How to Refinish Old Furniture Without Sanding

by April
3 Materials
6 Hours

If you’ve been following my DIY adventures, you’ve probably seen the dining table that I made a few months ago. I had to find fun chairs on the budget and one day I was in luck when I thrifted these old cane chairs. They had a perfect base but were a bit outdated. So I decided to repaint them and since I don’t like sanding, I had to find a way to do it this way. Today I’d like to show you how to refinish old furniture without sanding.

You can watch the video on my YouTube channel!

Step 1. Clean it up

Wash your chairs very well. I usually use a mixture of 50:50 vinegar and water.

Step 2. Fill in the cracks.

I used wood filler to fill up all the cracks that could be shown after the layer of paint.

Step 3. Tape off the part you don’t want to paint.

Step 4. Use a stain-blocking oil-based primer.

Read on the blog why it's important to use oil-based primer.

Let it dry completely, it shouldn’t take to long. By the time I finished all the chairs, the first one was dry.

Step 5. Sand between layers.

Fine, I said, “without sanding”. ;D But I meant the heavy sanding when you take the whole layer off to original wood. Use a 220 or higher sandpaper and lightly sand off the primer. You don’t’ want to sand it all down but smooth the surface from brush strokes.

Step 6. Use a few coats of latex paint.

I prefer water-based latex paint since it’s easier to apply using a spray painter.

Step 7. Take off the tape

Step 8. Apply a topcoat

You can leave it as it is or apply a coat of Polyurethane. I left it as it is but probably will apply a water-based polyurethane soon for more durability. But as I mentioned before, kids probably will destroy these chairs before I get my hands on them to finish it.

Have you ever repainted old furniture? What are your tips and tricks?



Suggested materials:
  • Old based primer
  • Latex paint
  • Masking tape
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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