Pine is a beautiful choice for furniture because it is easily accessible, durable, takes stain easily and is less expensive than hardwood. However, because pine is a softwood it is more susceptible to scratches and dents than its hardwood counterparts. Some people don't mind the occasional dent or scratch in their pine table because they provide an antiquated look, while others prefer their pine tables to have a smooth finish, free from scratches. Pine can be sanded to a smooth finish easily with the proper materials and careful attention to detail.
Remove any finish on the table by applying paint stripper, allowing it to set and then scraping it off with a putty knife. Neutralise the paint stripper with a layer of paint thinner, then wipe it off with a tack cloth or other lint-free cloth.
Apply 120-grit sandpaper to the sanding block and remove any excess paint by sanding along the grain of the wood.
Sand the entire surface of the table with the 120-grit sandpaper, being careful to stay with the grain of the wood.
Sand the legs of the table by wrapping a piece of 120-grit sandpaper around the leg and running it up and down the leg until the entire leg is sanded. Repeat with all legs.
Replace the 120-grit sandpaper with a slightly finer 220-grit sandpaper on the sanding block.
Sand the entire surface of the table and legs by running the 220-grit sandpaper with the grain. Wrap a piece of 220-grit sandpaper around the legs and run it up and down the length of each leg to make it easier to sand the round edges.
Replace the 220-grit sandpaper with the slightly finer 400-grit sandpaper on the sanding block.
Sand the entire surface of the table and legs by running the 400-grit sandpaper with the grain. Wrap a piece of 400-grit sandpaper around the legs and run it up and down the length of the legs.
Finish the table with a coat of stain, polyurethane or paint, if desired. These options will help to protect the wood from spills and other stains.
If you prefer an even smoother finish, you may repeat the process with even finer grit sandpaper such as 600-grit.
If using paint stripper, paint thinner, stain or polyurethane, be sure the room is well ventilated. The use of electric sanders is not recommended because they aren't as easily controlled, which could cause nicks and uneven sanding results.