Best Wood for Painting: Reviews in 2020 (Updated!)
One of the main issues artists face when choosing a wood to paint with is whether it holds paint correctly or not. If they don’t get the best wood for painting, then they may end up with an unpainted piece – or a complete mess.
That’s why it is so necessary to know what kind of wood is more natural to paint and which one will hold the paint better. Here, we’re going to teach you exactly that.
We’re explaining how some of the highest-quality pieces of wood in the market can help you achieve excellent paintings, and how you can get the most out of them. And to make it even easier, we’re showing you a set of factors to think about before choosing – so you can pick with more confidence.
So, are you ready to learn which type of wood is the best for painting? Then come in!
Top 10 Best Woods for Painting Reviews
We researched the market, found quality options to pick, and analyzed them. After that, we came with a few words about each. Here’s what we found:
1. YoleShy 8x8 Unfinished Wood Boards for Arts & Craft
The first wood in the list is the YoleShy Unfinished set of boards. It is the perfect choice for any type of craft and art project.
The unfinished canvas offers a light-colored surface where you can paint with total freedom. It doesn’t have a single fissure or inconsistency and offers fantastic smoothness at the same time.
This makes these boards perfect for paints such as casein, tempera, acrylic, oil, watercolor, and other mixed types. And sure enough, the wood will absorb the paint amazingly well – achieving superb durability.
Every board from YoleShy measures 8 by 8 inches in a squared design. This is the perfect canvas design to use as a portrait as well, or as a decoration piece.
At the same time, the wood has no odor and doesn’t burr. Experiencing splintering and breakage is also unusual, as it uses high-quality wood on its build to prevent all that.
Sure enough, the natural wood also offers the perfect texture and lines on the surface. It allows the painter to achieve a more appealing look on the art. Whether it is for simple decoration or something more skill-demanding – this wood will perform exceptionally well.
It is an excellent choice for both beginners and experts at an affordable cost.
- Top-notch surface for smoothness and natural looks
- Perfect size at 8-by-8 to work as a canvas for any type of painting
- Odor-free, splinter-free, and durable wood construction
- Works well with a wide array of paint types & colors
- The unique portrait-like design makes it perfect for decorations
2. Fuyit 2.4-Inche Natural Wood Slices for DIY Crafts
In case you want something rugged and more natural, the 2.4-inches diameter Natural Wood Slices from Fuyit will be perfect for your needs.
In contrast with the experience of painting pressure-treated wood, these natural pieces make your art more real. That means you won’t have to rely on paint effects and instead enjoy the amazing wood texture of these slices.
You will get a total of 30 small slices with the crust or bark of the tree. That will offer a unique rugged look, making it ideal for both decoration and practical uses.
Sure enough, the wood is naturally dried, which allows the paint to stick amazingly well. You can use all kinds of paint without problems. And with the sanded surface, the painting will be a total piece of cake with such smoothness.
You can create anything from ornaments to decorations, photo props, portraits, or just use as hand-painting canvases. Whatever you use them for, these pieces of wood won’t disappoint.
And with the 33 feet of Natural Jute Twine, you can tie them, hang them, or just use your creativity to the max. They offer no limit.
- Natural & rugged appearance for a unique appearance
- Works well for decoration and practical applications
- Sanded surface allows smooth & easy painting
- Absorbs & keeps paint well on its surface for long
- Comes with 33 feet of Natural Jute Twine
3. U.S. Art Supply 24x36 Gallery Paint Pouring Panel Boards
In case you want something larger and capable of providing much more painting space – then the 24-by-36 panel boards from U.S Art Supply will be your best bet.
This set of two panels will offer 24-inches of width and 36-inches of length along with a 1.5-inches thickness of Gallery-type wood. That’s enough to handle most types of paintings, whether it is a portrait, landscape, or something unique.
It gets even better when you consider the smooth surface it offers. Using birch wood, the set allows all kinds of creative ideas to come into life, as well as a wide array of paint types: acrylic, tempera, encaustic, watercolor, oil, and more.
Apart from that, the panels are strong enough to last a lifetime without flexing, stretching, bending, warping, or breaking. And you can hang them with ease almost anywhere, especially with the solid wood cradles.
