Sanding wood: What you need to know to get the best finish

Close up of hands sanding a small plank of wood
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sanding wood to a smooth, professional finish is all about appropriate preparation. It is a key component in ensuring that your wooden surfaces are ready for the next stage, whether that be painting windows, staining doors or varnishing table tops.

Different projects often embrace the same sanding processes, but there are subtle differences, techniques and tools that need to be used to ensure your wood is getting the love that it needs. 

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.