How To Sand Wood Furniture with Wet Sandpaper

Wood furniture becomes dull over time. But you can bring back its old shiny and smooth finish by wet sanding. Wet sanding will remove wood impurities and prep up the wood for the finishing, making the furniture as good as new. This is a rather straightforward procedure and must be done as you apply finish to the furniture. Here’s how to do this.

  • Prepare your tools and materials. Basically, you will need sandpapers of different grades, since you need to switch sandpapers as you progress. Prepare a small of pail of water and a wood finishing product. Make sure to gather your supplies even before you begin.
  • Apply the finish to the furniture. Use any product that you prefer, but see to it that you evenly apply the finish to the entire surface. Let the finish dry at least overnight.
  • Start to wet sand. For initial wet sanding, you need to use 400-grit to 500-grit sandpaper. Dip it into the pail of water. Remember that the sandpaper must only be damp, not dripping wet. When it is ready, attach the sandpaper to a sanding block. Then run the sandpaper on the furniture, making sure to sand following the grain. Apply uniform pressure all throughout the furniture to prevent uneven surface. Re-dip your sandpaper when it becomes dry. And don’t forget to remove the resulting white paste-like substance from the furniture using a squeegee. The substance will harden onto the surface if you fail to immediately remove it.
  • Apply another coat of wood finish. Liberally put another layer of wood finish on the furniture and spread it onto the entire surface. You can polish the furniture as you go. Again, leave the finish on the furniture overnight.
  • Wet sand the furniture once more. This time, you have to use 600-grit sandpaper. Just the same, wet it with water and run the sandpaper on your furniture using even pressure. Make sure to sand all the nooks and crannies for an even finish. Again, remove the paste-like substance that results from wet sanding. Then buff the surface.
  • Repeat the procedure. Now, you have to apply a third layer of wood finish. Let it dry overnight. The following day, use wet 1,000-grit sandpaper and run it on the furniture. And for final sanding, use 1,500 to 2,000-grit sandpaper. Your furniture should be shiny and smooth after this.
  • Apply oil. The furniture is now ready for its final polish. Apply a liberal amount of oil to the surface and spread it over the furniture. Buff your furniture one last time.

Wet sanding will take plenty of days to complete, especially if you intend to apply several coats of finish. But take your time; the finishing product needs enough time to penetrate the wood. Remember also that wet sanding can be quite messy. Although it won’t blow dust particles into the air, the paste-like substance and water drippings can be quite a mess. This is why you need to wear clothes that you don’t mind dirtying or staining. Rubber gloves are also necessary.


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