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How to use Sanding Power Tools on Upcycling Projects

Electric sanding tool in use
15 August 2023 32 view(s)

In the world of interior design, there’s been a revolutionary shift, which has come off the back of more people wanting to reduce waste, save money, and live a sustainable life. The trend is upcycling furniture. 

Professionals and amateurs are revamping old furniture, sanding and painting tired-looking pieces to give them a new lease of life. 

Are you learning how to upcycle furniture to jump on this trend? Then continue reading this blog to find out how to use a sanding power tool to ensure you properly prep your upcycling projects before painting them.

Which Sanding Tools Can Be Used?

Sanding the side of a wooden board

Most old pieces of furniture will have some scratches and imperfections, which is why you’ll need a sander to smooth them out.

A sanding tool will also be beneficial when you perform correction work. For example, if you have filled holes with wood filler, you can sand any excess and smooth the surface once dry.

There are different types of sanding tools available on the market. So, whether you own an upcycling business or want to transform old pieces of furniture within your home, you should be able to find a sanding tool to suit your needs.

Heamar offers the following sanding tools, which are available to order online:

Cordless Sanders

cordless sander sanding wood

If you are upcycling projects on a professional level, you may be travelling around a lot; in this instance, a cordless sander is ideal. This tool will be handy if you need to sand in a garage or warehouse with no power source.

Electric Sanders

Electric sander sanding

An electric sanding tool is perfect if you work for prolonged periods and in a location with a power source. This type of sander has a high output, so results are consistent and seen quickly.

Pneumatic Sanders

Air sander in use by man with breathing mask on his face

An air sander is an excellent choice if you require a portable sander that you can use outside, regardless of the weather. An air-powered sanding tool is safe to use in various hazardous conditions since they are highly resistant to natural elements, such as heat, water, and dust.

When using a sanding tool, you should wear necessary protective gear, such as safety glasses and a respirator mask. 

Using Sanding Tools On An Upcycling Project

1) Disassemble your furniture

Flat pack disassembled

Before sanding furniture, carefully examine the item, inside and out. This will help you to understand what’s required so there are no shocks halfway through the upcycling process.  

By disassembling the piece you wish to upcycle, you can have a closer inspection inside to see if there is any irreparable damage. You may choose to remove certain sections that you no longer want.

When you have disassembled your furniture, it will be easier for you to sand and paint it.  

2) Remove glue and stray fasteners

Cleaning wood

At this point, you may spot things that need removing before you can sand, such as dried bits of glue.

You should carefully remove hard glue with a sharp chisel.

Also, if any stray fasteners are in the wood (ones that are not needed), you should remove them.

3) Start sanding

Sanding with belt sander

If you want to remove stains and imperfections but not take away the paint, securely hold your sanding tool and lightly sand over the surface. 

Even if the piece of furniture has no imperfections, you should sand the surface to give it some “teeth”, enabling the new paint you apply to adhere. 

However, to restore the item to its former glory, you must sand it down completely to remove all the paint, taking it down to the bare wood.

Glide your sander across the surface, keeping the pressure consistent.

When using a round-headed sander, you may find it challenging to get into the corners. When this happens, sand by hand using a cork sanding block.

Top tip: Remember to sand in the same direction as the wood grain, as it helps to reduce the visibility of scratches!

4) Conduct repairs after sanding

Cleaning dust off wood

Once you have finished sanding, remove any dust by wiping the item with a damp cloth

If you don’t remove all residue, this will affect the finish, i.e. the paintwork.

Before you reassemble the furniture sections, make any necessary repairs. Apply an additional wipe with a cloth once all repairs have been completed.

If you are planning on painting the item, don’t reassemble it until after you’ve done this and it’s dry.

5) Give your furniture a final finish

Paint brush varnishing wood

Now it’s time for the fun bit: brighten your furniture with colour!

You can experiment with different colours and patterns, finding quirky ways to hide imperfections and scratches.

Using a primer before applying the paint of your choice is recommended.

Pick durable paint. Chalk paint is a popular choice because it’s long-lasting and hard-wearing.

For large surfaces and hard-to-reach areas, use spray paint. For small surfaces, use a paintbrush.

When you paint, don’t overload your paintbrush. If you do, it can lead to your paint dripping and looking generally messy. 

To protect your paintwork, apply a sealer to provide an extra layer on your furniture, helping it to withstand daily use.

Featured Product: Mirka PROS 650CV 5mm Random Orbit Air Sander - 150mm Pad Diameter

Mirka 150mm Central Vacuum Orbit 5.0

As mentioned, there are various types of sanders. 

However, one of our favourites is the Mirka 150mm Central Vacuum Orbit 5.0mm, an excellent power sanding tool for wood because it leaves little dust and has an ergonomic design to provide maximum comfort.

Additionally, Mirka has a large selection of accessories and sanding pads, which enable the user to work on multiple projects and materials.

Now you know how to prepare your furniture for painting. If you require any additions to your toolbox before you start your upcycling projects, Heamar supplies a range of power tools and accessories available to order online.

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