Sanding: 9 must know techniques for the perfect finish

Man using orbital sander on wooden table
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It may sound simple but sanding a surface the right way is a subtle skill that any DIYer needs to know. Choose the wrong sander, go against the grain, or pick the wrong sandpaper grade and your sanding project could easily go astray. And, add in a lot of extra work for you further down the line.

To make sure that doesn’t happen we have put together a nine point plan that imparts the essential must knows that will help ensure a happy and continued sanding experience. We tell what sander you should use, when you should sand by hand, how to choose and use the right sandpaper grade and why you need to keep your sanding environment as dust free as possible. 

1. Choose the right sander 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.