Quick Painting Tip | Paint Over Stained Wood with Liquid Sandpaper

LAST UPDATED: Feb 17, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Jul 09, 2018 | By:

If you’ve ever wondered if you can paint without sanding, I have the solution for you! Liquid Sandpaper! You can paint over stained wood, painted wood and so much more with this simple method.

blue buffet painted over stained wood with liquid sandpaper

Through the years, I have received the questions “can wood be painted without sanding”, “can cabinets be painted without sanding”, and “can trim be painted without sanding”? The answer is YES!

A few years ago, I discovered liquid sander deglosser. It’s a life changing product that has been around for years, but I just never noticed it nestled in on the shelf at the home improvement store.

To get paint to adhere to wood, you have to sand it, to rough up the surface. This allows the paint to grip the surface, especially with anything that’s varnished.

Liquid sandpaper dulls a glossy surface, with far less effort! It’s a great alternative to sandpaper that provides that same “rough” surface for paint to adhere.

A liquid sander deglosser brushes on quick and easy to remove the finish. It giving it a rough texture without the effort. You can save yourself a lot of time and purchase it online here.

liquid sander deglosser and paint brush on wood furniture

What Surfaces Is Liquid Sander Deglosser Good For?

Painting over stained wood can be such a chore! I should know. We have painted dark cabinets, trim and doors in multiple homes now. You can easily paint over stained wood – if you sand first. It can take a long time. But who has time for that?

Whether you are painting over stained wood, lacquered wood or existing paint, you can use deglosser so that the new paint will properly adhere.

We have tested liquid sandpaper on:


Remove cabinet doors and hardware to ensure you coat all surfaces of your cabinet. This works on dark wood, light wood, even previously painted cabinets.

Trim and Moldings

Trim tends to experience a lot of wear and tear. Even the darkest stained wood can benefit from liquid sander deglosser and be primed and painted white or the color of your choice!


Give a piece a facelift using liquid sander. Remove hardware. Make sure you do any drawers or cabinet doors separately to get all surfaces and corners.


Remove hardware and take it off of hinges to get all surfaces. This even works on inexpensive hollow core doors.

Liquid Sandpaper Test

  • Apply it as described below.
  • Prime and paint a small area and allow the paint to dry.
  • With your fingernail or coin, do a scratch test to ensure that the paint adhered to the wood properly.

Benefits of Using Liquid Sander Deglosser

  • Save time – If you’ve ever sanded, you know just how time consuming it can be.
  • Saves money – This costs about $9 and uses a paint brush. Sandpaper and sanding pads (or sanders) can really add up. One bottle of this goes a long way!
  • Easier – Unlike sandpaper, liquid sandpaper can easily get into nooks, crannies and crevices. It also doesn’t require any special tools or elbow grease.

Learn how to paint without sanding in the video below:

How to Paint Without Sanding

See below for the printable diy instructions. This was a glossy varnished buffet and you can see how dull it is after the deglosser. Work in a well ventilated area.

  • Using the deglosser, apply with a paint brush over the surface of the wood. You can see how it dulled the stained wood in the image below.liquid sandpaper deglosser on stained wood furniture
  • Allow it to penetrate the wood for 15 minutes.
  • Wipe it off with a lint free cloth. Then you’re ready to prime and paint!

It’s the easiest sanding shortcut and I’ve found it to be very effective! It hasn’t failed me yet!

From here you can prime and paint using your favorite oil based or latex paint. (I use a water based latex paint).

You may have seen my pin how to paint without sanding on Pinterest…you can pin it here to save this idea for later!

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How to paint wood without sanding

How to Paint Without Sanding

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

An easy shortcut to paint wood without sanding for a durable finish.



  • paint brush
  • cloth


  1. Brush deglosser on wood to cover entire surface.
  2. Allow it to penetrate the wood for 15 minutes.
  3. Wipe it off with a cloth.


Prime and paint as usual!

Note: This was originally posted February 2015.

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