How To Sand Wood

As the DIY fever keeps growing, I get tons of questions from my once I-would-never-do-this-myself friends. If I have to rate these questions, though, I think the most common one is none other but how to sand wood.

So, you want to learn the best way to sand wood, huh? I also guess you’d be happy to get a few painfully easy and quick hacks for sanding wood, don’t you?

After all, nobody loves wasting his time and efforts. And nonetheless, sanding is, indeed, an important process in many DIY projects. Thus, the better you understand how to sand wood like a pro, the more successful your missions as a DIYer will be.

Okay, enough sweet talk. Let’s get down straight to the fun part. Below, we are revealing the best tips for sanding wood in easy to follow, step by step instructions.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

  • Sandpaper (coarse-grit and fine-grit)
  • Sanding block or electric sander
  • Linen-free cloth
  • Tack cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner (optional)
  • Drop cloth (optional)
  • Dust mask
  • All-purpose cleaner and a rag
  • Tack cloth (optional)

Pro Tips

1 – When working with a sander, going slowly = a winning strategy

If you are using a sanding block, then you most certainly need to work at a high speed. Your moves must be quick and energetic in order to get the best results. However, when you are working with an electric sander, it’s quite the opposite. Too much pressure and fast moving through the surface of the wood can spoil the final results. Thus, your wisest move is to go through the surface of the wood slowly and let the sander do the job for you without much of a fuss and/or rush.

2 – Just skip a grit!

Many DIYers who are not that experienced with sanding tend to get too precise and go through the entire range of sandpaper grit. However, this is not actually necessary! You can easily skip a grit and get the job done perfectly well, too. For this purpose, use every other grit (for instance, 100-150-220).

3 – 2 sanders work better than a single 1

Almost this goes without saying, if you have access to 2 sanders, you can finish up within ½ the typical time needed to finish a project. However, working with 2 sanders simultaneously might be overwhelming if you don’t have the right attitude. You need to think of the 2 sanders as a single machine and avoid letting your hands wandering apart.

Step by Step Instructions for Sanding Wood

Step 1 – Start sanding with a good mood

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Though it may sound like a cliché, switching from a negative to a positive state of mind is the first step of sanding. Turn on your favorite music or simply use the time to put your racing thoughts away.

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As soon as I started thinking of sanding as a type of meditation, I realized how beneficial and enjoyable the process can be for my well-being (and for the well-being of the project I am working on). Now, to the practical side of the task.

You always need to start by cleaning the surface of the wood very well. Sanding a dirty surface is not what you want to do.

Use an all-purpose cleaner and a rag to wipe off any traces of grime and dirt.

Afterward, proceed with sanding off the wood. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and switch to medium-grit for the second course of sanding. Make sure you clean all the dust before switching the grits with a tack cloth or a vacuum.

Step 2 – Stop, pause, relax, and proceed

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Sanding can be time-consuming, especially if you are working on a large surface. Instead of getting exhausted, know when to stop. I usually take a quick coffee break before finally switching to fine-grit sanding. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to edges and corners. It can be tricky to sand curvy, hard-to-reach areas but that doesn’t mean you can afford to leave them behind.

At the end of this tutorial, we hope that we have managed to cheer you up and get you fully inspired for your next DIY project. Did this article help to shed light on how to sand wood?

Did you find useful tips which you will be able to put into practice? Let us know in the comment section below! Your support will help us reach out to more people who may need a friendly shoulder as DIYers on all things woodworking related. Give your thumbs ups and share this tutorial to make this world a better place.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY