How To Spray Paint Furniture Without Sanding 


Last updated: October 5, 2023

Get the Tips and Tricks of Spray Painting Furniture without Sanding in this Expert Painter’s Guide.

How to spray paint furniture without sanding.

Sanding is an inherent part of the process of painting or refinishing any surface. It helps smooth the surface and contributes to better adhesion. However, it can be time-consuming and tiring, especially for a large project.

Knowing how to spray paint furniture, such as a dining room table, without sanding can save you some elbow grease and let you complete the project in less time.

This article shows you how to spray paint furniture without sanding in five effective methods. It also walks you through the tips for success when spray-painting furniture without sanding. 

You will also learn about the things to consider in a piece of furniture that you intend to skip sanding.

Can you spray paint wood furniture without sanding?

Yes, it is possible to spray paint furniture without sanding. Skipping sanding can allow you to finish the job sooner by reducing the number of steps involved in the process. However, the resulting paint job may not be as durable as a sanded, painted surface because sanding helps remove surface imperfections creating a smooth surface and also promote better paint adhesion.

Key Things to Look for in Furniture You Don’t Want to Sand

If you choose to skip sanding your furniture, ensure the piece you are working on satisfies these considerations: 

  • It must be in good condition 

Check the wooden furniture to ensure it does not have any rotten wood parts, chipped areas, bubbling finish, or missing parts.

A fresh coat of paint on unsound wood may not last, and the paint may go to waste. So to avoid wasting your time and money, it is best to ensure the furniture or dresser is in good condition and likely to take up the paint well. 

  • The surface must have no stickers or grease. 

Before painting a new furniture, start by removing all decals, stickers or grease on the wood surface. 

Thankfully, thorough washing with soapy water and a scrubbing sponge should successfully remove such things.

  • The wood surface must be smooth. 

Sanding helps smooth the wood surface when painting. If you must skip sanding furniture, it is best to ensure the wood is relatively smooth already.

A bumpy surface or one with lots of scratches and dents may not be the ideal candidate for spray painting without sanding. Such furniture may require filling the dents with a suitable wood filler, which you must sand. 

How to spray paint furniture without sanding

Spraying can be an excellent way to paint without sanding since it distributes the pigments more evenly, allowing you to avoid brush marks on your painted furniture. 

If sanding is not in the cards for your wood finishing project, you can still get a fairly durable paint job by choosing the right products, using the right method, and following the appropriate procedure. 

Here is how to spray paint furniture without sanding. 

Method 1. Using a Bonding Primer

If you have a high-quality bonding primer compatible with the surface you are painting, sanding is generally not required. Such bonding primers actually specify that no sanding is necessary for their adhesion.

The primers are uniquely formulated to adhere well to various surfaces, including glossy ones like tile, glass, and metal.

Therefore, a bonding primer is an excellent solution when applying compatible furniture paint without sanding the wood surface. 

What You Will Need 

  • Your preferred bonding primer.
  • Drop cloth or plastic sheeting.
  • Personal protective gear.
  • Applicator.

Procedure for using a bonding primer 

Step 1. Clean the wood surface thoroughly

Remove any dirt, dust, or grease. If the furniture has grease or oil, use a suitable degreaser or mild detergent and wipe the surface clean. Finally, rinse it well and allow it to dry before proceeding.

Step 2. Prepare the spray equipment

Since you’ll be spraying your furniture, you’ll need a clean sprayer. So, start by cleaning the paint sprayer if it is not already clean, then check if it is clogged to unclog it. Also, check to ensure it is in good working condition before you start using it. 

Step 3. Test the sprayer 

Once you have followed the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the spray equipment, test the spray pattern on a piece of cardboard or scrap wood. Adjust the spray pattern and pressure accordingly to achieve an even and controlled application.

Step 4. Apply thin coats of the bonding primer 

Fill the sprayer with the bonding primer and use the equipment to apply it onto the furniture in thin, even layers. 

Hold the sprayer about 6 to 8 inches from the wood surface and move it in smooth, sweeping motions. Keep each coat of the bonding primer light, avoiding thick coats to prevent drips or runs. 

Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. The label should indicate how many coats to apply for the desired coverage and how long to wait between coats. Ensure you observe these guidelines for your chosen primer. 

Step 5. Spray paint the furniture 

Once the bonding primer has dried completely, you can proceed to spray paint the furniture with your chosen paint.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the paint you are using, including thinning the paint if required. Apply thin, even coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry before recoating.

Method 2. Self-priming mineral paint 

If you are familiar with chalk paint with its gorgeous matte finish, you have a precise image of mineral paint, as the two paint types look similar.

