Let’s talk about preparing new wood for finishing.
The crucial part of any finishing project happens before you open a can of stain or
paint. It starts with the sanding. Proper sanding smooths and cleans the woods surface. Opens up the pores for the wood to accept the finish. If you start with a rough surface, you will finish with a rough surface. I’m going to sand with paint. To prepare for wood that is going to be painted.
First sand with 120 grit, Followed by 150 grit. The sanding sequence for new wood that will be stained with an oil finish is again, 120 grit followed by 150 grit. For a water based stain though, we’re going
to sand a little finer. To prepare wood for accepting a water based
stain, start with 120, go all the way up to 180 grit. The final sanding grit with a 180 removes any scratches thats going to be left by the
medium grit sanding paper. We also like these sanding blocks, these are
great for getting down into the grooves. It conforms right to the shapes and edges
you are sanding. I really like these.
Final tip: Do not over sand! This is a board that I’ve taken and I’ve purposely
sanded it up to 400 grit. Almost polishing the surface.
And on this end I’ve sanded it with 120, So when I apply my oil based stain, I’m just
going to put pigmented oil based stain on here. You’re going to quickly see by over sanding, I’ve closed the pores of the wood off.
Its not going to accept as much color. This is a mistake that a lot of people make.
So when you wipe it off… you are going to have a darker stain on the 120,
And a much lighter stain on the 400. You can really see the difference. All that being said, Don’t let a poor sanding job ruin a good finish.