The best of all is that the wood is totally unprimed, so you can add some gesso or prime and increase the overall quality of the wood. This will let you place the panels alongside anything and paint them with ease, ensuring an amazingly-looking piece of wood.
If you want quality over anything else, this birch wood set from U.S Art Supply will be an excellent choice.
- Large 24 by 36 design for more space & painting ease
- Thick wood at 1.5 inches provides strength & durability
- Ultra-smooth surface works well with all kinds of paints
- The unprimed surface makes it possible to add strength
- Easy-to-hang cradle design for practicality
4. U.S. Art Supply 11x14 Gallery Paint Pouring Panel Boards
Coming back with the birch wood panels from U.S. Art Supply, we now meet the 11-by-14 Gallery model.
The painting over paneling feels terrific when you have such a smooth surface. You can paint with anything as well, including acrylic, watercolor, tempera, encaustic, oil and more.
Each panel board is super sturdy at 1.5-inches thick. They won’t flex or break, bend, or even warp. Along with the solid wood cradles, you can expect to enjoy ultra-strong pieces to paint. Also, if you use a lot of paint – the surface will stay sturdy.
There’s also the unprimed surface, which allows a touch of durability if you want. Just pour some prime or gesso and you will have the chance to add extra strength to the pieces. And sure enough, this will make the painting even better-looking, durable, and resilient.
Let’s not forget the color of the birch wood is clear enough to handle most colors without problems. You won’t have any issue achieving maximum creative expression. It doesn’t matter your desired result.
Finally, you get three panels with the set for a premium cost. Without having to spend a fortune, you can enjoy the perfect wood canvases for your art that don’t leave a single thing to be desired.
- Small yet spacious 11 by 14 square design for painting
- Super-smooth surface allows all kinds of art projects
- Thick birch wood prevents warping, bending & breakage
- Clear surface increases color quality & paint beauty
- Allows prime & gesso application for strength & smoothness
5. U.S. Art Supply 5x7 Studio Paint Pouring Panel Boards
In case a 1.5-inches panel feels too thick for your needs, then you can always go for the Studio models from U.S. Art Supply.
This time, the 0.75-inches thickness of the wood, along with a 5-by-7 design, offers a small yet hugely practical wooden canvas to enjoy.
Also made of birch wood, it is ultra-smooth, so you can paint with anything and enjoy maximum quality. The texture won’t leave anything to be desired. And the strength of the wood will make you more confident with your art – so you can use it as decoration, portraits, or just anything.
The size is one of the most exciting parts of this set. They are minimalistic, so they allow cute yet small portraits as well as all types of decoration. You can use these panel boards to improve your drawing and painting skills, but also to enhance your home beauty & style.
Let’s not forget that despite the thickness, the wood is still capable of withstanding warping, breaking, bending, or even stretching. Adding up to its smoothness, unique design, and size – these Studio board panels are set to surpass your expectations.
- Sturdy birch wood withstands breakage, warping & stretching
- The minimalistic design allows uniquely cute portraits & art projects
- Extra-smooth surface works well with any kind of paint
- Ideal for making decorations and for practicing skills
- Excellent cost the quality, size, and quantity
6. U.S. Art Supply 12x12 Gallery Paint Pouring Panel Boards
Coming back to the Gallery versions, it is now time for the 12-by-12 panel boards to enter into the game.
Just like all other Gallery boards, this one comes with the 1.5-inches thickness build. That’s enough to handle most wood problems amazingly well. But it is not the thickness or the strength that stands out, but the unbeatable smoothness it offers.
You’ll have no problem achieving exquisite art projects with these perfectly squared 12-by-12 birch wood panels. Whether you want to take your art more serious or make some abstract painting as a chance, the panels will work wonders.
Still, they can handle most types of mixed media – going from acrylic to oil, tempera, watercolor, encaustic, and more. And you may even use the boards for photos, drawings, collages, or simple decorations.
The set comes with three 12-by-12 wood panels – enough to handle even the hardest of jobs. And that will also be enough to push your creativity through the roof.
Whether you’re a beginner art crafter or a professional DIYer – this set will work wonders. Don’t overlook its advantages.
