How to Paint Furniture without Sanding? – Learn Now

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Does the thought of sanding furniture leave you feeling daunted? You’re not alone; many amateur painters are intimidated by this time-consuming task.

This informative guide simplifies it all, showing you how to paint furniture without sanding.

Stick around and you’ll discover how easy it can be to transform your old pieces into beautiful decor items!

Preparation Before Painting

Find a sturdy piece of furniture that is suitable for painting and assess the condition of the wood. Prepare your workspace by clearing any clutter and protecting the surrounding area.

Remove any hardware or accessories from the furniture, such as knobs or handles. Clean the wood surface thoroughly to remove dirt, grease, and other debris before starting the painting process.

Find a sturdy piece of furniture

Pick a strong piece of furniture you want to paint. Make sure it is solid and in good form. If the wood wiggles or has damage, fix it first. This way, the new paint will look nice and last long on your sturdy furniture.

Taking time to choose well pays off later.

Assess the wood

Take a good look at the wood. It’s crucial to know what you’re working with before you start painting furniture without sanding. Look for cracks, scratches or stains. These need special attention after you clean the piece.

You can fill visible dents and holes with putty or filler if needed.

Don’t skip this step! Even a small flaw could show up in your final paint job.

Also, think about the type of wood your furniture is made of. Some types of wood like oak, cedar or pine are easier to paint on than others such as teak or walnut. Knowing this will help make sure your work turns out great!

Prepare your workspace

Start by making your work area neat and safe for painting. It should be in a well-lit spot that is dry and clean. Paint can spill, so spread out old sheets or newspapers to protect the floor.

Open windows if you are indoors to let fresh air in. This will help get rid of paint smell fast. Keep all your tools like brushes, paint cans, foam rollers close so you don’t have to leave the workspace often.

A good workspace makes painting easier and faster.

Remove hardware

To get started with painting your furniture without sanding, the first step is to remove any hardware. This will make it easier to paint around and ensure a clean finish. Here’s how:

  1. Gather the necessary tools: screwdriver or drill with appropriate attachments.
  2. Carefully unscrew or remove any knobs, handles, hinges, or other hardware attached to the furniture.
  3. Keep all the screws or small pieces in a safe place, so you don’t lose them.
  4. If there are any stubborn screws, try using a bit of penetrating oil to loosen them before unscrewing.
  5. Once the hardware is removed, set it aside for later reinstallation.

Clean the wood

To make sure your painted furniture looks its best, it’s important to clean the wood before you start painting. Here are some easy steps to follow:

  • Dust the furniture using a soft cloth or brush to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  • Use a mild detergent mixed with warm water to wipe down the surface of the wood. This will help remove grime and grease.
  • For stubborn stains, you can use a gentle cleaner specifically designed for wood furniture. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner and test it on a small, inconspicuous area first.
  • After cleaning, rinse off any residue with clean water and dry the furniture thoroughly with a towel.

Alternative Methods to Sanding

Instead of sanding, there are alternative methods to prepare the furniture for painting.


Deglossing is a reliable way to paint wood furniture without sanding. It involves using a liquid deglosser or chemical solution to remove the glossy finish on the surface of the furniture.

This process helps the paint adhere better, ensuring a smooth and long-lasting finish. Deglossers are easy to use – you simply apply it with a cloth or sponge, then wipe off the excess.

It’s important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer when using a deglosser. Once you’ve deglossed your furniture, you can proceed with priming and painting as usual.

Using liquid sandpaper

One reliable method to paint furniture without sanding is by using liquid sandpaper. Liquid sandpaper, also known as deglosser, is a chemical solution that removes the glossy finish from the surface of the furniture, allowing for better paint adhesion.

It works by softening and dulling the existing finish, making it easier for new paint to stick. To use liquid sandpaper, you simply apply it to the surface with a cloth or sponge and then wipe away any residue.

This method is especially useful for smooth and glossy finishes that are difficult to sand effectively. Plus, using liquid sandpaper saves you time and effort compared to traditional sanding methods.

