Sand papers are available in different grades. The grade mentioned in the rear of the sand paper refers to the number of sand grit particles per square inch. So, lower the grits, more is the roughness of the sand paper. Ideally, start sanding with a lower grit sand paper and move upwards towards the higher grit papers. You may have 4-5 levels of sanding before you can achieve that perfect smooth finish.
Use 80, 100, 120, 150 and 220 grit sand papers. Depending on the initial level of smoothness of the surface you need to choose the following :
- Whether to start with 80, 100 or 120 grit papers and
- How many levels of sanding is required
Each level of sanding would increase the degree of smoothness and will also reduce the scratches that were a result of the previous sanding level.
- Always sand along the direction of the grains. Never sand across the grain direction.
- Apply gentle and even pressure as you sand along the surface, Overdoing it might damage the surface.
- Wipe off the leftover dust particles using a rag cloth after every level of sanding.
- The not-so-key rule is to use a sanding block if required. It will ease the stress on the arms and will help evenly distribute the pressure.
Applying Sanding Sealer
- Sanding sealer
- NC Thinner
- Gada Cloth (for applying the sealer)
- Sand paper (220 grit)
- Pour 1 part of sanding sealer in a bowl
- Mix 2 parts of NC thinner to the sealer
- Stir thoroughly to ensure the mix is consistent
- Dab the gada cloth in the mix and apply it on the surface of the wood
- Cover a small area in one stroke
- Before the layer dries, wipe off the excess sealer using a dry cloth
- Using the same method, apply the sealer across the entire surface area of the wood
- Allow it about 1-2 hours of drying
- Lightly sand the dried surface of the wood (Remember ? It is a sanding sealer)
- Apply two to three coats of the sealer to achieve a really smooth surface. Remember to sand in between coats.
The application of stain is much like how we applied sealant in the last tutorial. The following are the materials required:
- A bottle of stain (Asian paints / MRF / Wudfin / Sheenlac )
- Gada Cloth
- Thinner (If you need the color to be lighter)
- Pour the stain into a bowl
- Mix thinner only if you want the shade to be lighter
- Dip the gada cloth in the bowl of stain
- Dab it to squeeze the excess stain
- Apply the stain along the grains covering a small area
- Allow a minute or two for the stain to be absorbed by the wooden surface
- Before the stain is dry, wipe of the excess stain off the surface (using a dry piece of gada cloth)
- Repeat the procedure until you have covered the entire surface area of the wood
- Give it about 30 minutes drying time before you apply the subsequent coats
- Apply multiple coats as desired.
- Apply varnish or other top coats for long term durability