How To Paint Wood Furniture Without Sanding


How To Use Fusion Mineral Paint

Want to know how to paint wood furniture without sanding? Is it even possible? Almost all professional furniture painters can tell you the part of restyling they dislike the most is SANDING. It is messy and time consuming. 

In fact, the first time I started salvaging furniture, I winced at the very thought of having to use sandpaper. It is not surprising then that one of the most frequently asked questions that I get is how should I go about painting furniture without sanding?

In order to avoid this messy task, I’d like to share a few ways of how to paint wood furniture without sanding but by lightly scuffing your piece combined with the use of Fusion Mineral Paint as a viable option. Below is a wood dresser that has been restyled and repainted using Fusion Mineral Paint instead of chalk paint.

How To Paint Wood Furniture Without Sanding Using Fusion Mineral Paint
How To Paint Wood Furniture Without Sanding Using Fusion Mineral Paint

5 Methods for Painting Furniture Without Sanding:

1. MINERAL PAINT (My Favorite Option)

With Mineral paint you don’t need to prime anything beforehand. It’ll adhere to just about anything. As an added bonus, Fusion paints are so durable they are waterproof, stain resistant, and don’t even require topcoat. I do recommend lightly scuffing the piece, but no heavy sanding is needed for best results!


Chalk paint is the best way to paint practically anything without sanding. It offers a gorgeous matte finish and no need to prepare the surface. 

Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint was the cornerstone of the painted furniture industry as we know it. Since the advent of chalk paints, several brands of chalk paint have hit the market, and remain popular today.


Mix Bonding Agent with milk paint to make a paste which will help it adhere to the surface. It is easy to use and the grip is great. Include Bonding Agent only on the first coat.


The highest quality bonding primers will often state ‘no sanding is necessary’ and will adhere to almost any shiny surface, such as glass, metal, tile etc. Primers like Kilz, Fuse, and Zinnser are good for bonding very strongly.  Primers can be costly, but if they are of good quality there will be no need for sanding.


Liquid sandpaper/deglossers are one of the least known ways to avoid sanding furniture. The liquid is applied directly to the surface. 

When you apply the new paint, a chemical reaction occurs and the new paint sticks to the old paint. This product does smell, so it should be used in a well vented area. 

This paint is wonderful for furniture details because it can be applied easily with a brush or a cloth and then painted in a given time interval as indicated in the directions.


  • Despite the fact that a cleaning product like TSP or a degreaser can help relieve paint/primer grip, it is helpful to read the instructions before using it. For instance, the BIN primer I use states on the label: “DO NOT use TSP”.
  • We’ve got this down, and all you have to do is test. While testing sounds inconvenient, it will save you a ton of time. Getting it right the first time is much better than making an error ten days down the road and starting over. The next day, try scratching the product with a nail or top of a screw. If it sticks, you’re good to go.

If your furniture fails the scratch test, take a 150-220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand it just like you would your kitchen counter. Take a tack cloth to remove all the dust, then refinish the piece. You can begin your new DIY project knowing your efforts will be rewarded for years to come.


Based on my experience, the above methods usually work well in most cases, but you still may end up with one stubborn piece. There are a lot of differences between furniture pieces, so what works beautifully on one piece may not work on another.  When in doubt (and the scratch test fails), give it a light sanding! You don’t want to put in so much effort and then have your paint peel.

One reason I love Fusion Mineral Paint is because it has so many colors available to choose from, you’ll find a color you like very easily.  The best feature of Fusion is that it can be applied with little prep work and does not require a finish coat, wax, or ongoing maintenance.

If you are interested in learning how to paint with Fusion Mineral Paint, check out our Acworth and Woodstock Paint Classes. We’ll teach you how to make your perfect piece and give you more tips.

Picture of Gaynelle Khan

Gaynelle Khan

A certified Fusion Mineral Paint merchant… we carry the full Fusion line and love refinishing furniture and teaching customers how to “Paint It Beautiful”!

27 Responses

    1. Hello Debbie!
      We are so glad asked!
      We have a great color called Lamp White it is a cool white with subtle hits of grey.
      You may also want to look at Pebble & Sterling…Little Lamb is a great mid-toned grey.
      We hope this helped!

    2. I have an antique old desk which is in mahogany and I want to paint this in white. I don’t want to go through intense labour ie sanding and all that. What is the best paint to use please for an easy life but also have a nice piece of furniture

  1. Thank you for some great tips. I am a beginner and your pointers have given me courage *finally* to paint a piece of furniture. 🙂
    One question — specifically, what do you mean by “if it sticks” when referring to scratching with a nail or screw.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hello!
      So glad you are interested in painting. And Fusion is the best on the market. The scratch test is to see if the 1st coat is adhearing to your surface. Fusion is an acrylic based paint that can also we used outdoors, it’s completely waterproof.If you have other questions feel free to email me and set up a phone call.

  2. Hi,
    I have a set of black lacquered dinning table and chairs that are looking a bit worn off.
    I want to revive them, but not with black anymore, but with Bedford Fusion™ Mineral Paint.
    Should I sand them before? Will the mineral paint, in that colour, adhere to the black lacquered wood?
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  3. Hello Florentina!
    I would suggest using 120 grit sandpaper on the chairs and scratching thr surface really well so the Fusion will adhere better then ckean with Fusion TSP Alternative.
    The table top I would suggest Ultra Grip apply to table top let it dry 12 hours then apply Bedford over the Ultra Grip. I hope answers your questions.

  4. I have a dining room table previously washed with yellow. Will it work to wash over that with white or off white?

  5. I love this dresser! Would you consider sharing color and techniques you used to refinish this piece? I want to do something similar with a desk.

  6. Hello, I have a cherry jewelry armoire. I’d like to paint it an aqua blue with some brown streaks coming through. How do you recommend prepping and painting it?

  7. “The next day, try scratching the product with a nail or top of a screw. If it sticks, you’re good to go.”

    What do you mean? If what sticks?

  8. Hi Gaynelle – I love the paint color on the dresser above….what is the name off that paint color?


  9. Hello Angela!
    This color is Champness with black wax along the edges. Remember, colors look very different on phone screens. You may want to order a real chip color chart. Let me know if you have any order questions.

  10. I’m looking to repaint some Room and Board Pike chairs that seem to be painted plywood. We have two in orange that I don’t like and 2 in black that are ok but alittle scratched up. I’d like to paint them all black. What would be the best method? Thanks!

  11. Hi Gaynelle,
    What color paint will go well with our black bed and indigo curtains. I am going for a nice beach theme, but I’m not sure if I can pull it off by changing the colors of the table lamps and the nightstand tables. The two nightstand tables are red mahogany color and the lamp has a dark teal base with off-white shade. What colors would you recommend?
    Thank you in advance for your help

  12. Hi Gaynelle I have been given some old walnut coffee table,nest of tables and a cocktail cabinet which I would like to try and paint, could you tell me the best way of doing them

  13. Hi
    I have some oak furniture that I would like to change to blue but perhaps keep the oak top
    Can I use your paint without priming
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Gaynelle Khan
A certified Fusion Mineral Paint merchant… we carry the full Fusion line and love refinishing furniture and teaching customers how to “Paint It Beautiful”!
Upcoming Workshops

Get the latest updates in your inbox!

My Gallery