How to paint without sanding with the right tools +video

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 20, 2022
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How to paint without sanding

abrasive gel
St marc grains

Painting  without sanding is actually the same as walking without shoes. You actually have to wear shoes to avoid injuries to your feet. It would be possible to do without shoes if, for example, you would wear thick socks. By this I mean to say that painting without sanding is actually not possible. After all, you should always sand before you start painting. It is possible, but then you have to use tools to achieve the same result to come. Those tools are certainly available.


Always degrease before sanding. Sanding is to roughen the surface. The paint then picks up the surface more easily, creating a better end result. The second goal is to prevent sagging. You can imagine if a surface is smooth that the paint will slide off, as it were. If the surface is rough, this cannot happen. You also sand to remove irregularities from the surface. If you do not do this, you will see the unevenness in your final result. Especially with high gloss paint.

Sanding also aims to remove peeling paint. the transition from painted surface to the bare part should be smooth. You should actually sand just for adhesion. If you don’t do this properly, you can get the following defects: flaking, pieces of paint are knocked off, paint becomes dull.


Wet sanding (with these steps) is possible. This is only possible with a tool. One such tool is a gel. This is only possible on well-painted surfaces that are still intact. So the gel is not to remove imperfections. You apply the gel to the surface with a sponge. This gel actually has three functions. The gel sands, degreases and cleans the surface immediately. The advantage is that you can work faster and that no dry dust is released. You can compare it a bit with wet sanding.

Read the article about wet sanding here.


Without sandpaper  sanding is also possible with a powder. The product that is used for this is St Marc granules. You can only apply the powder form to already painted surfaces. With that powder it is a matter of mixing water. When you make it strong, the paint layer becomes dull and you get a good adhesion afterwards. pay attention to the mixing ratio. Because those granules dissolve in the water, you get a light sanding effect, as it were, if you do this with a scouring pad. Actually, you are still sanding.

Alternatives   painting without sanding:
Sequence: first degrease then sand
Sanding function: roughen surface for good adhesion
Not sanding properly, result: flaking, paint layer becomes dull, pieces of paint come off when bumped
Painting without sanding two alternatives: gel and powder
Only suitable for paint layers in tact.
Gel: degrease, sand and clean
Advantage gel: work faster and no dust
Powder form: cleaning and sanding
Powder form advantage: fewer work steps
Order sanding gel: Click here
powder form st. Marc order: DIY stores

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Pete deVries.


I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.