One of the most important steps in achieving a high quality finish is the preparation of the wood. Before you apply any wood staining or paint, it is crucial that the piece of wooden furniture has been properly sanded, smoothed out and is ready for the application. Whether you are building a new piece of furniture, or working on a restoration project, getting this stage right will enable you to achieve the best finish possible.
In this tutorial, Ken talks through the various things you need to consider and explains some of the techniques that he uses. Ken works in the Burgess Hill workshop where all our furniture is made and finished, ready to go on public display in the showroom.
The first thing I need to do when I receive a chair is to sand down any rough edges and sharp edges which makes it easier for me when I’m staining and polishing. So, I just make sure that the surfaces are nice and smooth, and that the edges are nice and smooth. We can then go ahead with the staining, but before that we have to make sure that the chairs are in the right condition and ready for polishing.
I have to sand all the details, and generally do a nice sand all over until it’s all nice and smooth. That then gives me a nice base to stain on, and achieve a nice finish. I pay particular attention to the detail in the chair, because that it is the bit that will show the most when it is polished. That’s all got to be nice and smooth and clean, it will then polish up nicely.
When everything is nice and smooth with no sharp bits or rough edges, then that says to me that the chair is ready for staining and polishing.
When I’m sanding things like chairs or tables, I’ve got a range of grits of sandpaper here. I only use about a 180 grit through to a 320 grit. We also have a 400 grit,240 grit and a full range of grits right the way down to a 2000 grit and all do different jobs. The courser ones (lower grits) are for taking rough bits off the timber, the 240 grit I usually use as an everyday sanding paper. The very fine ones (higher grits) come on to make sure that the timber is very soft and smooth.
The courser the grade, the more timber it sands down and the finer the grade, the smoother it will render the job ready for staining and waxing.