- Perfectly symmetrical square allows neat results
- Strong 1.5-inches thick wood increases strength & durability
- Birchwood absorbs all kinds of mixed media effortlessly
- Smooth surface makes it easy to enjoy easy painting
- Works well for either beginners or experts
7. Art Alternatives 10x10 Super Value Wood Panel
Veering away from U.S. Art Supply board panels, it is time to go over the Art Alternative options. This time, we meet the 10-by-10 Super Value wood panels made with pine cradles and birch surface.
The birch surface offers the perfect texture for any paint to stick with no problem. You can use this surface for mixed media and painting all kinds of stuff. Yet, you may also use it for collages and other types of decoration.
In case you like impasto or encaustic, then you may find the panels rigid enough to withstand them. That will make them even more versatile for general arts & crafts.
The set comes with five different canvases to enjoy at 1.5-inches depth each. That’s the perfect thickness to handle most jobs without warping or breaking. Even if you use the moistest of paints, it will not cause any damage.
Lastly, let’s not forget these are 10-by-10 square canvases. That’s the perfect shape to get all kinds of projects done. Whether we’re talking about a simple portrait or a more complex landscape painting – you can do it all with these panels.
And of course, the mixed build with birch & pine adds extra durability. You won’t regret getting these.
- Superb build with pine & birch for durability
- Extra-smooth birch surface allows all kinds of paints & jobs
- Perfect 10-by-10 design works for different art projects
- Decently thick build prevents warping, breaking & stretching
- Works with plaster, encaustic, string and other materials
8. Thiecoc Unfinished 4-Inches Wood Circles
Want small yet smooth wood circles for your painting? Then the 4-inches slices of unfinished wood from Thiecoc will be an excellent choice.
They are perfectly round and with the same diameter each one. That adds a level of consistency, but also allows you to make all kinds of art projects with them. And when it comes to painting, they don’t leave a single thing to be desired.
Despite being seemingly small, the blank space is clear enough to allow any type of painting. You can use different types of media on them as well, including color pencils but also tempera, oil, acrylic, and more.
The surface is super smooth, of course. That makes it even easier to achieve the perfect creativity and enjoy maximum expression. And thanks to the wood quality, you won’t see a single burr, splinter, or rough texture to complain about.
You can do whatever you want with these 4-inches wood circles from Thiecoc. From creating decoration to writing, drawing, or painting all kinds of stuff – it offers no limits for your creativity. Especially with the rough edges, they look perfect for the most creative ideas.
- Quality wood is free of burrs, splinters, and rough surfaces
- Smooth texture allows drawing, writing, painting, and more
- Perfect 10-by-10 size works for all kinds of projects
- Resilient material works well with a wide variety of paints
- Unique rugged look increases beauty & quality
9. U.S. Art Supply 4x4 Studio Paint Pouring Panel Boards
When painting wood paneling, you sometimes want something small and easy to handle, a piece of wood that you can use as decoration but also as the ideal art canvas. In that case, the Studio birch-wood board from U.S. Art Supply at 4-by-4 will not disappoint you.
Being Studio panels, they come with a 0.75-inches thickness. That works wonders with the 4-by-4 size, being strong enough to handle most paint types and media, but also small enough to be used for decorations or just practicing painting skills.
But there’s more to it than that. You also get the quality birch wood construction, offering the smooth surface to paint with no limit, and the fantastic warp-free, shrink-free, and stretch-free material.
The small size also allows easy hanging and handling. You can use the tiny canvas for all kinds of stuff, and you won’t have any problem.
Finally, the wood offers an almost perfect square with a light color. That means you can achieve maximum artistic expression by using even the darkest of paints or the lightest ones without problems – and still enjoy it all on the canvas.
In short, this set of five 4-by-4 panels will improve your painting experience. So don’t overlook it.
- Sturdy & resilient birch wood construction
- Decent thickness stands all kinds of paints
- Small yet practical size works as portrait, canvas, and more
- Light-colored surface improves overall color use
- Cradle-design makes it convenient for different uses
10. Juvale 10.6x7 Unfinished Wood Rectangle
As the last wood panels on the list, we find the 10.6-by-7 wood rectangles from Juvale. They offer the ideal size to handle all kinds of jobs, including paintings, art projects, decorations, and more.
The rectangular design works for portraits as well as it does for wooden signs and even decorations. Yet, the real advantage comes from its sturdy poplar plywood build. It stands different kinds of materials, including paints, stains, glues, and more.
