How to wire brush wood

A wire brush is an aggressive tool in removing paint or finish from wood. The wire brush will lift the wood fibres and remove soft areas of the wood grain, making the wire brush an aggressive tool that can be used to give wood a worn, distressed appearance. A wire brush is not recommended for refinishing fine woodworking projects.

Put on safety glasses before using a wire brush to protect your eyes from flying debris.

Secure the wood to keep it from moving. Use a wood clamp to hold small pieces of wood that may move around as you apply the wire brush.

Use a soft bristle wire brush, working it back and forth in the same direction as the wood grain. This will remove the soft sap wood from the harder wood fibres.

Tape off any areas that you want to protect from the wire brush, using a few layers of painter's tape. Painter's tape will not leave a residue on the wood.

Sand the wood with a fine grain sandpaper to remove any burs or splinters left behind by the wire brush. The wood is now ready to be stained and finished to your taste.


Do not work against the wood grain. The wire brush will leave deep groves in the wood when used across the grain.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Wood clamp
  • Painter's tape
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About the Author

Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.