Priming the Furniture

Priming is an essential step in painting furniture as it helps create a smooth surface and ensures better paint adhesion.

Importance of priming

Priming is an important step when painting furniture without sanding. It helps to create a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to. By applying a layer of primer, you can also prevent any stains or discoloration from bleeding through the paint.

Primer acts as a barrier between the wood and the paint, ensuring better adhesion and durability. It also helps the paint color to appear more vibrant and true-to-life. Choosing the right primer is crucial – look for one that is specifically designed for use on wood surfaces.

Applying primer before painting will give your furniture project a professional finish that will last for years to come.

The importance of priming cannot be overstated when it comes to painting furniture without sanding. Primer provides a necessary base coat that promotes good adhesion between the wood and the paint, preventing peeling or chipping over time.

Not only does it help your chosen color appear more vivid, but it also enhances its longevity by protecting against moisture damage or stains from seeping through.

Selecting an appropriate primer for wooden surfaces is essential – opt for one formulated explicitly with wood in mind.

Choosing the right primer

Choosing the right primer is an important step when painting furniture without sanding. A bonding primer is recommended as it helps the paint adhere properly to the surface and prevents chipping or peeling.

Look for a primer that is specifically designed for use on wood or laminate surfaces, depending on what type of furniture you are painting.

This will help to ensure that the stains do not bleed through the paint. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the primer and allow it to dry completely before painting.

Applying the primer

Applying primer is an important step when painting furniture without sanding. It helps the paint adhere better and gives a smooth finish. Here are some tips for applying primer:

  1. Choose the right primer for your project. Look for a bonding primer that is suitable for the material you are working with, such as wood or laminate.
  2. Before applying the primer, make sure the furniture is clean and dry.
  3. Use a brush or roller to apply a thin and even coat of primer to the entire surface of the furniture.
  4. Allow the primer to dry completely before applying paint. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time.
  5. If needed, lightly sand any rough spots or drips on the surface after the primer has dried.

Painting Techniques

Choose a high-quality paint that is specifically designed for furniture, and apply multiple thin coats to achieve the desired coverage.

Choosing the right paint

When it comes to painting furniture without sanding, choosing the right paint is crucial for a successful project. There are several options available that adhere well to surfaces without the need for sanding or priming.

One popular choice is mineral paint, which provides excellent coverage and durability. Another option is chalk paint, known for its matte finish and ability to create a distressed look.

Milk paint is also a great choice, especially if you want a more vintage or rustic appearance. These types of paints come in various colors and finishes, allowing you to achieve the desired look for your furniture makeover.

So, before you start painting, consider the type of paint that suits your style and needs.

Applying multiple coats

Applying multiple coats is an important step in painting furniture without sanding. It helps to ensure a smooth and professional-looking finish. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Start with a clean surface: Before applying the first coat, make sure the furniture is clean and free of dust or dirt.
  • Use thin coats: It’s better to apply several thin coats rather than one thick coat. This allows each coat to dry properly and reduces the chances of paint drips or uneven coverage.
  • Allow drying time: Let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. This helps to prevent smudging or damaging the previous layer of paint.
  • Sand between coats (optional): If you want an even smoother finish, you can lightly sand the surface between each coat using fine-grit sandpaper. This helps to remove any imperfections and creates a better surface for the next coat of paint.
  • Assess coverage: After applying multiple coats, assess the coverage and decide if any more coats are needed. If there are any bare spots or uneven areas, apply another thin coat until you achieve the desired look.

Brushing vs. rolling

When it comes to painting furniture, you have the option of using either a paintbrush or a roller. Brushing is great for detailed work and getting into corners, while rolling is faster and covers larger areas quickly.

If you want a smooth finish, brushing might be better as rollers can leave texture behind. However, rollers are more efficient for large surfaces like tabletops or dressers. Experiment with both techniques to see which one works best for your project.

Final Touches and Tips

Once the furniture is painted, make sure to allow proper drying time before using or moving it.

For troubleshooting common issues and more expert tips on painting furniture without sanding, continue reading.

Allow proper drying time

After you have finished painting your furniture, it’s important to allow it enough time to dry properly. This ensures that the paint sets and adheres well to the surface.

