Wooden Furniture: Simple Sanding Guide

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  • 1-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 5-50
What You'll Need
Fine grade sandpaper
Rough grad sandpaper
Rotary sander
Sand block
Air can

Wooden furniture adds a nice effect to any room and with the proper maintenance it is extremely durable. On a periodic basis, however, it is necessary to sand down any wooden furniture in your home and apply a new coat of stain. This process will remove imperfections such as dents, dings, and scratches.

Before Beginning

Determine how much sanding is actually necessary for the furniture you will be working on. If you are simply looking to smooth the wood and remove the existing stain or varnish then you will only need fine grade sandpaper. If the furniture has a number of obvious marks such as dents, dings or scratches, then it will be necessary to remove a larger amount of the surface wood and then smooth it off.

Step 1 - First Layer

Using rough grade sandpaper with a sand block or a rotary electric sander, sand off a thin layer of wood over the entire surface of the furniture using smooth, circular motions. Remember to take off only a small layer of wood with each pass. If necessary, you can perform second or third passes to fully remove marks.

Step 2 - Keep it Clean

sanding disks

Periodically use an air can or vacuum and brush to remove excess dust. This will allow the sandpaper to work more effectively.

Step 3 - Smooth it Out

Using a fine grade type of sandpaper and a sand block or a rotary electric sander, sand the wooden furniture in gentle motions until the wood has a smooth feel. Run your fingers against the wood to determine if you have achieved a smooth finish. If necessary perform more than one pass to finish the furniture.

Step 4 - Remove Unwanted Dust with a Vacuum

sanding a table with a sanding block

Using an air can, a vacuum or a broom, remove any excess dust that has deposited on the furniture.

Step 5 - Clean Furniture

Using a rag, wipe the furniture clean. It is OK to use a little water to fully remove extra dust but this is often not necessary. Do not use any form of cleaning chemicals as this can damage the wood and prevent the stain or varnish from setting properly.

At this point, you can place a coat of stain or varnish on your wooden furniture. If you are not looking to change the color of the furniture from the natural color of the wood used then you can apply a clear layer of sealant.