Chair legs can be made in any configuration: round, angular, bent or square. When working with furniture parts, and especially chair legs, hand-sanding is required to produce a smooth finish. Hands can work the sandpaper into cracks, around corners and inside profiles where machines won't fit. Whether refinishing chairs or building them from scratch, sanding by hand works best to remove old lacquer or rough lathe marks.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 100-grit sandpaper
- Flat stick
- 180-grit sandpaper
- Dust mask
- Safety glasses
Wrap a piece of the 100-grit sandpaper around the chair leg into a cylinder shape. Twist the sandpaper around the leg in a circular motion until sawdust forms.
On straight chair legs, slide the sandpaper up and down the leg. Revolve the sandpaper around profiles. It's OK to sand across the grain on round objects.
Fold the sandpaper into thirds and use it like a knife to sand inside cracks, crevices and edges. Fold the sandpaper over the sharp edge of a flat stick and insert it deeper into profiles to reach tight spaces.
Tear a strip of sandpaper 1 inch wide. Use it like a rope to wrap around round objects that were made on a lathe. Hold the strip by both ends and pull it back and forth over and under the round parts.
Sand the leg parallel with the grain with 180-grit sandpaper to remove any and all cross-grain scratches. Use long strokes from the top of the leg down in singular movements, inspecting it as you go for small scratches. Sand any and all remaining parts of the leg until the wood is smooth and free of scratches.
Tips and warnings
- To preserve chair integrity, don't remove the legs. Instead, flip the chair upside down to sand the legs.
- Always wear a dust mask and eye protection when sanding wood.