How To Prepare For The Wood Finish

Belt sanders are invaluable for smoothing large, flat surfaces and removing paint, varnish or stain. Keep in mind that the goal when sanding is to take away material from the surface to remove imperfections and/or shape edges, so you’ll want to start with a sandpaper grit that is just coarse enough to remove these imperfections without gouging into the material further; typically this is an 80 grit for planed or shaped wood and a 100 grit if the wood does not contain blemishes.

A general rule for the use of sandpaper is as follows – the finer the sandpaper used, the lighter the stain color will be. Conversely, the coarser the sandpaper used the darker the stain color will be. Remember that a coarser sanding job will look less refined than the smoother surface that comes from progressing through increasingly finer grits of sandpaper.

For instance if you have two wide belt machines doing intermediate and finish sanding respectively, you may use a 120 belt on the first machine to do your intermediate sanding, and when the cut for that application is no longer as sharp, the belt can be moved to the 150 grit machine and used there till the cut for that application is no longer sufficient.

For paint removal, the coarseness of your sandpaper will be most significantly influenced by the amount of paint you are looking to remove and the type of surface underneath it. If you’re lucky and have nothing more complex than a thin, clean layer of paint in your way, you may want to forego grits and sanding altogether and just use a liquid paint remover.

For bare wood that will be covered, fine paper is an acceptable stopping point. All plastics have different qualities, but the ABS plastic I use cab definitely be polished with sandpaper so it is super shiny. Once you create these cross-grain scratches with your first cut, you need to cut straight with the grain so the scratches go with the grain for the second or final cut (depending on the grit sequence).

Once your final paint coat is dry, you can start distressing it with either a wet rag or fine-grit sandpaper. It is best to sand with the grain of the wood, especially during the finishing stages. Therefore, skipping a grit leaves deep valleys that successive grits are hard-pressed to remove. In this case, the top half was sanded to #180 grit and the bottom half to #600 grit. This is why when you see SC it’s normally in finishing type operations where the pressure required for working is lower than it would be in removal grits.

Medium grade sandpaper will take the next level of paint and reduce it further by sanding the final layers away. For use with orbital sanders, orbital paper is available in a wide range of grits, dimensions and types for your specific application. Open coat is much better for power sanding wood because the debris from sanding (called swarf) has someplace to go. A final quality that improves performance in wood is for a paper to be stearated. Ideal for woodworking, paintwork, keying plaster and all types of preparatory work.

A solid coating of varnish will protect and preserve the wood, while also enhancing the natural beauty of the grain in the wood. The water also carries away loose pieces of abrasive as well as finish particles and prevents the sandpaper from loading up. Minwax® High Performance Wood Filler is used to fill gouges and holes in split, damaged, or rotted exterior and interior wood that will be painted. If not I will again pencil mark any defects and sand those spots again with the same 36-grit sandpaper.

A: Always sand with the grain of the wood rather than against it. Sand several times if the timber is rough, working through the grit grades to a smooth finish. To minimize this difference and to reduce the blotchiness that often occurs when staining, brush on a coat of Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner after vacuuming off the sanding dust, but before you apply your stain. Moving a sander too quickly creates scratches that are especially visible when you’re staining wood. Drywall screens don’t clog as easily as sandpaper and are simple to clean for reuse.

Back then there were many articles and reviews worried that Granat might be a problem with staining wood because of release of wax traditionally used with ceramic abrasives. For sanding of red cedar in the most effective manner, wrap sandpaper around a sanding block, and carried out the work with a firm touch along the veins. The latter is very important because even though imperfections may not seem very worrying on rough wood, once the wood is finished, the imperfections will pretty much be the center of attention.

Be sure to use the silicone carbide (SiC) or for really hard finishes (or really dense wood like hickory) try the new zirconia-alo variety. This allowed me to apply three different finishes to see if some are more sensitive to the final grit than others. The same rules apply when you’re using a palm sander: sand with the grain and hold the sander flat against the wood while applying even pressure. Use them sparingly, however, because oversanding wood with high-grit papers may polish the wood, making stain penetration spotty and uneven.

Sandpaper, in all its many varieties, is basically a substrate of some sort of paper — the quality of that paper varies — with rocks glued to it. (OK, rocks” is really not an accurate way to describe today’s modern abrasive materials, but you get the idea.) With sandpaper, you remove and smooth wood fibers by abrading them. On the latest generation of prefinished wood flooring these should be quite shallow and you should be able to remove the beveled edges but not take too much wood off. You can use a scroll saw and cut through wood and it will be smoother than sandpaper.

This wet/dry sandpaper can be used either dry, like common woodworking sandpaper, or wet, using a rubber sanding block and solution of liquid detergent and water. So you shouldn’t use your hand to back the sandpaper on flat surfaces such as tops and drawer fronts because the hollowing will stand out in reflected light after a finish is applied. Handheld belt sanders are power tools that use a rotating band of sandpaper to aggressively remove material or shape wood.

A grit size in one system does not exactly equal a grit size in the other, but from my experience you can use them interchangeably. End-grains (areas where the wood has been cut against the grain), such as the front side of a table, tend to soak up more stain than other surfaces. I mentioned that since I would not be applying the finish to my projects, I probably would normally stop at 120 grit, and possibly go to 150 or 180 grit. Second, wet the wood then look at it from different angles into a reflected light.

This was followed by hand-sanding with a sanding block, with the grain, at the same final grit. I discovered long ago that sandpaper manufacturers do not take balsa wood into account when they grade their papers in terms of fine, medium and coarse grit. I commonly have to sand the newly laid hardwood floor at a 30-degree angle at first to help level the new wood. Once you’ve sanded the entire surface with one grit and found that the surface is the same smoothness everywhere, it’s time to move on to the next grit. In fact, most preferred the way 120 grit Granat kept the grain of some hardwood receptive to stain even better than did Rubin, which all of us trusted.