Can Oriented Strand Board (OSB) Be Painted?

Answered by Brett ~ September 28, 2011 ~ No Comments

I built an upstairs playroom in my home with walls made of OSB. I want to paint it white, or another light color. Will I be able to paint over this type of board? Will I need to do any special prep work before painting? Also, what kind of paint works best? I would like to avoid using an oil-based paint if I can.

Carolyn T. ~ Arab, AL

Brett Kulina

Carolyn, yes you can paint sheets of OSB, but be aware that not all paints adhere well to the smooth side of the board, because some brands of OSB are covered with a factory applied waxy coating to protect them from moisture. Your best bet is to first sand and then prime the surface with a premium quality primer/sealer. Most paint stores will recommend an oil based primer, because the water in a latex based primer can sometimes cause small wood chips in the OSB to let loose. A thick coat of primer may also help cover up the color variations of the OSB and create an evenly-toned surface on which to paint the finish coat. Keep in mind that OSB was never designed to be left exposed(although many people do), and you will most likely see some surface imperfections regardless of how well you paint over them.

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