Skip to main content

How to Sand Wood

Sanding is an important step when preparing wood for painting or staining.


  • : Always wear safety goggles when operating power tools, and wear a dust mask while sanding.
  • Step 1: Select sandpaper Choose a sandpaper grit that works for your project. The rougher the wood, the coarser paper you should use.
  • TIP: Start with a medium grit like number 80, which can remove scratches and dents.
  • Step 2: Select a tool Select your tool. A random-orbit finishing sander is a versatile choice. For smaller jobs and hard-to-reach spots, consider sanding by hand with the help of a sanding block.
  • TIP: Scribble in pencil over the sanding surface – when the marks are gone, you're done.
  • Step 3: Sand Sand with – not against – the grain. Apply even pressure so you don’t gouge the wood or create high and low spots.
  • Step 4: Clear the dust Remove dust from all surfaces using a shop vacuum.
  • Step 5: Repeat Repeat the previous steps, each time moving to finer sandpaper. With each sanding, you will find yourself one step closer to a perfect finish.
  • FACT: Sandpaper was once called glass paper because it was made with glass particles.

You Will Need

  • Sandpaper of varying grits
  • A random-orbit finishing sander
  • A sanding block
  • Safety goggles
  • A dust mask
  • And a shop vacuum
  • A pencil

Popular Categories