How to sand a wooden coffee table

Written by eva talent
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How to sand a wooden coffee table
A dust mask must be worn to prevent inhalation of tiny wood particles. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Wooden coffee tables must be sanded before refinishing, staining or painting. Sanding a wooden coffee table is similar to sanding many other pieces of furniture. However, wooden coffee tables often feature broad expanses of wood, and special care must be taken to sand evenly.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dust mask
  • Sandpaper (coarseness will vary)

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  1. 1

    Select the appropriate grit of sandpaper for your coffee table. The harder the wood, the lower the grit number must be on your sandpaper. For example, hard maple requires a lower grit number than pine because pine is a far softer wood than maple. A fine-grit sandpaper is used on all woods to prepare a smooth surface for the finish.

  2. 2

    Don a protective dust mask. Sanding stirs up tiny particles of wood that should not be inhaled.

  3. 3

    Grasp the sandpaper in your dominant hand. Ensure the smooth side is facing you and the rough, gritted side is touching your starting point on the wooden coffee table. Generally, starting at one side of the coffee table and working your way to the other is an effective way to keep track of what you have already sanded.

  4. 4

    Push forward on the sandpaper, using one continuous motion. When you have reached the end of the coffee table with the sandpaper in your hand, place it at your original starting point and repeat the motion. Sanding using back-and-forth motions is effective as long as too much sanding is not done in one spot. Too much sanding in one spot results in an uneven surface. When the surface is smooth and free of burrs, protrusions and rough patches, move on to the next section of the table.

  5. 5

    Place the sandpaper in a new location, preferably immediately beside the section you have just finished sanding. Using one continuous motion, move the sandpaper along the coffee table's surface. Repeat the process until the entire coffee table has been sanded.

  6. 6

    Select a finer-grit sandpaper and repeat the process if the wooden coffee table is not smooth enough to suit your purposes.

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