TLDR: use a sander-deglosser instead of sanding. Other steps detailed below!
We bought a 1940s home that was filled with golden browns. I mean FILLED with them. The built-ins, the ceiling, the wainscoting, the doors, the trim, yada yada, brown in your face everywhere you look. So naturally, I wanted to bring some of it up to date a bit with some paint! I decided to start with a bedroom built-in, but here’s the problem: I hate sanding.
After researching and trying my hand at this project, I found there is a simple way to greatly update without any sanding at all! So, without further adieu, here are 6 steps to repaint your built-in without any sanding!
Step 1: Take out any drawers, shelves, or door faces you might have & set aside.
- This took me so much longer than it might if you know how to use an electric screwdriver! Holy smokes it took me 20 minutes to take out 4 screws. Once I used a regular screwdriver, it took much, much less time.
Step 2: Use a sander deglosser like this one. Read the directions on your bottle and apply all over every surface (including the doors and drawers). This will take the place of the sander to help the new paint stick! For mine, I just soaked it on a rag and spread it around. Easy peezy.
- Check your ventilation. This stuff can get a little strong!
- We also realized our built in had some holes that needed patching! This wood putty was easy to use and filled the holes nicely.
Step 3: Plastic & tape around all edges. This was the longest step for me because we were using a spray gun for our paint. This meant the paint was likely to spread all over our adjacent walls. I bet if you use a roller, you could definitely skip some of this plastic work 🙂
- If you have someone who is very particular and attentive to detail, this may be a good place to ask for some help. I struggle STRUGGLE with details, so I sweettalked the hubs into helping. To make it easier, I went over all lines with blue tape and then went back to tape plastic. More tape? Yes. Easier in the long run? Absolutely.
Step 4: Apply a primer. I chose one like this because it is made to stick to any surface (including glossy ones). I figured since I didn’t sand, I might as well be safe. This primer also seals in any stains so they won’t peek through your paint.
- My wood had stains! I didn’t know that before priming, but some icky brown came through the primer. The seal in the primer worked great though and was easily covered by paint.
- Don’t forget to take all hardware off (including handles) of doors and drawers.
Step 5: Get painting! Be sure to also paint the drawers, shelves and doors if applicable.
- I used Valspar paint from Lowes. It was around 25$ for the Ultra, which was plenty fine given this is a built-in in my new office that will one day convert back to a kid’s room.
Step 6: Once dry, reapply shelving, etc. that you removed. I also updated the hardware at this step, and it definitely made a difference!
What do you think of my before and after? We added a new desktop and painted an accent wall. I am a huge fan!