Sanding wood by hand: Six tips to get a flawless finish

Hand with sandpaper rubbing down plank of wood
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sanding wood by hand is a skill that every DIYer should have in their locker. It's a very different skill to using a power sander, as it can give you fine control for a more precise and refined finish.

As well as choosing the right sandpaper grade for sanding wood, you need to know when and where to use a sanding block and when it's time to call upon more subtle skills to access hard to reach areas.

Here we give you the lowdown on the tips and techniques you need to know to give your sanding by hand projects a pro-looking finish. 

1. Start by choosing the best sandpaper grade to sand wood by hand 

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.