Mineral paint is formulated to have excellent adhesion properties, so it often does not require a separate primer. It readily sticks to pretty much any surface type and can be incredibly durable, waterproof, and stain-proof.

What you will need.

  • Self-priming mineral paint like Fusion Mineral Paint.
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • Applicator.
  • Drop cloth or plastic sheeting.

Procedure for spray painting with mineral paint 

Step 1. Prep the furniture and protect yourself

Clean the wood surface and wear your protective gear. You may wear a respirator mask to protect your lungs from the sprayed paint, protective clothing to avoid staining your skin, and a paint of protective hand gloves. 

Step 2. Prepare the sprayer and test it

Cover your workspace and any adjacent surfaces with plastic sheeting or drop cloth. Then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set up your sprayer and test it on a piece of scrap wood.

Step 3. Fill the sprayer with the paint and apply the first coat

Once you have confirmed that the spray equipment is in sound working condition, fill it up with the mineral paint and spray the furniture, covering every inch with a thin, even coat.

Hold the sprayer about 6 to 8 inches from the surface and move in smooth, sweeping motions. Once done, let the coat dry completely before recoating.

Step 4. Apply the subsequent coats 

Read the product instructions for the recommended number of coats. You may need to add two to three more coats depending on the desired coverage and finish. Whichever the case, ensure each coat dries thoroughly before adding the next. 

Step 5. (Optional) Apply a sealant

Mineral paints do not require a sealant since the paint is self-sealing, but you won’t hurt to consider it for added durability. A sealant can also give your paint job a glossier sheen. 

Ensure you let the paint dry completely before sealing it, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Method 3. Using chalk paint 

Spraying chalk paint is likely the most popular way to paint without sanding. The paint creates a distressed look that many furniture lovers find appealing, with the benefit of needing no significant surface prep.

Tools and materials 

  • High-quality chalk paint such as Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.
  • A pair of hand gloves and protective clothing.
  • Respirator mask.
  • Plastic Sheeting.
  • Spray equipment-HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) recommended.
  • Painter’s tape (optional)

Steps to follow 

Once you have all the supplies required to complete this project, follow the procedure below to get spray paint your furniture without sanding .

Step 1. Thoroughly clean the wood surface

Dirt, dust and grime can affect adhesion, so start by cleaning the furniture with a mild detergent, rinse it thoroughly, and let it air dry. 

Step 2. Set up the sprayer and test it 

Each spray equipment comes with user instructions to guide you on safe usage. Follow these guidelines to set it up, fill it with the paint, and test it out on a scrap piece of wood. 

This is the time to adjust the spray mechanism until you have just the right pressure and distance from the wood surface for the desired results.

Step 3. Prep the furniture 

Cover any areas that you don’t want the paint to reach. Use painter’s tape to cover the edges and any parts of the furniture to ensure clean edges and professional-looking results. 

Step 4. Apply your first coat of the chalk paint 

Keep the coat thin and even, and move the sprayer in smooth, sweeping motions until you have covered the entire surface of the furniture and let it dry. 

Step 5. Recoat 

Follow the same steps as in step 4 above to apply the subsequent coats of paint, allowing for the recommended dry time between coats. 

Step 6. Distress or seal the surface.

After the final coat has dried, you may choose to distress the furniture; lightly sand certain areas to reveal the underlying layers and wipe the dust with a tack cloth. Alternatively, apply a sealant instead. 

How to spray paint furniture without sanding.

Method 4. Combination of milk paint and a bonding agent

Like a primer for any paint, a bonding agent helps milk paints adhere better to surfaces. You can use a combination of this milky substance and milk paint to paint laminate furniture without sanding. 

What you’ll need

  • Milk paint and bonding agent.
  • Personal protective gear.
  • Applicator.

The procedure 

Step 1. Prepare the wood surface by cleaning it thoroughly and letting it dry. 

Step 2. Mix the milk paint and bonding agent according to the instructions on their labels.

Step 3. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas that you don’t want the paint to reach. 

Step 4. Test the spray equipment on a scrap piece of wood and adjust the mechanism accordingly. 

Step 5. Apply a thin first coat of the paint, covering every inch of the wood surface and let it dry. 

Step 6. Apply subsequent coats of the paint using the same technique as the first coat. Ensure you let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next. 

Once done, you can choose to apply a sealant or distress the milk paint surface by light sanding. 

Method 5. Using a de-glosser (liquid sandpaper) before the primer 

Sanding typically helps promote better adhesion by scuffing up the wood surface, giving the paint something to grip on. A de-glosser has the same effect, which explains why it is called liquid sandpaper.

