Sanding 101: Why It’s Important for Your Furniture

Man sanding furniture

Sanding 101: Why It’s Important for Your Furniture

Furniture defines a room by adding functionality, charm and character to it. Over time, however, it can become faded, dented and scratched. As well, you may have antique furniture in your home that needs to be restored or you may have purchased a beautiful antique piece that needs to be refurbished. Sanding the furniture the correct way is key so it’s important to learn how to sand furniture by hand to get the best results.

Sanding before Painting Furniture

Before attempting to paint any furniture it’s vital to sand it first. Sanding creates an even and smooth surface that ensures that the paint or varnish will adhere to it. Without sanding, you can expect the finish to be rough and uneven and will tend to chip and peel as time goes by.

Sanding is used to remove old finishes that need to be replaced with new ones. In order to do furniture refinishing that looks professional, the old finish must be sanded off before a new finish is put on.

The Best Sander for Furniture

There are many different types of electric sanders that are currently available on the market. These include palm sanders, random orbital sanders, detail sanders, belt sanders and orbital sanders. Before using any of the sanders you should practice using them before getting down to business with your special piece of furniture.

The best sander for furniture is your hands. Unless you are restoring a massive piece of furniture, take time and care to sand the special piece by hand. You’ll be able to feel your way along as you do the sanding, which will help prevent any gauging. When using an electric sander, it’s easy to lose control and to sand too deep into the wood and create a huge gouge in it.

How to Sand Furniture by Hand

Here are the steps you can follow when it’s time to sand your furniture:

Gather up Your Supplies – For this project you’ll need a sanding block or a sanding sponge, a tack cloth and sandpaper. Buy sandpaper with a rough grit like 80 grit to remove the finish and a 220-grit piece of sandpaper for fine sanding to make the area smooth once the old finish has been removed.

Clean the furniture – Take off any knobs or handles and clean the surface with a degreaser or soap and water. Make sure that it is completely dry before moving forward with the next step.

Begin sanding – Carefully wrap a piece of sandpaper around the sponge or sanding block and start sanding. Always work along the grain of the wood. When you need to work in corners or smaller areas, use your hands instead of the sanding block or sponge. Using an even pressure, continue sanding until the old finish is removed and the surface feels very even and smooth.

Re-clean the furniture – Use the tack cloth to wipe the furniture surface to remove any debris or dust left behind by the sanding.

Sand the surface with the finer sandpaper – Use the finer grit sandpaper and continue until the surface is as smooth as you would like it to be.

Final cleanup – Clean the furniture as you did in the previous cleaning step and ensure that it is completely dry before starting to add the new finish. This is how to sand furniture by hand to get the best results.

Sanding Antique Furniture

If you have a treasured piece of antique furniture and don’t want to attempt the sanding on your own, give us a call . We are professional antique furniture restorers that can ensure that your special furniture gets all the care and attention it deserves to preserve its integrity.


Hello Donna

I just wanted to say Thank you for another amazing job! The table and chairs look absolutely amazing, as usual I am very happy with my new table and chairs. As always it’s a pleasure dealing with you guys from start to finish! Thank you again.

- Tina

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