How To Sand A Table Like a Pro! Full Guide

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Often when our table gets damaged or when our old finish gets aged, we need to refinish our wooden table. And the most important part of the refinishing process is sanding. It has to be done carefully. You might damage your wood if you don’t do it properly.


A wooden table can last a long if you take proper care of it. But eventually, there will be scratches, damages on the table after a certain period of time. You can fix this problem all by yourself. And for this, you have to know some basic steps.

So, we’ll give you a step by step guide on how to sand a table. So that you get the exact finish to your table as you want.


What You’ll Need To Sand A Table

Before you start, you have to look at the equipment that is going to be needed in the work.  Here’s the list of the items that you need to prepare.


  • Electric Sander

There are various types of sanders available for sanding woods. You can go for a random orbital sander or belt sander. These machines are aggressive & powerful & will get your job done without any hassle.


  • Sandpaper

There are sandpapers of different grits for different wood surfaces. Choose grit carefully. If not chosen the right grit, you’ll end up damaging your wood piece. 60 coarse grit is good to start with. It will remove all the rough materials from the surface. Then go for the upper grits as you go ahead with your project. Change the grits to 80-180 as you finish your project, to remove the marks previous grits created.


  • Safety Gears

This one is the most basic part of every sanding work you do. You will have to keep yourself safe from the dust. Also, the machines are noisy. So you also have to put on earplugs if you are doing a long project. Goggles, respiratory is recommended.

  • Cleaning cloth

You have to clean the table several times while sanding. Also, the floor needs to be cleaned after the job is done. So, keeping a cleaning cloth or a mop is important.

  • Floor protector

If you are going to sand the table inside the house, to prevent the floor from the dust you have to use a floor cover. This is the best way anyone can follow to save their floor from a ton of dust.


How to sand a table

You have to follow some basic steps explained below while sanding a table & you also can do it easily.


Step 1: Prepare your work area

First, decide your work area, and plan everything according to it. As sading will create a lot of dust, it is better to plan your work area outside or in an open space where there is enough ventilation. Consider things you are going to need. Take a close look at the surface you are going to work on, what grit you should start with. Then start sanding.


Step 2: Choose the sandpaper

Now start with lower grit to remove the upper rough layer from the table. You can start with 100 grits. It will remove all the previous old paints & varnish. Now gradually move to the higher grit. Use 150 grits for a finer sanding & finally use 220 grit for a super fine finish.

Using a random orbital sander or belt sander to sand the corners & the edges is not a good idea.  So while sanding the corners or edges, sand with your hand. It will take the sharpness away from edges. 


Step 3: Start sanding

Now it’s time to start. Gently move the sander across the surface. Don’t put too much pressure, otherwise, it will damage the surface. Always sand with the wood grain. Otherwise, the sander will create swirl marks on the surface.

That’s how simple the process of sanding a table is. Even anyone with no experience can do the job perfectly & that also in a very short time.



  • How long does it take to sand a table?

It depends on the size of the table surface. Also, it varies from person to person. If the table is middle-sized then it normally takes 2-3 hours at maximum.


  • Can I hand Sand a table?

Yes, you can. But, it is a very time-consuming & tedious job.  Also, the sander gives more precision to the work & does the job much faster.


  • What can I use if I don’t have sandpaper?

Sanding blocks can be used as a replacement for sandpaper. These are also called sanding sponges. They are not suitable for every kind of surface.




As you have seen, sanding a table is not big of a deal. With a little patience, anyone can do that. But you also have to be careful while sanding, so that you don’t damage your table permanently.


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