Do You Need to Sand Furniture Before Painting?

Painting furniture is a great way to give it a new look and refresh your home decor. But before you grab your brush and start painting, there is one important step that you should not skip: sanding. Sanding furniture before painting can make a big difference in the quality and durability of your paint job. But why is sanding necessary, and how do you do it properly? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, so you can paint your furniture like a pro.

Why Sand Furniture Before Painting?

The main reason to sand furniture before painting is to create a smooth and even surface that will allow the paint to adhere better and last longer. Sanding removes any dirt, dust, grease, or old paint that might prevent the new paint from sticking well. It also smooths out any rough edges, bumps, or scratches that might show through the paint and ruin the appearance of your furniture. Sanding furniture before painting can also help you achieve a more consistent and uniform color, especially if you are using a light or transparent paint.

Sanding furniture before painting is not only beneficial for the paint, but also for the furniture itself. Sanding can help you restore the original shape and beauty of your furniture, especially if it is made of wood. Wood furniture can warp, crack, or rot over time, due to exposure to moisture, heat, or insects. Sanding can remove any damaged or decayed parts of the wood and reveal the healthy and strong wood underneath. Sanding can also enhance the natural grain and texture of the wood, making it more attractive and appealing.

See also  How do you fix a KitchenAid mixer that overheats?

How to Sand Furniture Before Painting?

Sanding furniture before painting is not a difficult or complicated task, but it does require some time and patience. Here are the basic steps to follow:

Choose the right sandpaper. Sandpaper comes in different grits, which indicate how coarse or fine it is. The lower the grit number, the coarser the sandpaper, and the more material it will remove. The higher the grit number, the finer the sandpaper, and the smoother the finish it will create. For most furniture, you will need to use two or three different grits of sandpaper, starting from the coarsest and ending with the finest. For example, you can start with 80-grit sandpaper, then switch to 120-grit, and finish with 220-grit. The exact grits you need will depend on the condition and material of your furniture, as well as the type and color of paint you are using.

Prepare your furniture. Before you start sanding, you need to make sure your furniture is clean and dry. Remove any hardware, such as knobs, hinges, or handles, and store them in a safe place. Wipe down your furniture with a damp cloth to remove any dust or dirt. If your furniture has any stains, grease, or wax, you will need to use a degreaser or a solvent to remove them. If your furniture has any loose or peeling paint, you will need to scrape it off with a putty knife or a paint scraper. If your furniture has any holes, cracks, or dents, you will need to fill them with wood filler or spackle and let it dry completely.

See also  Where Should You Not Use Laminate Flooring?

Sand your furniture. Once your furniture is ready, you can start sanding. You will need to use a sanding block, a sanding sponge, or an electric sander, depending on the size and shape of your furniture. Always sand in the direction of the wood grain, and apply even and moderate pressure. Do not sand too hard or too fast, as this can damage the wood or create uneven marks. Start with the coarsest sandpaper and sand the entire surface of your furniture, paying attention to any corners, edges, or curves. Then, switch to the next finer sandpaper and repeat the process, until you reach the finest sandpaper. Make sure to wipe off any dust or debris with a tack cloth or a vacuum cleaner after each sanding.

Finish your furniture. After you have sanded your furniture, you are ready to paint it. But before you do, you need to apply a primer, which is a special type of paint that prepares the surface for the final paint. Primer helps the paint adhere better, prevents stains from bleeding through, and improves the coverage and durability of the paint. Choose a primer that is suitable for the material and color of your furniture, and apply it with a brush or a roller, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the primer dry completely, then lightly sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any imperfections. Wipe off any dust, and you are ready to paint your furniture.


Sanding furniture before painting is an essential step that can make a huge difference in the outcome of your project. Sanding furniture before painting can help you create a smooth and even surface, improve the adhesion and durability of the paint, and enhance the appearance and quality of your furniture. Sanding furniture before painting is not hard, but it does require some time and effort. By following the steps and tips we have shared in this article, you can sand your furniture like a pro and achieve a stunning paint job. Happy painting!