A person holds a paintbrush to wood

Best Liquid Sander Deglosser

Originally contributed by • last updated 6/2/2021


Picture this, your avocado green kitchen cabinets have been stuck in the 70s for far too long. And at last, you've decided to bring them into the 21st century with a fresh coat of paint and a whole lot of perseverance. But turning the heart of your home into the modern kitchen of your dreams comes with no shortage of dilemmas, like this conundrum — is liquid sander deglosser a better alternative to sandpaper in preparing your cabinet doors for a recoat? It’s a valid question that we're here to answer. And along the way, we’ll provide a breakdown of the best liquid sander deglosser products on the market. Let’s dive in!

What is a liquid sander deglosser?

Much like sandpaper, liquid sander deglosser diminishes gloss of existing paint or varnish from a surface, preps the area for refurbishing, and helps bind the new finish in hopes of preventing future chips. But there are a few differences between liquid sander deglosser and regular sandpaper to be aware of.

Even the best liquid sander deglosser contains harsh chemical additives that work to strip away existing finishes. This means that most liquid sandpapers are somewhat toxic. Even though some deglossers are offered with low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) options, which limits the number of gases emitted from the chemicals, proper ventilation is still required when the product is used. Similarly, other safety precautions, like wearing gloves and protective eyewear, need to be taken when applying the liquid to surfaces to prevent the product from coming into contact with your base skin. Thus if you're not really comfortable using chemicals, sandpaper may be a better option.

However, manually sanding down a surface with sandpaper can be very tedious, whereas using a liquid sander deglosser is often less time-consuming. While both require quite a bit of elbow grease to ensure gloss and sealers are adequately removed, liquid deglosser completely eliminates the need to pull out the vacuum cleaner and vengefully collect all the sanding dust. That being said, sandpaper is often the best choice when it comes to furniture that have deep scratches, dents, and uneven surfaces.

What’s the difference in cost between solid and liquid sandpaper?

Liquid sander deglosser and solid sandpaper generally retail for a similar price. A 32-ounce bottle of liquid sandpaper can often be purchased at hardware stores for under $10, which is quite the bang for your buck considering a little bit of the product goes quite a long way. Sheets of sandpaper are commonly sold in packs, ranging in price based on their size and grit — the coarseness of the paper. Most are under $10 as well.

Therefore, it is really the size of your project, the amount of damage, if any, on your furniture, and ultimately how much time you've allocated for the reno that can help determine which sanding product is best for you.

What are the most popular liquid sander deglossers on retail shelves?

If you've found yourself leaning towards liquid sandpaper for your next refurbishing project, keep on reading. We've gathered the best liquid sander deglosser products on the market for you to explore in-depth below.


Jasco Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser

Jasco 32-oz Indoor/Outdoor Paint Preparation/Cleaner

Ditch the hassle of sanding away layers of sealers and paint with Jasco's Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser. Best applied in circular motions with a lint-free cloth, the water-based formula permanently deglosses surfaces and acts as a bond agent in adhering new paint and varnish to existing finishes. The biodegradable deglosser works well on paint, enamel, varnish, lacquer, polyurethane, and even stain. You can get your hands on a 32-ounce bottle of Jasco’s Easy Liquid Sander Deglosser for $8 at Lowe’s.


Krud Kutter Gloss-Off

Krud Kutter Gloss-Off Prepaint Surface Preparation

This prepaint surface preparation by Krud Kutter maintains its ability to clean, degloss, and help new finishes bond to old paint or varnish with one application of its wipe-on/wipe-off formula. The water-based liquid sander can be used on a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal, and even vinyl wallpaper. While Gloss-Off is non-toxic and environmentally friendly (a big part of what makes it one of our picks for best liquid sander deglossers), it is still important to take all the proper safety precautions when applying the product. A 32-ounce bottle, which can be used on up to 75 square feet, retails for $8 on Amazon.


Klean Strip Liquid Sandpaper

1 qt. Liquid Sandpaper Cleaner & Deglosser
The Home Depot

Klean Strip’s Liquid Sandpaper is another water-based deglosser that helps create a strong bond between existing finishes and the new coats of paint or varnish being applied on top. Liquid Sandpaper can be used on enamel, polyurethane, stain, varnish, lacquer and paint. The deglosser works on a variety of surfaces, including kitchen cabinets, door facings, and wood moldings. As always, ensure you take all the safety precautions before using the product. Liquid Sandpaper is available at The Home Depot, retailing $9 for a 32-ounce bottle.


Citristrip Paint & Varnish Stripping Gel

1/2 Gal. Safer Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel
The Home Depot

Looking for a way to remove multiple layers of paint all in one application? The Citristrip Paint and Varnish Stripping Gel does just that. While the product is more of a paint stripper, as opposed to being strictly a deglosser, the citrus-scented gel — much like the best liquid sander deglosser — eliminates the need for sanding. Despite having no harsh fumes and minimal toxic chemicals, all safety precautions should be taken when applying the product, like wearing gloves, protective eyewear, and ensuring proper ventilation. 

Citristrip works quite differently from the other liquid deglossers of the list in that the gel is applied with a paintbrush and is left on surfaces for at least 30 minutes and up to a maximum of 24 hours until the existing finishes are ready to be scraped off with a plastic stripping tool. Citristrip’s stripping liquid maintains its ability to remove up to five layers of oil-based paints and latex in as little as an hour. The orange gel is the most expensive on the list, costing $13 for a 32-ounce container purchasable at The Home Depot.


M-1 Paint Deglosser and Pre-paint Cleaner

M-1 Paint Deglosser and Pre-Paint Cleaner

Similar to the other liquid sanders on the list, M-1’s Paint Deglosser and Pre-paint Cleaner eliminates shine from enamel, latex, varnish, and even oil-based paints on both wood and metal. At the same time, the water-based liquid removes dirt, oil, and grease from surfaces to improve the adhesion of new finishes. One downside of this product is that there is an open time, meaning once the product is unsealed you have only 10 days to use the deglosser. However, this liquid sander is the cheapest of the bunch, retailing for $5.50 at Sherwin Williams.