Can Masonry Paint Be Used on Wood?

Whilst out on a walk this morning, I came across a house with a pristine exterior but a horrible-looking fence. Both had been painted the exact same colour and it occurred to me that this owner had definitely used masonry paint on the wooden fence.

The subject of whether masonry paint can be used on wood or not has split professional decorators for years – some argue that it’s the best type of paint for wood whereas others believe a wood-specific paint is all you should use on wood.

Logic suggests the latter are correct.

So can you use masonry paint on wood? Having 20 years in the trade under my belt, it was inevitable that I would experiment with this in the past and with that said, I’m here to share my experience of it.

Using masonry paint on wood can cause all sorts of problems as shown in this example.

Can Masonry Paint Be Used on Wood?

Yes, you can use masonry paint on wood but you will need to mix Owatrol E-B bonding primer into the masonry paint before application if you want lasting results.

Owatrol E-B bonding primer certainly isn’t cheap, and it’s also worth bearing in mind that masonry paint is extremely thick and thus can damage the wood as it doesn’t allow it to absorb or release moisture.

Furthermore, if you ever want to remove the masonry paint from the wood in the future, it’s going to be a total nightmare.

So in my opinion, the question shouldn’t really be “CAN you paint wood with masonry paint?” It should be “SHOULD you paint wood with masonry paint?”

I would say don’t bother – stick to wood paint.

If I’ve yet to convince you to avoid using masonry paint on wood then I would advise thinning the first coat down to 50/50 and then applying a second coat. Good luck!

Can Masonry Paint Be Used on Previously Painted Wood?

If you have exterior wood that was previously painted with masonry paint and it doesn’t look awful then you can use masonry paint to give it a fresh coat.

Masonry paint has great adhesion to almost all surfaces – the issue is, you never know how it will react when painting a surface for the first time.

If you’ve used masonry paint on a wooden surface in the past and it’s lasted a long time, it means the surface is sound. With that in mind, there shouldn’t be a problem if you use it on the previously painted wood.

Can You Use Masonry Paint on Wooden Decking?

You can use masonry paint on wooden decking but expect to be using it again in a few months when it fails! All jokes aside, it’s not a good idea to use masonry paint on wooden decking as it’s not formulated to withstand foot traffic or standing water.

If you’re lucky, the paint will last 6 months at the most so unless you have the time and patience to be painting it twice a year, it’s best to avoid it.

Can Masonry Paint Be Used on Wood Indoors?

Masonry paint can be used on wood indoors however it’s best to avoid doing so as almost all masonry paint contains some form of fungicide. The fungicides present in masonry paint can have a negative impact on your respiratory system and can cause coughing, sneezing, and skin irritation.

When masonry paint is applied to exteriors, there is obviously lots of ventilation so the fungicides are not harmful whereas when applied indoors, air circulation is much worse.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I would advise against using masonry paint on wood. Whilst it can be done, and in general looks half decent, there are simply better-suited paints out there that don’t cost as much and last much longer.