Since I have been working on these chairs for what seems like forever now, I thought it would be helpful if I could give you some best tips for sanding to help you out and save you some time on your next project! In order for me to provide you with the best tips, I asked a local woodworking expert, Mark, for any tips he could give us on sanding. Mark has been woodworking for decades. He got his passion from his dad who was an incredible woodworker and can build anything. Cabinets, doghouses, decks, you name it. He shares the best sanding tips below.
I really wish I would have taken Marks advice BEFORE I started sanding my chairs. I was smart (sarcasm) and started with 220 grit and was getting SO frustrated when I wasn’t making much progress sanding things down to bare wood. I thought that if I stained over it in a darker color, that it would cover up the discolored spots where I didn’t fully sand it down, and boy was I WRONG! Because of this, it took me 10x longer to get to bare wood and I ended up getting really frustrated and didn’t sand it completely down. On the next chair, I lowered the grit to 120 and I was able to sand down to bare wood MUCH quicker this way.
Another thing I learned was that I need to change the sanding pads out quicker. I know it feels very wasteful to go through sanding pads quickly but that was key for my success. After awhile, the sanding pad gets dull and ends up being too smooth to get to bare wood. I noticed after about 2 legs or 15 minutes of sanding, it was time to change the sandpaper.
And last, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS sand to bare wood if restaining is your end goal. All those uneven spots WILL show in your final finish if you don’t. Staining over an unsanded area will not cover that up. Ask me how I know!
Please give Mark a follow on Instagram at @the_front_porch_woodcrafter for learning all things woodworking!
Where we discuss all things design, obviously.