Sanding Wood Countertops: How To Sand A Wood Countertop?
The first thing you need to know when it comes to sanding wood is that there are two types of sandpaper available. One type is water based, which means it’s made up of chemicals such as acetone or other solvent. Water based sandpaper will not scratch wood like regular abrasive paper will.
Another type of sandpaper is oil based, which means it contains ingredients such as mineral spirits or turpentine. Oil based sandpaper does not scratch wood like water-based sandpaper will.
Water Based Sand Paper
There are many brands of water-based sand paper available, but they all have similar characteristics: They’re designed to remove scratches from hard surfaces, such as glass and metal. Water-based sandpaper works best with a fine grit (between 400 and 600) and should be used only on clean, dry surfaces.
Oil Based Sand Paper
There are many brands of oil-based sand paper available, but they all have similar characteristics: They’re designed to remove scratches from soft surfaces, such as plastic and leather. Oil-based sandpaper works best with a medium grit (between 500 and 800) and should be used only on clean, wet surfaces. These sand papers are also known as “water” based because they contain water as one of their main ingredients.
Water-based sandpaper is best suited for removing scratches from soft surfaces, such as plastic and vinyl. However, these types of sandpapers can cause damage if used improperly.
Oil Based Sand Paper
There are many brands of oil-based sand paper available, but they all have similar characteristics: They’re designed to remove scratches from soft surfaces, such as plastic and vinyl.
Step 1 – Sanding
Before you start sanding, put on a dust mask and safety goggles to help prevent the inhalation of airborne particles and to keep wood chips from damaging your eyes. Next, turn on a nearby exhaust fan to help prevent airborne particles from settling on nearby surfaces (like floors, counter tops, walls, furniture and yourself). Finally, lay out some newspapers to catch all the dust and shavings.
Begin sanding by choosing a sand paper grit (100 to 400) that is ideal for your project’s needs. For example, if your project involves removing scratches from a finished hardwood floor, you might want to choose a medium grit (between 300 and 400). Once you’re ready to begin sanding, spread a fresh sheet of sand paper on your sanding block.
Hold the block against the surface at a low angle (between 30 and 60 degrees) and begin moving the block against the wood surface in a side-to-side sawing motion. After a few passes, turn the sand paper over and repeat the process (with the freshly exposed side of the sand paper). Continue alternating sides and sanding the surface until you’ve achieved your desired level of smoothness.
Step 2 – Cleaning and Wrapping
Once you’ve completed sanding one section, be sure to clean the dust off before moving on to another section of the wood surface. Use a dry cloth to wipe up any large particles and then briefly spray the area with a highly-concentrated dust remover (available at hardware stores). Let the dust remover soak for a few minutes and then wipe off the area with a dry cloth.
Finally, when you’ve sanded the entire wood surface, let the wood dry for at least one day before staining or applying a finish to it. Use a hair dryer or place the wood surface near a heating vent to speed up the drying process. If you’re applying a stain, always wait at least one day after sanding to allow the wood to dry.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Kitchens: cabinets and countertops (RJ Thee – 1984 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu)
- Exact match no sand wood floor repair kit (DF Burch, RL Seitzinger – US Patent App. 13/087,869, 2011 – Google Patents)
- High resolution image countertop (D Harder – US Patent App. 16/378,305, 2019 – Google Patents)
- The grain game: designers have a love-hate relationship with wood in the kitchen (J French, M Kabat – FINE HOMEBUILDING, 2007 – THE TAUNTON PRESS, INC.)