It is only 0.25-inches thick, which makes it slightly fragile. But this also adds to its overall versatility. Being decently sized, anyone can use the panel to create amazing art projects with no effort.
Lastly, it increases creativity by a lot. The smooth surface with a light tone makes it possible for artists to use a wide array of colors with ease. Nothing will go to waste with this panel – it resilient, smooth, and capable of withstanding all types of materials despite its thin build.
If you want to achieve maximum creativity with your painting, then you shouldn’t dismiss this one.
- Quality poplar plywood for a durable yet thin build
- Extra-versatile rectangular design works for all kinds of jobs
- The perfect light-colored surface is ideal for painting
- Works well with different paint types & materials
- Excellent size is practical yet spacious enough
What to Look For While Buying a Wood For Painting?
You went through all our reviews, but you’re still not sure which wood to go for? Well, don’t worry. That’s precisely why we have a buying guide.
Here, you’ll learn exactly how to get the most out of the different options in our reviews, starting from what you should pick, depending on your needs.
Want to know more? Then keep reading:
Type of Wood
The first and most crucial part: consider the type of wood you want to use.
For us, the best type of wood for painting is undoubtedly the one with the smoothest surface, the sturdiest build, and the most durable composition. But getting that kind of wood is not easy.
You must consider softwoods first. Here, you will find materials like pine and cedar. When it comes to canvases made of wood, the most usual one is cedar due to its light color and how well it stains. But of course, it isn’t the most durable – especially if you’re using moist paints that may warp or shrink it.
If you’re going hard at pouring acrylic on wood, then we recommend sturdier materials like birch or maple. But for the best results, you should stick to birch for its light color and overall strength. It will help you paint all kinds of stuff while still handling even the most humid of media effortlessly.
You may find other types of materials such as MDF and plywood for these canvases. But we don’t recommend them as much as we do birch boards. They have the smoothest surfaces, the ideal color, and perfect strength. If you want something softer or cheaper, then pine is your way to go.
It doesn’t matter what kind of material you choose if the canvas is not thick enough. That’s why you must also focus on getting something deep enough so it can withstand most types of paint without warping, breaking, stretching, shrinking, or weakening.
But thickness also damages overall usability and weight. If you get a wood board that’s too thick, you may eventually hinder your chances of using it as decoration or even as a portrait.
That’s why we usually stick to thicknesses of no more than 2 inches. But for the best results, you should stick to 1.5-inches and no less than 0.75-inch of overall thickness.
This will ensure both the ideal strength as well as the perfect convenience. You’ll have the chance to use them for almost anything.
Shape & Size
After considering the material and thickness you want to go for, then it’s time to pick the shape & size of the wood you want.
Remember, wood comes from trees, so its natural shape is circular. Yet, most wood panels for painting are usually square or rectangular panels. That would be the ideal shape if you want to make something complex like a portrait or landscape painting, but you may also use it for drawing and general crafts.
Yet, you may also find more natural types of woods with their circular shape in slices. Some may even hold the crust or bark still. That adds a slight natural touch to the wood, but also increases overall beauty. Also, you can use them for your art but also for decoration and practical uses.
Then, make sure you get wood panels or slices with the right size. If you get something too large, then it may be pretty difficult to fill, hang, and handle. But if you get something too small, then you may not have the chance to use all your creativity.
That’s why we recommend sticking to square design that is at least 10-inches width by 10-inches height. This size will be enough to handle most jobs without feeling too big or too small.
Paints & Materials
Finally, consider which type of paint or material you’re using over the wood. Then choose accordingly.
Why does this matter? Well, some types of wood don’t work well with some types of media, so you may end up wasting time, effort, and money in the process. And of course, you don’t want that.
So, consider which type of paint is the best for wood that you can use on the panel. If it matches your demands, then that type of wood board will be ideal. Otherwise, look for something else that works well with the pain or material you want to use for painting or making art.
Starting your painting with the right type of wood will make your result much better, and eventually provide the starting point to keep developing your skills.
And if you’re just trying to come up with a new hobby, or help your children get into art – the best wood for painting will still help.
For that, however, you must get the right wood. So follow our recommendations, put our advice into work, and focus on your needs above everything else.
Whatever your real purpose with these woods for painting – you won’t find better options than the ones in this article – so choose the ideal one now!