How to Paint Veneer Furniture Without Sanding 

How to Paint Veneer Furniture Without Sanding 

Ask any serious DIY enthusiast or professional wood painter what their least favorite part of any furniture makeover is, and they will most likely say: SANDING.

Because let’s face it: Nobody wants to be covered in dust or even inhale it. So I’m not surprised you are here looking for how to paint veneer furniture without sanding.

Sanding is a real pain in the ass. Not only is it messy, but also demands a lot of strenuous arm-movement with a considerable amount of time.

Well, today, I’m going to offer you a much better alternative you can use to paint your veneer furniture without thinking of sanding.

Let’s get started!

Can You Paint Veneer Furniture Without Sanding?

Painting Veneer Furniture Without Sanding 

We were told there is no getting around it if we want a professional result. But that’s not true.

If you hate the sanding chore just like I do, you can still give any veneer furniture a facelift without firing up sandpaper or the handheld sander.

There are many ways to avoid it and still achieve a nice, smooth finish that won’t have adhesion problems.

You can either use a liquid sandpaper/deglosser or a primer before painting to assist the paint in bonding with the veneer wood.

Or better still, you can opt for a special kind of paint that doesn’t require primers at all, such as chalk paint, milk paint, and mineral paint.

All these mediums are a GREAT substitute because they perform the same function as sanding.

And we are going to look into all of that here and provide you with some recommendations so you can purchase the appropriate product that will serve your need.

Without further ado, let’s paint our veneer furniture without generating dust and debris into the air. Are you ready?

Read Also: How to Sand a Wall Before Painting

How to Paint Veneer Furniture Without Sanding

First of all, you will need the tools below to carry out the job effectively:

  • Drop Cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Tack cloth
  • Bonding Primer, Liquid Sandpaper/deglosser
  • Any paint of your choice

Now that you’ve gotten the needed tools, let’s now learn how to paint veneer furniture without sanding;

Choose a well-ventilated spot

The reason for this inconvenience is because we’ll be working with materials that may be considered toxic, as a result, it’s critical to work in a well-ventilated space.

For me, I’d recommend taking the project outside but it’s completely fine if you’d like to work inside.

However, when working indoors, you should protect yourself from the paint fumes by opening up the windows and doors to keep the air circulating.

If there is a fan in the room, ensure you put it on – if possible facing out the window, to blow out air.

I repeat it’s ABSOLUTELY imperative to let fresh air in and out of the room as paint fumes are too dangerous to inhale.

Place the Furniture on a drop cloth

Before working, use a plastic tarp as a drop cloth makes a good, affordable means of keeping your floor clean from paint stain. This way, you don’t have to worry about paint drips and dribbles.

Also if you’re painting outside, the drop cloth will protect your furniture from dirt and grass.

Remove any knobs or handles from your furniture

If you don’t want to paint your veneer furniture’s knobs and handles, you should take them off with a screwdriver rather than struggling to paint around it later on. This way, you will have a more straightforward project.

Prep the Furniture for operation

Since you won’t be sanding it’s crucial to wipe down the veneer with a tack cloth before painting.

Tack cloths are a lint-free cloth that is not fully dry and retaining a slightly sticky feel, which makes them perfect for picking up dust, stains, and other stubborn grit far better than your average cleaning rag.

As a result, we don’t recommend anything less than a tack cloth because they won’t do the cleaning well.

DON’T Sand! Instead, use these materials

How to Paint Veneer Furniture Without Sanding 

Liquid Sandpaper Works Faster

While sanding takes hours of strenuous arm-movement, liquid sandpaper does the work for you in just 15 minutes or less.

with Liquid sandpaper, hold your arm in pain no more. All you have to do is apply it, wait for 15 minutes, and wipe off any residue once it dry. Tah-tad!

Any sealed, varnish, or glossy finish will magically peel away in a flash, and you’ll be left with a surface that is ready for paint or primer.

Succinctly put, it preps the area for a new coat of paint or varnish (just as sanding would) and helps bond the finish to prevent it from chipping off easily.

However, deglossers release toxic fumes and are highly flammable. Thus, ensure you’re working in a ventilated area. Store it in a safe away from anything that could ignite it after each

Also, liquid sandpaper cannot smooth anything out like your regular sandpaper. Its work is to make the veneer furniture viable to paint on.

Aside from that, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend the use of liquid sandpaper, as they are simple enough to apply.

Lastly, before using heavy cleaning products like deglosser, ensure to read the directions.

Use a bonding primer

A bonding primer is a preferable alternative to sandpaper or sander because it will stick to almost any glossy or sealed surfaces without having to sand them down.

