How to Sand Wood? [5 Things to Keep in Mind]

How do you sand wood? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they are refinishing furniture or building something new. So, we put together this blog post to answer that question and give some tips on what to keep in mind while sanding down your piece of wood. We hope this helps!

Table of Contents

  • Reasons to Consider while Sanding Wood
  • 5 Things to Keep in Mind while Sanding Wood
  • 3 Tips while Using Random Orbital Sander
  • What Sandpaper to Use on Wood?

Reasons to Consider while Sanding Wood

While mentioning the best ways to sand wood, I must clear why sanding wood is necessary in the first place. Initially, there are four reasons why you should consider sanding wood.

  • To get rid of the flaws like gouges or dents on wooden furniture or surface.

  • To smooth out any mill marks left out from any previous woodworking machines.

  • To avoid splinter on wood caused by rough projection.

  • To prepare wood for painting, you must evenly sand the wooden thing, and after sanding, use a dry cloth to remove extra derbies. There you go, your wooden material is prepared for painting.

As the above information resonates with why should you sand, now you must be thinking about how to sand wood?

It is better to sand the wood with a random orbital sander rather than hands. Thanks to the sanding machines that you do not have to spend much of your physical labor.

Sanding wood is very personal as it requires a proper amount of pressure to work better. You have to be careful when it comes to sanding by hand. You can not put too much pressure, which may take away too much material.

Rather than going through all these hassles, it is better to work with sanding machines like random orbital sander. Are you looking for something super user friendly? Then you can pick random orbital sander without any doubts.

Friendly may it work for you, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything new to learn about it. Also, there are things you should keep in mind while sanding woods with a random orbital sander.

5 Things to Keep in Mind while Sanding Wood

1. Clean first

Clean the wooden material you intend to sand. First, you should consider how much dirt your furniture or surface has, and based on that; you would choose the way to clean. Simply sweeping off can work fine if the dirt is not too stubborn. Suppose the dirt is already a more significant layer than you must use detergent and water for the cleaning job. To apply the cleaning solution, you can use garden spray. After that, dry the surface thoroughly so that you can finally start sanding.

2. Start with a slow move

if you are into too much hurrying your sanding process with random orbital sander, then I’m sorry that it will turn awful for you. Too much quickness can leave swirl marks.

Learn to work in turtle speed; it’s like taking 1 inch per second. To get used to the slow pace, you can use a stopwatch.

3. Proceed with lighter movements

Do not make the mistake of pressing too hard on the random orbital sander. The pressure of your hand plus the pressure of the sander will cause producing ugly marks on the wooden surface. You surely wouldn’t want ugly marks on your wooden material, would you?

That is why park it before you start it. By “park it,” I mean to place the sander before you start working. And turn the sanding off before you start working on a different section.

Follow a direction to sand. With sanding machines, it is not necessary to follow any particular direction no matter what. So you can find out your comfort direction and start working following it. Keep reading about don’t make these 23 biggest mistakes when sanding.

4. Know when to stop

You will feel good with sanding longer, I know it, I have been there. But you must know when to stop.

Sanding for too long might take away lost of material. It like judgment call to know when you should stop, but just as a tip, I would say stop right when you see the pores of the wood to open, and a consistent smoothness appears on the surface.

5. Use hand sanding as a finishing touch

When you are done sanding with random orbital sand, use hand sanding as a finishing touch. Thus you will ensure that no swirl mark stays behind.

For hand-sanding, use a wooden block and sanding disc. Wrap the disc over the block. As for the sanding disc, you can use the similar sanding disc you used with the random orbital sander.

3 Tips while Using Random Orbital Sander

1. Spent More on the Sanding Disc

It would help if you spent more on the sanding disc because a high-quality disc comes with the uniformed sized grit particles. Unfortunately, the cheaper grits mostly come with oversized particles. Therefore, the oversized particles cause deep cut and scratches that are visible.

Also, the quality disc will last longer, and thus you are actually saving you money to buy one rather than buying more frequently.

2. Wearing PPEs

Safely may random orbital sand work for you, but you can’t always be sure of your safety with machines. It’s better to be safer than sorry. That is why you should have these things to protect you before you start working with a random orbital sander:

  • Hearing guards
  • Knee pads
  • Eye protection
  • Heavy gloves
  • Dust mask or Respirator

3. Use Vacuum for Best Result

You can use a vacuum with the sander for the best result. We all know a vacuum is well known to wipe off every bit of dust. It pulls away sawdust better than just the fan inside of sander. Plus, a vacuum keeps the sandpaper clean and helps to cut fast. You might face problems like the vacuum not fitting your sander. It’s okay; spend a little bit of money on an adapter.

Editor’s Tips

What Sandpaper to Use on Wood?

You should be careful about using sandpaper as some sandpaper carries the chances to damage your wooden material.

For rough surfaces with splinters, dips, or gouges, you should choose the roughest sandpaper of 60-grit. Though it will remove fast, it may scratch in the long run. Alternatively, you can switch to 80-grit sandpaper. To sand a wooden deck, you can pick sandpaper of 60-150 grit.

The sandpapers of 60-80 grit are best for removing old paint or for shaping wood.

For workhouses, it is best to pick sandpaper of 100 grit. The cabinetmakers often add filler, and in this case, 100 grit sandpaper is best to remove fillers. For uneven joints and miscalculated edges, you can work better with 100 girt paper.

The 100 grit sandpaper is ideal for all purposes, while 120-180 is best for the finest finish. Remember, you should never violate the method of sanding parallel to the grain. Or else choosing the best sandpaper won’t be much of a help for you. Eventually, it will leave scratches.

Final Words

Sanding wood with random orbital sander might seem incredibly tiresome, but remember, you should never rush.

For the best result, the patience of yours is worth it. Also, don’t forget to use a vacuum to clean up every single time. Thus you can work faster and finer.

If you have already gone through the above article, then you might have already guessed that using random orbital sander will save a bulk of your hard physical work. Just imply the techniques carefully, and then your sanding process and sander will work at its best.

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