How to Paint OSB

Using OSB as a finished surface? A paint job can help to create a more finished look. It doesn’t matter which side of the board you paint, but choose a smooth or rough side that suits your particular application.

  • Spread the panels out for 24-48 hours to let them adjust to the humidity conditions.
  • For a smoother finish, you can give the board a light sand, but avoid sanding the edges or the integrity of the board may be compromised.
  • When installing the boards, leave the required 1/8″ spacing at the edges. Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity and leaving room for the expansion will keep the boards flat.
  • Use a high-quality acrylic latex paint system.
  • The nail lines and grade stamps may be more difficult to cover. Ask your paint dealer to suggest a sealer as a prime coat.
  • Clean the boards before applying the paint. Since they are too rough for a traditional cloth, use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean your surface before applying paint.
  • If there are some gaps that are too big, you can fill them with a polyester resin-based filler. Alternate filler coats with sanding until the desired smoothness is achieved.
  • Try to reduce the number of cuts you make. Where cuts are necessary, ensure you seal edges.
  • Using a roller rather than a sprayer will take longer, but will provide better coverage due to the uneven surface and rate at which OSB will absorb paint. 

Good luck with your project!

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