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How to Use Sandpaper

If you ever need to smooth something out for a project, or get an unwanted collection of grime or paint off a surface, here's how to use sandpaper.


  • Step 1: Put the felt on the block Wrap your small block of wood in a small piece of felt and use your staple gun to staple the felt to the wood. This will create a pad for your sanding block.
  • Step 2: Add sandpaper to the block Wrap the felt-covered wood block with sandpaper, coarse side facing out. Adhere the paper with the staple gun.
  • TIP: Coarse sandpaper works best on hard woods and fine sandpaper works best on soft wood and light paint or varnish removal jobs.
  • Step 3: Prepare to sand Put on your dust mask and make sure you're in a well-ventilated area before you begin sanding.
  • Step 4: Sanding wood Stroke the object with the sanding block, using evenly distributed pressure. Always sand with the grain of the wood.
  • TIP: When removing paint or varnish from wood, start with coarse sandpaper, and gradually shift to finer grits.
  • Step 5: Sanding metal Sand paint or rust from metal the same way as wood, but be conscious of how hard you sand rust -- you don't want to break through the metal if it's heavily corroded.
  • Step 6: Wipe with a rag Use a rag to wipe off your work to better see your progress. Continue sanding with different grits of sandpaper until you're satisfied.
  • FACT: Because of concerns that the bobsled track at the 2010 Winter Olympics was too fast, officials contemplated scuffing the sleds with coarse sandpaper to slow them down.

You Will Need

  • Small block of wood
  • Small piece of felt
  • Coarse and fine sandpaper
  • Staple gun
  • An object to sand
  • Dust mask
  • Well-ventilated area
  • Rag

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