Bamboo resembles wood but in reality, it is a perennial, woody grass. Species vary as does the height and girth of the bamboo culms or poles. Because of its great strength, bamboo has a variety of uses, including flooring, furniture and accessories, and even fishing poles. If you will be using bamboo poles in any of your projects, it is important to note that bamboo has a waxy outer coating that requires sanding before any paint, varnish or stain will adhere.
Slip on a pair of thick work gloves to protect your hands. Hold the bamboo pole in one hand and a piece of 110-grit sandpaper in the other.
Slide the sandpaper up and down the length of each bamboo pole. Continue sanding until the bamboo poles are free of rough edges.
Wipe the poles down with a microfiber cloth to remove residue left over from sanding. Perform a second light sanding using 220-grit sandpaper.
Run the 220-grit sandpaper over the bamboo poles just as you did before. The 220-grit sandpaper will give you a nice smooth finish for varnishing or painting.
Wipe the bamboo poles down a second time with the microfiber cloth to remove sanding residue. Varnish or paint as desired.
For an even smoother finish, sand once again using the 220-grit sandpaper after applying your first coat of paint, varnish or stain. Wipe the bamboo pole down with a microfiber cloth to remove sanding residue before applying the second coat.
Do not forget to put on your work gloves before sanding. Sharp, rough edges on the bamboo poles can cause nasty cuts on your hands and fingers.