How to Sand Wood? – Step-By-Step Guide on Sanding Wood

By sanding you can give a proper finish to your wooden workpiece. The main purpose of sanding is to bring the wood material into a point where it will not have any scratches visible.

Without proper sanding of the product, it simply won’t have the plain surface thus end up as an unattractive final workpiece.

For this reason, in this post, we are going to tell you the step-by-step process on how to sand wood properly.

Let’s begin.

Why Do We Need Sanding?

Now you have a little bit idea what sanding is. But why we exactly need sanding? One of the main reasons is to get rid of any splinter that might form from rough projections of wood.

Another one is to prepare the wood for painting. Rounding off the edge of tables and furniture is one of the top reasons for sanding wood. A most common cause that you will see in households that sanding is required to remove the old finish and give it a new look.

Step-By-Step Guide on Sanding Wood

You must follow some steps so that you can perform sanding properly which will satisfy you and the customer both. And the steps are:

Step 1: Safety Measures

Like any other technical work, this one also demands some safety before you are going to conduct the sanding.

Because when you will start sanding the very first thing is that going to face is the sawdust. Which can directly get into your lounges through the respiratory system and into the eyes as they are very small particles? So, if you want to save yourself from those, you must wear glass to protect your eyes and wear a mask to protect your lungs.

Step 2: Ensure Enough Light in The Workstation

One of the most important you must remember is that you need enough amount of light. Try to get a powerful lamp or bulb and focus light on your workstation. The presence of light will allow you to find any rough space on your final wood layer which will eventually help you to give a more precise finishing of the wood piece.

Step 3: The Grit of Sandpaper

You must know which type of grit paper you will need before you get started. There are three types of sandpaper. These are known as coarse, medium and fine.

Coarse sandpaper will remove the layer of woods very aggressively but will leave a rough surface. Fine sandpaper will remove the layer of woods slowly and leave a smooth upper layer. You will see numbers in sandpaper as 80, 120, 150 and 220 which are coarse, medium, and fine respectively.

You should start sanding wood with a coarse sandpaper grit which is also known as 80 grit sandpaper. After doing this you can use 120 grit sandpaper which will give you a smoother surface.

But be very cautious about using coarse sandpaper on the plywood or veneer because these are very thin.  If you want to make your workpiece smoother than the previous one, then you should use 150 grit sandpaper.

If you do not maintain the level of grit, then you may find a rough final surface layer of your workpiece. Because less aggressive sandpaper grit will produce a smoother surface while the more aggressive will give you a rough surface of the wood.

Step 4: Method Selection

There are two types of approach you can go for and depends on your wood piece. Your work pattern will depend on your expected result that you are looking for. These two approaches are Hand Sanding and Power Sanding.

  • Hand Sanding

No matter what project you undertake, you must have to have the final touch using your hand for the classical finishing looks.

The final touch that your hand is able to give is not possible for the machine to do because it can’t work from all the angle or direction. For example, it is a bit tough to do sanding with your hand if you want to sand any round-shaped leg of any table or any furniture. You must cut the sandpaper into a quarter and make three folds. And then place it on the wood surface and move back and forward to smoothen your wood.

  • Power Sanding

By using a machine like a belt sander, orbit sander, you can reduce your work time drastically. These machines are very powerful and can perform very aggressively to smooth large piece of a wood surface.

Every wood has its own fiber shape which is known as grain. Always remember to go through the grain of the wood. If this is not done, then there will be cross mark shape or rough layer will be clearly visible on the wood surface.


If you follow the steps, you will be able to conduct an excellent job for yourself or your clients.

This skill is indeed of great value which will help you to earn more if you are a professional. It would also help you to save money by polishing your own wood stuff.

All the finished wood product that you and I see in our surrounding have a sanding story behind it. Now you know how to do it to create your own wood sanding story.