DIY Sanding

Staining wood can bring out the natural color, feel and grain of the wood. Staining can enhance the beauty of old furniture in the house and give the entire room a new lease of life. Staining is the last stage that gives the furniture its new look. Before this is done the furniture has to be prepared to receive the stain and this process is called sanding. Though time consuming it is an essential step in staining. Here are a few pointers to help you through the sanding process.

Sandpaper is graded depending on the number of sand granules per square inch of paper. The greater the number the finder the grade of paper. Smaller grade number, coarser the sandpaper. This number is usually printed behind the paper. Medium grade paper is used to remove the existing finish from furniture and antiques. Fine graded paper is for the last sanding of furniture just before staining the wood.

For delicate furniture and a fine finish it is best to use hand sanding. Make sandpaper pieces that are large enough to hold with three fingers. If you find it more comfortable wrap a piece of sandpaper around a block of wood that you can hold with ease. Or you could use a contoured sanding block that is easily available in the hardware store. This block has grooves at the ends of the block into which you can inset the sandpaper. Inspect the surface of the wood to be worked on, you will see pores that form a pattern, this is the grain of the wood. Sand in the direction of the grain never against it. Sanding against the grain will cause scratches that will show up on finished wood especially after staining.

Place the sanding block horizontally on the surface with the grain of wood. Hold the block firmly and apply pressure equally as you move the block too and froe. If you apply more pressure than needed the block it will cause depressions on the surface. Even while using the mechanical palm sander, a lightweight-rotating sander, hold it flat against the surface and evenly apply pressure.

Before staining the wood dust must be taken off the surface. Use tack cloth or cheesecloth made for removing dust. Once one side of the cloth gets dusty, refold and use fresh side of cloth. To prevent tack cloths from drying store them in plastic bags that can be sealed. As you will be working with wood dust use a sanding particle mask to prevent inhalation of dust.



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