How to Paint Wooden Beams

Updated March 23, 2017

Wooden beams are often used in rustic architecture. Whether on the ceiling or acting as a support beam for load-bearing walls, the beams add interest to a room. When designing a room or redecorating, you may choose to paint the wooden beams to add a pop of colour or to blend the beam in with the surrounding paint. Proper preparation of your beam will lead to a professional result.

Cover any exposed flooring or furniture with thick canvas dust sheets.

Smooth the beams with an orbital sander. Sand with the grain to prevent splintering. Wipe away any sawdust with a damp rag.

Vacuum any sawdust from the dropcloth.

Apply painter's tape around the beam where it meets the wall or floor.

Stir about ΒΌ cup of latex paint into the primer to tint the primer. This will provide a more even topcoat.

Pour the tinted primer into a paint tray. Roll the primer onto the beam. Use the cut-in tool for any corners or straight lines. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Lightly sand the primer and wipe away any excess dust with a damp rag.

Roll the beam with a coat of latex paint, using the cut-in tool when necessary. Allow the paint to dry completely before removing the tape and dropcloth.


A second coat of latex paint may be needed for dark colours. A cut-in tool has a flat pad to help paint in corners and straight lines. The tool is sold in most home improvement stores.


Wear protective goggles through the entire process to prevent sawdust or paint from getting into your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Orbital sander
  • Shop vacuum
  • Rag
  • Painter's tape
  • Latex primer
  • Latex paint
  • Stir stick
  • Paint tray
  • Roller
  • Cut-in tool
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About the Author

Based in Lakeland, FL., Heather Montgomery has been writing a popular celebrity parenting blog and several parenting and relationship articles since 2011. Her work also appears on eHow and Everyday Family and she focuses her writing on topics about parenting, crafts, education and family relationships. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in early education from Fort Hays State University.