​​Can You Paint Over Wood Sealer? 

 August 21, 2022

By  Dale Keese

Wood sealing is a necessary step for preventing water damage from damaging wood furniture. But when the sealed wood surface no longer looks attractive, is it advisable to paint over it?

Applying paint and sealer in the right order is essential for maximum protection. Sealed wood can be painted over as long as the wood is completely dry – at least 3 weeks. Raw wood must be sealed first, then paint can be applied afterwards.

Understanding the kind of wood you are working with can help you apply paint and sealer correctly. Read on below to learn more about using sealer and paint on wood together.

Can Wood Sealer Be Painted Over?

Sealing is an important process that keeps your wood furniture and projects lasting a long time. It will significantly reduce the chances of wood warping, rotting, and staining especially when used outdoors.

However, not all wood is the same. Various of wood, raw or treated, should be handled differently.

Raw Wood

When working with raw wood, priming and sealing should always be done before painting.

Wood contains natural chemicals that can break down paint over time, resulting in uneven surfaces or even bubbling and chipping. Sealing raw wood first will prevent this, and ensure the paint lasts a longer time.

Previously Treated or Sealed Wood

Wood that has been previously sealed can be topped off with water-based paint. This should only be done if the sealer has completely dried or cured; otherwise, the sealer won’t adhere to the surface properly.

It’s recommended to wait around 3 weeks for wood sealer to dry properly before painting over it. Applying paint to sealed wood that hasn’t dried yet can also result in bubbling and flaking.


Painting and sealing are interchangeable processes depending on the kind of wood. Knowing when to seal or paint first is helpful in ensuring the success of your project.

About the author

Hey, I'm Dale Keese.. thanks for reading.. hopefully this article can save you some time and trouble with your sealing job. I'm also in the process of making some video walk-throughs for youtube so check back soon! thanks

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