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How to Sand and Prepare Furniture for Refinishing

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In this video, learn how to sand and prepare your furniture before working on them to ensure a good finish.

This video is part of our program on Furniture Restoration. Take a look at the rest of the videos for more inspiration!

Watch this short tutorial to find out how to treat wood using a light sanding process to remove impurities, smooth the surface and make it more receptive to finishes.


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in this video you will learn how to sand down furniture between coats of a finishing product - a vital step when refinishing furniture

For your safety, you will need:

Thin latex gloves

A protective mask

Protective glasses

To carry out this job, you will need:

steel wool

Coarse grit sandpaper

A short-handled brush

There are two steps to this process which we will explain to you.

Step 1: choosing the right abrasive

Choose the right abrasive: sandpaper or steel wool depending on the furniture's finish.

For a varnish finish, choose sandpaper

To check for varnish, look at the finish of the furniture.

Varnish covers the wood, giving it a plasticised look that is smooth to the touch.

steel wool is suitable for for a waxed finish

A waxed finish leaves the woodgrain and natural texture exposed.

Step 2: Application

Your action should always be straight and you should always use your abrasive in the same direction as the woodgrain.

In our example, the woodgrain goes from top to bottom.

For more information on woodgrain, watch our video on the basics you should know.

Work systematically in sections across your furniture.

If you make large or rounded movements, you risk working against the grain and scratching your furniture.

Sometimes you may use the abrasive more forcefully in one area.

In this example, this is the lightest section.

Continue to use the abrasive on the darker sections so that the colour is uniform.

If there are stains on your furniture, you can reduce them by lightly sanding them with the coarse sandpaper.

It should take around 15 minutes to strip a bedside table.

Allow about an hour to strip a wardrobe.

You've finished stripping your furniture when the surface is completely uniform.

Brush the furniture down to remove any dust or dirt.

Now you know how to prepare your furniture for refinishing using a light abrasive,

why not paint or varnish it?


Next video

Sikana - Painting Furniture with a Paintbrush: Preparation
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