Example of a good bonding primer that has excellent adhesion powers and works with any oil or latex paint are B.I.N, [amalinkspro type=”text-link” asin=”” new-window=”true” apilink=”″ addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true”]KILZ 2 Multi-Surface Primer/Sealer[/amalinkspro], and [amalinkspro type=”text-link” asin=”” new-window=”true” apilink=”″ addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true”]Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer[/amalinkspro].

Professionals always run to these bonding primers whenever there is a need to cover questionable areas.

Therefore, if you don’t have the time to take down the gloss or sand the substrate, these bonding primers are the unsung heroes that will come to your rescue – skipping the tedious sanding chore, as well as saving time and money.

A good quality bonding primer will CLEARLY state “without sanding,” so take note.

But if you want my opinion, well, I’m a fan of the [amalinkspro type=”text-link” asin=”” new-window=”true” apilink=”″ addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true”]Rust-Oleum Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer[/amalinkspro]. It’s my go-to for adhesion, odor, stain, and bleed-through blockage.

The water-based formula resists mildew growth, blistering, and peeling. More importantly, it’s less expensive, and cleanup is a breeze with soap and water.

The Bottom line: if you use a quality primer before painting with a reputable paint, sanding won’t be necessary – and that brings us to step 5.

Paint the surface

Now the veneer is ready for a fresh lick of paint, give the piece several light coats with a paintbrush –if the primer is still visible beneath the initial layer.

Since paint is thicker than the primer, you should allow each coat to dry completely –giving it at least an hour between coats or best follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

You can use any paint of your choice, but we suggest using the favorite types of paint any serious DIY enthusiast will use. And that is either Chalk Paint, Milk Paint, or Latex Paint.

These paints are not only easy to use and clean but also adheres to veneer furniture beautifully well –in most cases without the use of primer and sanding. A quick cleaning is all you need.

Read Also: How to Get Rid of Latex Paint from Metal

Can you paint over veneer without sanding?

Revamp that piece by giving it a makeover with paint, tailoring it to fit the room’s decor. Painting over wood veneer is just like painting over wood, except the wood layer is very thin, requiring care not to sand all the way through it.

Can you paint straight onto veneer?

Veneer can be primed, painted, stained, and treated just like any other wood surface. Painting veneer surfaces is a great way to spruce up furniture, make older pieces look newer, or make an original piece match a new décor scheme.

What paint do you use on veneer furniture?

Veneer can be a very smooth surface, so chalk paint alone will probably scratch off. Make sure the veneer doesn’t have cracks. If needed, remove any sections of peeling veneer. Clean the piece well, prime, and then apply a few coats of chalk paint to the veneer furniture.

Can I paint over without sanding?

Can you paint over varnished wood without sanding? Yes. The oil based primer will stick to varnished or sealed wood. And then you can paint over it with latex paint.

Can veneer be sanded?

Can You Sand Veneer? As you might expect, veneered pieces are very delicate and require careful sanding to avoid irreversible damage. If you sand veneer too much, you may render it unusable. While hand sanding may work for thin pieces and small applications, you should not attempt to sand a large surface area by hand.

Can veneer be sanded

How do you change the color of wood veneer?

In most cases, the color of wood veneer can be changed with careful sanding and a new color stain.

  • Sand down the veneer surface gently using a fine grit (300 or above) sandpaper and slow, even motion.
  • Wrap the sandpaper around a 2-inch wooden block to reach into corners or other hard to reach areas.

Can I paint over veneer cabinets?

Can you paint veneer cabinets? You sure can! The key, like for any painted project, is in the prep and choice of primer and paint. Proper cleaning to remove all the grime and dust, sanding the right amount, and using the right adhesion-promoting primer can make a huge difference in the durability of the finish.

How do you redo a veneer table top?

How to refinish veneer furniture

  • Wipe down the piece with a damp rag.
  • Remove all hardware, handles, drawers, doors and legs.
  • Starting with 100 grit sandpaper, sand the entire piece lightly to remove stain and finish – legs, drawers, sides and around trim.
  • After the initial sanding, vacuum with a soft brush.

Can you spray paint over laminate wood?

Look for a primer specifically designed for laminate furniture; in many cases, it may be a brush-on or roll-on primer, rather than a spray. Spray paint can be used over the primer, regardless. If the desk can be taken apart, you may want to disassemble it completely before priming and painting for even better coverage.

How do you paint over polyurethane without sanding?

3 days ago
Using Oil Bond: The Latex Paint Additive

Particularly in places like kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, trim, doors, built-ins, painted furniture and windows, Oil Bond gives painters the ability to create powerful, professional-grade adhesion, all without sanding or priming.


So that’s how to paint veneer furniture without sanding. While these mediums might be an escape route from sanding, they also have their limits.

For instance, if the furniture is old and has scratches, peels, and dirt, and if you whip out a paintbrush and start painting right away, you probably won’t end up with the best results.

These solutions work excellently on surfaces that don’t have any imperfections, so ensure your piece is in a good shape first.

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