While it is a liquid, applying it to the furniture creates a chemical reaction that allows the paint to stick better.  

Tools and materials

  • Latex paint and primer.
  • Liquid sandpaper.
  • Applicator (Spraying equipment)
  • Clean rags
  • Painter’s tape.
  • Tarp or drop cloth.
  • Vacuum (optional).
  • Respirator mask and gloves.


Step 1. Prepare your workstation in a well-ventilated area because the liquid sandpaper has a strong odour. Lay a plastic sheeting to protect the surfaces and floor around your workspace. 

Step 2. Clean the furniture using a vacuum to remove dust and debris, and then wipe it thoroughly to remove grime and stubborn dirt.

Step 3. Wear a respirator mask and hand gloves to protect your lungs and skin during the project. Also, apply painter’s tape to any areas that you don’t intend to paint. 

Step 4. Apply the liquid sandpaper according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let it work for 10-15 minutes. 

Step 5. Gently stir the primer and paint with a stirring stick before transferring each into your spraying equipment. 

Step 6. Test out the spraying mechanism on a piece of scrap wood to ensure it works properly, then spray your furniture with the primer. Apply two to three light coats, allowing each to dry before recoating. 

Step 6. Use your selected paint sprayer to apply a thin coat of the paint onto the furniture once the final coat of primer has fully dried. 

Step 7. Recoat by spraying on two to three light coats of the paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before recoating.

Best spray paint for furniture without sanding

Our all-time best spray paint for furniture without sanding is the Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint. The product boasts the best in class adhesion to the most difficult surfaces, including glossy wood, plastic, tile, PVC and metal. You don’t need to sand or apply a primer to your furniture to enjoy the incredible durability and long-lasting coverage of this paint.

How many coats of primer and paint do I need? 

Coats of primer and 2 to 3 coats of paint usually give the best coverage for wood furniture surfaces. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the dry times for both the primer and paint, and wait the recommended time before recoating.

Adhesion Tips When Spray Painting Furniture Without Sanding

Here are some tips to keep in mind when painting laminate furniture or any wood piece without sanding.

  • Thoroughly clean the surface with a suitable degreaser or TSP to remove any dirt or grime that may act as barriers.
  • Always check the label of any product you’re using and follow all the recommendations before choosing a cleaning or surface prep method. Some primers, such as the BIN primer, recommended against using TSP for cleaning.
  • Always test the primer and paint on an inconspicuous area before going all in on your project.
  • Apply your primer and paint in light, even coats rather than a few thick ones to avoid unsightly drips and runs. Thick paint layers may also take forever to dry and could peel off easily.

FAQs – Spray Painting Furniture Without Sanding

Can I spray paint wood without sanding it?

Absolutely. Spray painting wood furniture without sanding is entirely possible if you know how to do it and what to use. Ideally, the key to applying furniture paint without sanding is to prime the surface properly or use a self-priming paint product on a clean wood surface. 

What spray paint doesn’t require sanding?

The spray paint that does not require sanding is chalk paint spray. Whether you buy the paint in aerosol cans or feed it into a sprayer from a separate original container, the product will require no sanding or priming and dries in as little as 15 minutes.  

What happens if you don’t sand furniture before painting?

Failing to sand furniture before painting can affect adhesion and increase the chances of chipping and peeling since the exercise helps make the paint stick better. Also, you can end up with a rough surface if you don’t sand furniture with imperfections such as scratches and dimples.

What is the best spray paint for wood without sanding?

The best spray paint for wood without sanding is the Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint. It offers the best durability on wood surfaces and adheres to the most difficult surfaces like plastic, tile, PVC and metal. You don’t need to sand or apply a primer to your furniture to enjoy a durable finish when you use this paint.

 Do I need to prime wood furniture before painting?

Yes, priming is a crucial step when painting furniture as it ensures the paint stick better and prevents peeling or chipping of the paint layer. However, you can skip sanding when you use a self-priming product because such products are formulated to adhere to the substrate without requiring the help of a primer.

Conclusion on How to Spray Paint Furniture without Sanding

Sanding is essential in removing imperfections such as scratches and dents on wood surfaces. It also goes a long way in promoting the adhesion of paint by giving it a better grip on the wood surface.

However, if you must skip sanding for any reason, ensure you prep the furniture by cleaning it thoroughly and applying a primer. 

So can you spray paint wood furniture without sanding? This article provides five effective ways to spray paint wood furniture without sanding; we hope it helps answer your question.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

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