How to Stain & Paint Chipboard

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to Stain & Paint Chipboard
Do not paint over bare chipboard. (background particle board image by robert mobley from

Chipboard is another name for particle board, a manufactured product, consisting of wood particles held together by a binding resin. To stain and paint chipboard, you should use particular preparation and application procedures depending on the condition of the board. You should also select a particular coating, based on the location of the chipboard, or you may end up with significant chipping and flaking.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plastic dust sheets
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Tack cloths
  • Professional painters tape
  • For staining:
  • Oil-based stain
  • 2- to 4-inch oil paintbrush
  • White spirit
  • Varnish
  • Polyurethane wood sealant
  • For painting:
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • 2- to 4-inch water-based paintbrush
  • Satin latex paint
  • Acrylic floor paint

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  1. 1

    Cover areas below vertical chipboard with plastic dust sheets. Place fabric coverings over the plastic ones.

  2. 2

    Wipe down the chipboard with tack cloths to eliminate dust that inhibits stain absorption and primer and paint adhesion.

  3. 3

    Protect surfaces adjacent to the chipboard with painters tape.


  1. 1

    Coat the chipboard with two thin coats of oil-based stain, using a paintbrush, made for oil-based paint. Be sure to apply light coats of stain. Do not over-apply, or you may end up with a richer finish than you desire. Wait two hours between each coat.

  2. 2

    Wash the brush with white spirit.

  3. 3

    Wait six hours after the second coat. Coat vertical chipboard with varnish, using the clean brush. If you are staining flooring, use polyurethane wood sealant. Wait eight hours before walking on the floor.


  1. 1

    Coat the chipboard with acrylic latex primer using a paintbrush made for water-based paint.

  2. 2

    Wash the brush with water.

  3. 3

    Wait two hours. Coat vertical chipboard with satin latex paint, using the clean brush. Use acrylic floor paint on chipboard flooring. Wait eight hours before walking on the floor.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not paint over bare, unprimed chipboard, or the finish will peel.

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