How to Sand Ornate Furniture

Learning how to sand ornate furniture can be tricky. It’s easy to go too deep and ruin the detail in the carving. The correct technique, however, will have your furniture looking great in no time! I’ll show you a few tips for sanding ornate furniture without ruining it in this blog post.

How to Sand Ornate Furniture

You’ll learn what type of sandpaper to use when to switch grits of sandpaper, and more techniques that will help you get a smooth finish on your woodwork. As long as you follow these simple guidelines, your antique pieces should always look their best!  

10 Steps to Follow on How to Sand Ornate Furniture 

Step One: Remove Furniture Covers

Remove furniture covers and padding from the drawers, doors, and any other delicate areas where damage might occur. For example, if hinges cover the backs of a piece, remove those to prevent damage during the sanding process. Likewise, leave only small knobs on dressers, mirrors, or shelves because these will be reattached later on.

Remove Furniture Covers

Step Two: Cover Some Areas of Your Furniture with Cardboard

Wrap any areas of the furniture that are not to be sanded with cardboard. These areas are where you find decorative carvings or other designs on your piece, but it’s also a good idea to cover some of the larger surfaces to make sure you don’t accidentally sand off any detail by mistake.

Step Three: Prepare the Sandpaper for Your Power Sander

If your power sander has a dust bag, detach it and attach on to the vacuum hose instead. If it does not have an attachment, use some old pantyhose or other cloth material that won’t lint up your sandpaper to act as a makeshift dust bag.

Cut the cloth to fit the sander and then secure it to the power sander with some strong tape. Do not apply any adhesive directly to your paper because that will add lint dust when you run it through the sander.

Step Four: Set Up a Work Area

To keep your floors clean, prepare a work area by laying down some old newspaper or cardboard. Put down a tarp before sanding to keep any dust from the floor, which you can clean up later by sweeping it away with a  broom. A wet mop will clean any dust left on the floor after you’ve swept it up.

Step Five: Sand the Entire Piece

Sand your piece of furniture from one side to the other with light, even strokes. Avoid going over any area more than once because that might cause damage or unevenness in your finish. This is especially important when sanding surfaces that will not be paint-covered, such as a wooden tabletop. Use your hand to monitor when you are sanding in an area that is too risky for your power sander because the piece might be missing design details or could cause damage.

Step Six: Watch for Dust

Check surfaces often to make sure they are not covered in dust. If dust has accumulated in crevices, remove it with a toothpick before sanding the area again. Don’t forget to check places where dust might collect, such as the back of dresser drawers or beneath carvings on your furniture.

Step Seven: Use an Abrasive Pad

Attach your abrasive pad to your sander and then sand the furniture with it. This process is similar to sanding with regular sandpaper but will leave a more polished finish on your piece. Continue sanding until you are satisfied with the amount of smoothness on the surface.

You might not want to use the abrasive pad on older, rougher pieces of furniture because it might scratch the surface up more than standard sandpaper. Instead, try sanding the piece again with regular sandpaper and then polishing it up with an abrasive pad if you’re not satisfied.

Use an Abrasive Pad

Step Eight: Test for Smoothness

Use your hand to test for smoothness because it’s the only way to know exactly how even your surface is. If certain parts feel rougher than others, repeat the sanding process on those areas until they are smooth to your liking. Likewise, some parts of a piece might be softer than others because the wood grain runs in different directions.

Step Nine: Dispose of Your Sanding Waste Properly

After you have finished sanding the piece, dispose of all your waste outdoors. If you throw it away inside your home or garage, you might release toxic dust into the air that could harm your health. The article covers the basics of how to sand an ornate piece of furniture.

What Is the Best Sandpaper for Wood Furniture?

As you know, sanding is an essential step in refinishing furniture. But if the job is rushed and not done correctly, it can ruin the final result. It’s easy to use too much pressure, and that can remove too much wood very quickly.

Using the wrong grit will also produce a poor finish. For example, using coarse-grit paper will tear the wood and leave behind a deep scratch when you should be using fine-grit paper. This is called scratching the wood,” and it’s impossible to remove.

you Cna Check It Out to Sand Barley Twist Legs

Can You Use Sandpaper on Aluminum?

Sometimes I have projects that require metal finishes. One of the most annoying things about working with metals is trying to get a finish just right. Sandpaper can be more abrasive on some types of metals than others, so it’s important to know how it will affect your metal before you use it.

Typically, sandpaper can be used on aluminum and many other types of metals. Aluminum is a softer type of metal, so it’s less likely to scuff or scratch when you use sandpaper on it. Thanks for reading about how to sand ornate furniture.

Use to Refinish Furniture

Frequently Asked Question

What Is the Fastest Way to Sand Wood Furniture?

The fastest way to sand wood furniture is by using a handheld sander. It can be used for fine sanding, rough sanding, and finishing.

A handheld sander is one of the most important tools you will need in your workshop because it allows you to do a lot of different tasks that would otherwise require too much time or effort with other tools.

There are many different types of handheld sanders that come in handy depending on what type of work you need to do:

  1. Belt Sander – A belt sander is typically used for rough and coarse surface preparation as well as shaping surfaces. It has a long, flat surface that can cover larger areas quickly without requiring constant moving back and forth over the same area.
  2. Disc Sander – This tool provides fast results for the removal of material from rounded surfaces such as edges, corners, and curved shapes in woodworking projects like furniture pieces. It also works well on thinner materials like drywall than other sanders due to its flexible disc size that can adjust to uneven surfaces easily.

Can You Sand Furniture by Hand?

Yes, you can sand furniture by hand. However, if you want to get a smooth finish on your furniture, it is better to use a belt sander or power sander for the job.

What Sander Should I Use to Refinish Furniture?

There are many different types of sanders that can be used to refinish furniture. The type you should use depends on the type of wood you want to refinish and the size of your project.

What Is the Best Grit for Sanding Wood?

Sandpaper is a type of abrasive material that comes in many different grits. The coarsest sandpaper is typically used for removing large amounts of wood or metal, while the finest grit can be used to create a smooth finish on the wood.

The best grit for sanding wood is usually 120-grit because it has a high cutting power and will remove scratches without damaging the surface. It also doesn’t cause excessive wear and tear on your sandpaper.

What Happens if You Don’t Sand Before Painting?

If you don’t sand before painting, then the paint will not adhere to the surface properly, and it will not be as durable. Therefore if you do not sand before painting, then your paint job would not last long.

You Sand Furniture by Hand


Sanding ornate furniture is a time-consuming task, but the result will be worth it. You’ll want to start with an electric sander and then switch to sandpaper when you need more precision. Be sure that all of your tools are dust-free before starting work on your piece of furniture because this will save you some time later on in the process.

If there is any damage or marks on your surface, use paint thinner mixed with lacquer to remove them, so they don’t show up after you’ve finished working on the wood. In the end, we also offer some practical tips on how to sand ornate furniture.

You may read also – How to paint pottery barn furniture.

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