The exact drying time will depend on factors such as temperature, humidity, and the type of paint used.

As a general rule, give your painted furniture at least 24 hours to dry before using or moving it. Keep in mind that thicker coats of paint may require even longer drying times.

Proper drying is crucial for achieving a smooth and durable finish on your furniture. Rushing this step can lead to smudges, smears, or even damage to the freshly painted surface.

To avoid any mishaps or disappointments with your project, exercise patience and allow sufficient time for the paint to fully cure.

It’s also important to keep in mind that certain paints may have specific instructions regarding drying times.

Check the label or manufacturer’s guidelines for any recommended wait times between coats or before applying additional finishes like varnish or sealant.

Protecting the painted surface

  • Use a top coat or sealer to protect the painted surface and make it more durable.
  • Apply the top coat or sealer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Consider using a polyurethane or varnish for added protection, especially for high – traffic areas.
  • Avoid placing hot items directly on the painted surface to prevent damage.
  • Use coasters or placemats under glasses and cups to prevent watermarks.
  • Clean the painted surface gently with a soft cloth or sponge and mild soap as needed.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the paint finish.
  • Regularly inspect the painted surface for any signs of wear or chipping, and touch up as necessary.

Troubleshooting common issues

  1. Paint not adhering properly: Ensure that the furniture is clean and free of any oil or grease before painting. Use a degreaser if needed.
  2. Uneven paint coverage: Apply thin and even coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Consider using a foam roller for a smoother finish.
  3. Paint bubbling or cracking: This may happen if the surface was not properly cleaned or primed. Make sure to clean the furniture thoroughly and apply a primer before painting.
  4. Paintbrush strokes visible: To avoid brushstrokes, choose a paint with a smooth finish or use a foam roller instead of a brush. Apply the paint in one direction for a more even look.
  5. Paint peeling off: This could be due to moisture or an incompatible surface. Make sure the furniture is dry and clean before painting, and ensure that you are using a paint suitable for the material of your furniture.
  6. Yellowing of white paint: White paint can sometimes yellow over time due to exposure to light and heat. Use paints specifically formulated to resist yellowing or consider applying a clear topcoat for added protection.
  7. Stains bleeding through the paint: Apply a stain-blocking primer before painting to prevent stains from seeping through the paint layers.
  8. Paint not drying properly: Ensure proper ventilation in your workspace and follow the recommended drying times between coats. If necessary, use fans or open windows to help speed up drying.
  9. Chipping or peeling after painting: This may happen if the furniture was not properly cleaned, primed, or sealed. Make sure to prepare the surface correctly and apply a topcoat or sealant over the painted surface for added durability.
  10. Smooth finish is desired but texture is present on wood surface: Sand down any rough areas on the wood furniture before painting to achieve a smoother finish.


To conclude, painting furniture without sanding is a great option for amateur painters looking to transform their pieces.

By properly preparing the wood and using alternative methods like liquid sandpaper or a bonding primer, you can achieve beautiful results without the hassle of sanding.

With various paint options and techniques available, it’s now easier than ever to give your furniture a fresh new look in no time. So go ahead, grab your brushes and get creative!


Can I paint furniture without sanding it?

Yes, you can paint furniture without sanding by using a deglosser or liquid sander to prep the surface for better adhesion.

What is the benefit of painting furniture without sanding?

Painting furniture without sanding saves time and effort, as you don’t have to strip off old paint or stain before applying a new coat.

Will the paint adhere well to the furniture if I don’t sand it?

Using a deglosser or liquid sander helps create a rough surface that promotes good adhesion, ensuring that the paint will stick well to the furniture.

Do I need any special tools for painting furniture without sanding?

No, you don’t need any special tools for painting furniture without sanding. A brush or roller can be used to apply the paint evenly on the prepared surface.

Should I still clean and prime the furniture before painting?

Yes, it is important to clean the furniture thoroughly before painting to remove dirt and grease. Additionally, applying primer after using a deglosser or liquid sander enhances adhesion and improves durability of your painted finish.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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