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Sand sensibly and save time and money

For many DIY enthusiasts and amateur woodworkers sanding is probably the least enjoyed part of any project. But if you do it right, you can spend less time sanding and save money on sanding paper or pads.


Sanding can be hard work and time consuming, but if you follow a proven method for sanding - no matter what the project - you can save on time spent sanding and also on the amount of sanding pads or sandpaper that you use.

Sanding is not only essential for priming the finish of your project, but also essential for removing brittle layers of paint. Old paint left on projects will eventually peel off, also removing the newly added layers on top. That's why it's always a good idea to remove as much old paint as possible rather than simply paint over the top.





Sanding is the easiest way to remove layers and layers of paint. You may think that paint stripper is faster, but it's messy and can be even more time consuming than sanding. Stripper is applied and then needs to be neutralised and scraped off - messy stuff ! Save paint stripper for antique or vintage furniture, or veneered furniture, to prevent damage to pieces.

Step 1

Step 2

To cut down on the amount of time spent sanding it's always practical to start with a rough grit sanding pad. These pads (40, or 60-grit) have large gaps between the grit that collects paint and don't clog up too quickly.

An orbital or random orbit sander will cover large areas and strip away layers of paint without too much effort. For hard to reach places you will need to use a small multi sander like the Bosch PSM Primo or Dremel MultiTool and sanding ring.

When sanding, don't start in the middle, but rather work from the ends in towards the centre, or along the length to the other end. This will make is easier to strip away layers of paint easily. Only sand away the paint and try to prevent sanding the surface of the wood at this stage, as the rough grit sandpaper will damage the surface.

Step 3

After sanding with rough grit (40- or 60-) use 120-grit to remove any remaining paint left on the wood. As mentioned above, it is better to strip away old paint than apply new paint over the top of this. Old paint becomes brittle with age and will eventually crack and peel off, spoiling the newly painted finish.

Finish off by sanding with and orbital or random orbit sander and 240-grit sanding pads for a nice smooth finish. Wipe away the dust with a rag lightly dampened with mineral turpentine. You don't want any dust on the project before you start painting.


The chair frame was sprayed with Rust-Oleum satin sweet pea and the seat and back sprayed with Rust-Oleum gloss berry pink. Shake the can well and hold about 30 cm away from the surface. Apply light, even strokes over the surface and always allow each coat to dry before spraying on another coat.

Continue to shake the can during use.

What's great about Rust-Oleum spray paints is that you shouldn't need to apply more than two coats - so one can goes a long way. You will find a rainbow of colour options at your local Builders.


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