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Sanding AlternativeSanding Alternative

Sanding before painting a beautiful piece of wood can be a huge pain in the you-know-where. What if the piece is cumbersome, or awkwardly shaped? What if your arm is already worn out just thinking about holding that leaping and bounding handheld sander? Is there a sanding alternative?

Just step away from the sandpaper. There’s actually a few reliable ways to paint wood without sanding first. Now, as with any paint job, make sure to clean the surface well before beginning.

If you have a specific paint in mind:

Prep with a bonding primer

If you are not sure if your chosen paint will stick to the lacquer, look for a high quality bonding primer to paint as your first base coat. These products are specifically designed to make sure paints stick to a range of surfaces. BONUS: these products can also help you prep metal, vinyl, glass, and other surfaces! BONUS-BONUS: Kilz Adhesion Bonding Primer dries within one hour!

If your object has intricate woodwork:

Prep with a liquid sander

Sometimes marketed as a “deglosser,” liquid sandpaper is a chemical solution that helps dull the paint or varnish you want to paint over. This ensures your new topcoat will actually stick. Just soak a rag or sponge and run it over the whole thing. The liquid can get right down into those nooks and crannies you never would have been able to sand down the old-fashioned way! Now, being a chemical, this option is really stinky. Do this outside, and wear gloves and protective goggles. If you have trouble around fumes or any kind of respiratory or breathing issues, maybe avoid this options altogether for your own safety.

If you don’t mind a super-matte finish:

Use chalk board paint

This requires absolutely no prep work whatsoever; chalk paint adheres to so many surfaces, it’s incredible! And yes, you could use it as a chalkboard, if you wanted.

Just sayin’.

If you want the finish to be super-durable:

Use mineral paintUse mineral paint

In addition to being nontoxic, mineral paint is so durable that it’s waterproof! There is no prep work, even for a slick surface! That downside is you pay for that extra-super-durable-ness, and it comes in smaller “doses” than some of the other options.

There you have it! Some options for painting wood without sanding first! Have fun, and get painting!

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