Refinish Furniture

Sandpaper and Sanding Information

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Sand The Ice In The Winter, But Don't Use Sandpaper on Your Furniture.


If the piece is antique, NEVER SAND unless there is a snag or you have had to repair. Many expensive antiques have had their value cut with sandpaper. Always remember, if a piece of furniture took a hundred years to look like it does, if you sand off the patina and all of its little nicks and dents that give it it's character, it will take another hundred years to get back to where it is now. If you make it look like it just came out of the new furniture showroom, you can say goodby to at least half of it's antique value.


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Sanding, Exceptions

As with everything, there are exceptions to no sanding. Unfinished furniture will always need some touch up sanding and some will need major sanding.

Water damaged furniture will need sanding, as well as any open grain wood that needs filling. Mainly, use discrimination, don't sand just because there is a surface there.

palm sanderrandom orbit sander It's always good to finish your sanding job with hand sanding with fine sandpaper, but there are a couple of electric sanders that are acceptible for refinishing. The good ones are, finishing sander, and random orbit sander.

Sand With the Grain

Be sure to always sand with the grain. If you sand across the grain it will show when you stain, no matter how fine the sandpaper is.

Tack Cloth

Clean the sanding dust from the surface very carefully. Any sanding dust left on the surface seems to grow in size after a clear finish is applied. The best thing to clean dust off is a tack cloth. The tack cloth is treated with a very sticky substance that cleans the dust out of nooks, crannies and wood grain.

Sanding for Staining

The success of your staining job is directly related to your sanding job and the grit of the sandpaper. If the sanding is uneven, then the stain will be uneven too. Stain is absorbed less in shiney smooth areas and is absorbed more where the surface is less smooth.

Palm Finishing Sander

The palm finishing sander is easy to use and there is very little danger to the user. The random orbit needs some practice on scrap wood, because it removes an awful lot of wood in a short time, even with fine sandpaper, but you can get a very fine smooth finish with one. The random orbit goes around in umpteen jillion little bitty circles while it randomly goes around in just a few jillion big circles (figured in seconds), that's how it achieves a markless surface as compared to the circular marks of a regular circular sander.

Random Orbit Sander

A random orbit sander is for flat surfaces only, don't use it on edges or less area than it can sit on full and flat. The sanding discs are generally held on by hook and loop fastening which is very secure when it's flat, but when the disc hangs over an edge the hooks and loops can come unfastened and the disc will take off for the moon. That happened to me several times and common sense didn't take hold and make me quit trying edges until a disc flew off, slit my jeans, made a deep gash in my leg, deflected off and sailed about 20 feet across the room, out the door, across a 6 foot loading dock and nicked the trunk of my car ending up across the alley in the park. Something like that will jar your common sense quickly.

Sandpaper and Sharp Metal Scrapers

If you stay away from sandpaper and sharp metal scrapers and impatience when you're stripping a piece of furniture you can't ruin the piece. You can booger up a finish to a fair-thee-well and have to redo it, but the furniture itself is not ruined.

Yard Sale Furniture For Practice

If you have never stripped a piece of furniture before, it's best to buy a yard sale or used piece for a couple of dollars to practice on. You could be quite surprised at the type of wood and appearance when you're through. - Online Art Supplies
We're proud to be an affiliate of Blick Art Materials

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