I’ve had some questions about sanding furniture, so I thought I would do a series of posts about it. Sanding isn’t my favorite thing to do. However, it can be very rewarding when it is done correctly. Since this is such a big topic, in this post I will cover information about sanding prior to painting or refinishing.
Before you start on a piece it is important to decide whether or not you need to sand at all. Let tell you when I don't sand.
- When I start with a piece that is unpainted, painted, or stained and I am planning to completely cover it in “furniture” (chalk) paint.
- When I start with a piece that is painted or stained and I am planning to use a crackle finish, and I want the existing paint or stain to show through when it crackles.
- Even if I am making repairs to the piece with wood putty or rebuilding a foot, for example, I only sand to make the repair even with the rest of the piece. I don’t sand the entire piece.
Now here is when I DO sand prior to painting and refinishing:
- I’m painting the piece, except for maybe the top of a dresser or a table top. In that case I will only sand the surface that isn’t getting painted.
- I’m using spray paint. Spray paint will show even tiny imperfections.
- The piece is already painted, and I am planning to do a crackle finish that doesn’t include the current color.
- The piece is painted and I want to remove the paint and stain it instead.
- The piece is stained and needs to be re-stained.
Come back in a few days for my post on how to sand.
Hope this helps!