How to Sand a Chest of Drawers

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How to Sand a Chest of Drawers

Sanding a chest of drawers is more complicated than sanding other household furniture like tables, because chests generally feature more difficult-to-sand contours and areas. Wherever possible, use a machine sander to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to sand the chest. Before beginning, inspect the chest of drawers to ensure that the chest is in fact built with true hardwood, rather than composite with veneer. Sanding down veneer over composite ruins the finish on a chest of drawers.


Necessary Equipment

Ensure the necessary tools have been gathered before beginning the sanding process. Shoppers can find many of these items in their households, at local retail stops, or online. Having the right tools, including a variety of sandpaper grits, results in a well-finished, professional-looking product.

The chest of drawers and all sanding equipment should be gathered in a well-ventilated, brightly lit space for sanding. Sanding outside on a drop cloth on a brightly lit day with low humidity is a good option, as well. This reduces the amount of clean up required.


Sanding a Chest of Drawers

Prep the chest of drawers for sanding by removing all the drawers. Clean both the chest and the drawers thoroughly with a bit of water and the terry cloth, and then use a dry edge of terry cloth to dry them. Only begin sanding after the chest is completely dry.

Removing Hardware and Inspection

Unscrew any hardware or metal elements from the drawers and set them aside. Inspect the interior of the drawers and the chest itself to take note of any wood screws or nails. Areas where screws or nails are visible must be hand-sanded to avoid damaging a power sander. Many manufacturers of antique or vintage furniture placed metal manufacturer plates at different locations on their furniture; these should be left alone to preserve the value and integrity of the piece, and carefully hand-sanded around.

The Sanding Process

Begin sanding the drawers at the lowest grit, and sand the drawers completely. Progress should be easy to identify as the old finish is scuffed away. Pay special attention to damaged areas, applying slightly more pressure to them while sanding to smooth out imperfections. When the chest has been sanded completely with one grit, move on to the next-highest level of grit, brushing off the chest with the terry cloth between each level.

The grit number indicates the sandpaper's smoothness: the higher the grit number, the smoother the sandpaper, meaning the smoother the resulting finish. Power sanders rarely sand contoured edges well, so sand by hand over contours and difficult planes.

Sanding Drawers

Sanding only the faces of drawers can save a considerable amount of time, if the interiors and the box are in an acceptable condition. Sanding drawer boxes should always be done with care, especially in the case of antique drawers, which can be knocked apart with the use of too much force. If the drawers are set into the chest using grooves in the sides of the wood, then care should be taken not to over-sand these areas. If the drawers have metal rails, these should be removed before sanding.


After sanding, apply stain or finish according to manufacturer's directions. Once dried and cured, replace the hardware so the chest of drawers is ready for use. For a bare wood look, apply a colourless protective finish or wood oil to prevent the chest from being stained. It is difficult to remove dirt and dust from raw wood.


How to Buy a Sanding Equipment on eBay

Buying a sander on eBay is as easy as using one. Shoppers can simply type the name of the tools they need into the search bar found at the top of every page. Search terms like 'belt sander' results in belt sanders for sale, while more specific searches like 'tabletop power sander' yields a more refined list. Shoppers can find sets of various grades and grits of sandpaper, as well as sanding blocks and tacky cloths for woodworking. Homeowners can refurbish and restore any piece of furniture and preserve its beauty for generations to come.

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