting: A Comprehensive Guide

1. Get the tools

You will need several tools to make this possible. So we recommend finding them before you do anything else.

Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Ruler
  • Hammer
  • Screws and/or Nails
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Electric Drill
  • Clamps (C-Clamps – Table-Mounted Corner Clamps – Small Corner Clamps)
  • Soft Pencil
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Bench Saw / Miter Saw/ Hand Saw

These tools should be enough to get the wood panel ready in a few hours.

2. Choose the Right Material

Once you have the tools ready, then you can proceed to choose the ideal material.

Remember, you’ll have to consider whether you want small or large wood panels for painting. Depending on what you prefer, then you’ll have to choose accordingly.

Here are a few materials to consider:

Masonite (Hardboard)

This is perfect for the support, but also useful if you want to make the whole panel from it. This type of wood is decently sturdy and offers superb resilience. With wood fibers and resin as its components, it will stand tons of pressure with ease.

Furniture Plywood

Another excellent material would be furniture plywood. It is one of the sturdiest materials you can find that’s still light and easy to handle. While it won’t be the best for the support, it offers a smooth surface so you can make it work for the painting side.

Laminated Board (MDF)

While the core of MDF boards is usually too weak to work for supports, it may have a mica film on the surface that works wonders for painting over.

This mica is typically resistant and long-lasting. You only need to find the ideal side to sand and paint over.

3. Getting Wood Pieces

Once you have the ideal wood figured out, then you can proceed to get the wood pieces to start making the cradled wood artist panels.

There are two ways to get these wood pieces for the panels:

Make Them Yourself

If you don’t want to waste money on processed wood, then you can always buy the raw one yourself and make the panels by hand.

You will need a large woodworking machine like a table saw or something even larger. While this can take you a little more time than usual, it saves you a lot of money per panel.

Buy Premade Wood Panels

Otherwise, you can always get wood panels from stores and shops directly. Some of these panels are pre-sealed and pre-primed – so you will only need to add a layer of primer to make them work. But these can be extremely expensive – about 10x of a raw piece of wood.

Others are rawer, so you will still need to prepare them before using them for painting. These are way more affordable than pre-primed & pre-sealed pieces.

4. Prepare the Wood Panel

If you picked a pre-sealed and pre-primed piece of wood, then you can skip this step. Otherwise, you will need to pay great attention to these steps if you want to make the ideal wood panels for painting:

Cut the Wood

First, start by cutting the wood to the size of the wood panel you want to make.

There are various sizes to consider – so choose the right one. Use any of the saws on the tools section.

Here, you will need to use a ruler and a soft pencil. This will help you make the most accurate cuts possible.

Also, consider following all safety precautions when using the saws, such as wearing protective gear and/or working on a stable surface.

Clean the Wood

Proceed by cleaning any sign of dust, debris, bump, or similar impurity on the surface. You can use a vacuum or an air-pressure gun. This will get rid of the initial particles on top.

Then proceed to wipe clean with a damp towel or microfiber cloth. Make sure it doesn’t leave lint or paper impurities.

Seal the Surface

Once you have the surface you want to use for painting ready, then you can add some acrylic sealer.

Sealing with this type of acrylic product will prevent the wood from discoloring or weakening. Also, it keeps the wood from warping when painting or adding primer. In short, it is sort of a strengthener for the wood.

There are many types of acrylics to choose from. We usually recommend glossy types because they leave a smooth and good-looking surface. This surface will also soak the whole surface quickly and let the paint look amazing.

Once you’ve applied the sealer on the surface you want to use for painting, you need to leave it to dry for as much time as the acrylic tells you so. Read the instructions.

Sand the Surface

After adding at least one layer of sealer to the surface of the wood panel, then you can proceed to sand it.

We recommend doing so only when the entire surface of the wood is completely dry. This will leave a semi-coarse texture that you need to sand.

Use a 220 grit sandpaper piece. Get rid of all the imperfections and finish by cleaning and vacuuming the residues. This should leave a glossy finish on the surface.

Prime the Surface

After applying the sealer, then you need to use the primer. You should apply at least two prime coats on the surface, ideal for strengthening it and adding a more professional appearance.

Priming the main surface is enough. But you may also proceed to prime the sides and back if needed. That will make it look even better.

Primer adds the extra strength necessary for the wood to not get affected by paint. When you’re painting over the surface, the liquid won’t reach the wood fibers and then not cause any damage over time.

Build the Supports

The last but still significant step is to build the supports. This is essential for cradled wood panels if you want never to experience warping and/or breakage. And if you have a large board, then it is even more important to do.

Also called cradling, this process is all about choosing strong pieces of wood and hooking them up on the back of the main wood panel. This adds the extra support for the board to never warp and increase overall strength wherever you place it.

The back supports also work as a frame where you can hang the panel from. So if you want to add extra convenience to the piece, this is an excellent way to do so.

Here, you will need to use nails and screws. Drill the holes on the main wood frame, then piece up the support boards using the nails and screws accordingly.

Remember to use the hammer, screwdriver, and saws if needed. The ruler and the pencil will help you mark for accuracy.

Once you’ve finished adding the supports, then you’re ready to start using it. If you want – adding a canvas can leave the ideal blank space for painting. That will make it even better.

You can get beautiful wood panel painting ideas from the hotel Creeksidelandsinn.


As you can see – learning how to make a wood panel for painting takes less time and effort than you may think. But it is still essential to follow the right steps if you don’t want to make mistakes.

So don’t hesitate and follow this guide if you want to create your own wood panel for painting at home.

If you’re an artist or someone who simply loves painting – then you’ll find this idea a fantastic opportunity. Start building your own panel today!

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