Can You Paint Over Stained Wood Without Sanding?

Post By • Updated On:

Stained wood performs the best until you’re trying to paint it again with another color. Why? Because paint doesn’t adhere to the slippery surface of stained wood. To encounter the slippery surface problem, you’ve to sand it thoroughly. 

You might be wondering if there’s an alternative to sanding before painting stained wood. To know whether or not there are any alternatives, follow this article. Later in this article, I’ll share a step-by-step guide to painting & that will be very beneficial to you. 

Can You Paint Over Stained Wood Without Sanding?

Yes, you can paint over stained wood without sanding. Sanding helps to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere perfectly. However, there are some other ways of preparing stained wood surfaces for painting. In this article, I’ll be describing the ways you can paint over stained wood without sanding. 

How To Paint Over Stained Wood Without Sanding
  • Save

How To Paint Over Stained Wood Without Sanding?

As you already know, sanding is not a must when it comes to painting stained wood. There are numerous ways you can paint over any stained wood that doesn’t require sanding. With that said, here’s my step-by-step guide to painting stained wood without the sanding hassle. 

Before diving into the step by step guide, let’s check what equipment you’ll need to execute the operation successfully:

  • Dust Cleaner With Tack Cloth 
  • Deglosser or Liquid Sandpaper 
  • Wood Filler 
  • Foam Brush or Foam Roller 
  • Primer: Oil-Based or, Water-Based
  • Paint: Oil-Based or, Water-Based

I hope you’ve already managed these pieces of standard painting equipment. If so, let’s get started with the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Clean The Surface Thoroughly

No matter what you intend to paint, you’ve to clean the surface thoroughly. Cleaning the surface can be tiring & time-consuming, but you’ve to do it anyway. Before cleaning, make sure you’ve removed the hardware parts from the wood, such as – a doorknob, furniture pull, etc.

After doing so, focus on the cleaning part. Use any liquid cleaner (like TSP Cleaner) & Tack cloth to clean the surface properly. By this time, you should have a clean surface free from dust & hardware parts that could hinder the painting process. 

Step 2: Remove The Glossy Part 

Cleaning itself is not alone if your wooden surface contains gloss. The glossy part won’t let paint stick properly & which will result in poor finishing. That’s why consider removing the glossy part of your stained wood with deglosser or liquid sandpaper. 

Step 3: Clean The Surface (Again)

The glossy part removal process might bring up more dust on the surface. That’s why you’ve to clean the surface again with cleaner & tack cloth. If you’re wondering, what if I use normal cloth for wiping & cleaning? Well, that won’t be a problem. Tack cloth is just a special kind of cloth manufactured for cleaning wood. 

Step 4: Fix The Cracks & Damages 

Inspect your wooden surface thoroughly & look for cracks or damages. Most probably, you’ll find some cracks & damages that need to be fixed. In these cases, use any wood filler to get your work done. You’ll have a hard time priming & painting the surface if you skip this process. 

Step 5: Prime The Wooden Surface

Priming the surface will make it more paint adhesive. Depending on the paint type (Water-Based or Oil-Based), choose your type of primer. For example, use an oil-based primer if your paint type is oil-based. Same rule is applicable with water-based primer & paint. Use a foam roller or brush to prime the surface. 

Now the question arises, how many coats of primer should I use? It depends on the color & condition of the wooden surface. For example, the light-colored polished surface needs only one coat of primer. On the other hand, a darkened surface requires two coats of primer. 

Step 6: Paint The Surface

Finally, the most awaited painting part. First, choose your desired paint type – water-based or oil-based. Later on, pick a new (or fresh) foam roller or brush & continue painting the surface. Don’t apply more than two coats of paint if not necessary.

Apply the first coat of paint & wait for 4 to 6 hours. After the waiting period, apply the second layer of paint. That’s how you can paint stained wood without sanding. 

You might be wondering, what are the advantages & disadvantages of skipping the sanding part? Stay tuned as the next segment is about this query.

Watch this video for a better understanding:

Advantages & Disadvantages Of Painting Over Stained Wood Without Sanding

Let’s start with the fruitful part, the advantages part. Here are the advantages you’ll get from skipping the sanding part while painting stained wood:

  • You’ll save the allocated time of sanding  
  • You don’t have to go through a tiring & repeated process
  • Dust will be minimal

Though it has some advantages, it comes with slight disadvantages too. Here are some of the disadvantages of skipping the sanding part:

  • You’ve to use high quality & expensive primer
  • Paint might not perform on its highest potential

Pro Tips: Don’t miss the chance of sanding if it’s not too complicated for you. Use 150 grit sandpaper & mildly sand the surface. You don’t have to go hard; just make the surface a little bit rougher for the paint to grab tightly.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Should You Paint Over Stained Wood With or Without Sanding?

Sanding doesn’t mean you’ve to strip away the stain entirely. The basic purpose of sanding is to make the surface a little bit rougher so the paint can adhere properly. With that said, if you can make the surface prepare without sanding – do it. Otherwise, sanding is recommended for the best result. 

How Can I Paint Over Varnished Wood Without Sanding?

You can paint over varnished wood without sanding via using deglosser. Generally, paint doesn’t adhere to the slippery surface of varnished wood & that’s why sanding is required. However, you can use any deglosser for 15 minutes & wipe the surface to prepare the surface for painting. This way, you won’t need sanding.

What Is The Best Way To Paint Over Stained Wood?

The best way to paint over stained wood is using quality primer & paint in the recommended manner. In addition, you can use a foam roller to cover wide surfaces & brush for narrow or hard-to-reach surfaces. Another important element of getting the best result is patience. Don’t rush things & you’ll be fine. 

Can I Use Liquid Sandpaper On Stained Wood?

Yes, you can use liquid sandpaper on stained wood. To remove the glossy finish of wood, you can either use deglosser or liquid sandpaper. That being said, don’t hesitate to use liquid sandpaper on stained wood in fear of any harm to the wood.

Can I Paint Over Gloss Paint Without Sanding?

Yes, you can paint over gloss paint without sanding. However, you’ll need to prepare the surface via a deglosser such as M1 or Krudd Kutter. If you don’t prepare the surface well, you’ll face paint peeling issues in the future. 


I hope this article helped you decide whether or not you should sand the stained wood before painting. Sanding is important as it helps create the perfect surface for painting. However, you can go away without sanding too. 

In summary, you can paint over stained wood without sanding. All you need is – proper primer, paint & deglosser for making your work done. Despite having numerous ways of skipping sanding, I would still recommend sanding above everything.

Related Posts:

Author Bio

Leave a Comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Copy Link
  • More Networks
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap