How to Paint Your Own Walking Stick

Written by brandon getty
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How to Paint Your Own Walking Stick
Add colourful flair to your walking stick. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

For the avid hiker or adventurous walker, a walking stick is an important tool. It can be used for stability on uneven terrain, for self-defence against a wild animal or simply for a more authentic hiking experience. While some people prefer to keep their wooden sticks natural and rugged, a nice coat of colourful paint or an intricate design will add a unique touch. Applying paint to a wooden walking stick is like coating any other piece of wood in that surface preparation is integral.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paint scraper
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Old newspapers
  • Wood primer
  • Large paintbrush
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small and medium paintbrushes
  • Water sealant (optional)

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  1. 1

    Inspect the walking stick for any remaining bark or sharp knots that protrude from the surface. Scrape away raised areas or sharp pieces of wood with a paint scraper.

  2. 2

    Smooth all rough patches with coarse-grit sandpaper. Follow with a thorough treatment using fine-grit sandpaper. Though most sticks can be sanded smooth by hand, an orbital sander may be used.

  3. 3

    Wipe the stick clean of all dust with a damp cloth. For proper application of primer, the wood should be completely clean.

  4. 4

    Drape old newspapers over your working surface for protection. Apply a thin coat of wood primer to the entire walking stick using a large paintbrush. Allow the primer to dry for the time suggested on the container, then apply two to three more light coats. Let the primer set overnight.

  5. 5

    Paint your walking stick the colours of your choice. For a simple look, apply a single solid colour to the stick. You can also add stripes, diagonal patterns or small characters for a one-of-a-kind stick.

  6. 6

    Allow the paint to dry for the time suggested on its container. Acrylic paint tends to dry fast, so 24 hours should be sufficient.

Tips and warnings

  • A wood sealant can be applied over the dried paint to protect the walking stick from humidity and rain while on the trail.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid primer and paint fumes.
  • Do not allow children or pets near your work area.

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