Sanding your furniture removes rough fiber and scratches but leaves a mess behind. In this article, I will discuss how to clean furniture after sanding.
Sanding is a vital step in any furniture project. It removes all the rough fiber from your furniture and makes the surface smooth. It takes away the flaws on your furniture and leaves behind a beautiful piece.
If you want to repaint an old wooden surface, sanding plays an important role. You can remove all the old coatings, paint, and stains from your old furniture so that you can apply a new color on top.
But sanding leaves behind a mess of sand, dust, and sawdust to get the final product. It leaves behind some particles that are even invisible to the naked eye. But if they remain on your furniture, they can make the surface rough. If you apply paint without cleaning all the dust, the paint will not last long.
In this article, I will discuss the proper way to clean furniture after sanding.
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Ways To Clean Furniture After Sanding
#1. Use A Dust Brush
A dust brush is an excellent tool to clean the dust that is produced when you rub sandpaper onto your furniture. It can even remove dust from corners and small crevices of the furniture.
Some people prefer to use a hand brush instead of a dust brush. A hand brush can also remove dust from the surface of your chair or table. But make sure the brush should be smooth; otherwise, it may leave stains.
#2. Mineral Spirits
Mineral spirits are versatile. You can use them in numerous ways, such as cleaning automobile parts and kitchen cabinets, removing stains from your floor, and of course, removing dust and sand from your furniture.
To apply mineral spirit, you should first clean the surface of your furniture thoroughly with a dust brush. Pour some spirit on a clean cloth and wipe the surface of your furniture.
Mineral spirit will help remove even the slightest scratch from your furniture, which may show up later during staining. Try to rub the surface till your cloth does not pick up any abrasion. Mineral spirits can also remove grease from your wooden furniture.
Minerals spirits are widely available. You can easily get them from your local shop, or you may prefer to buy them online. After applying the spirit to your furniture, please keep it on for at least a couple of minutes. It takes some time to penetrate the layers of the wood. I am sure you will be surprised to see the results. Your wood surface will shine after applying the mineral spirits.
Remember that mineral spirits are inflammable and can quickly catch fire if exposed to a fire source. So, try to dispose of the cloth in a place where it will not catch fire. If you only want to paint the surface, don’t worry about the minor scratches on your furniture.
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#3. Vacuum All The Dust
Professionals prefer to keep electric sanders that have a vacuum. The vacuum’s hose draws all the dust particles within a few seconds from the wood surface and cleans it out properly.
#4. Tack Cloth
After using a dust brush and vacuum, there may still be some dust left on the wood surface. You may not see it with your naked eye, but you may feel that the wood surface is still dirty if you rub it with your hand.
In that case, you may take the help of a tack cloth. The tack cloth is made from beeswax. You have to cut the tack cloth into small pieces and wipe it lightly over the wooden surface. It will quickly draw away even the tiniest of dust particles from the surface.
Another thing you need to remember is that if the thread on your tack cloth attaches to the wood surface, it indicates that you have not done sanding correctly. So, you need to return to the sanding process and repeat it till you get it right. If you have done the sanding process correctly, the tack cloth will quickly glide on the wood surface.
But when you are working with softwood, then do remember to change the tack cloth from time to time. This is because the dust particles may cling to the cloth and may affect its performance.
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#5. Trisodium Phosphate Powder
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a chemical that is available in both liquid and powder form. If you are applying it in liquid form, drop a small quantity of liquid on a clean cloth and wipe lightly on the wood surface.
TSP is like a mineral spirit for removing dust particles from wood surfaces. But try to use TSP only after cleaning the wood surface with a dust brush.
You can blow away all the dust from your wood surface with a compressor. When using a compressor, try to hold the hose at 45 degrees. It is a pretty easy process, and it will remove the dust within a few seconds. So try it if you have a compressor at home.
An air compressor works the exact opposite way as a vacuum. After cleaning properly, you can use mineral spirits. It will give the last touch-up to your cleaning.
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How to refinish the furniture?
You have invested a lot of money in buying furniture for your home. So, if it has got damaged, then why are you thinking of replacing it? There is another good option. You can refinish your furniture to look completely new.
You can refinish the furniture by the following methods. The methods are as follows.
A refinish furniture should first start with cleaning. You need to first clean all the dust and dirt from your furniture by using a tack cloth. But if tack cloth is not at home, then you can use soap and water. You may use a sponge to wipe all the dust at the time of cleaning. Then rinse it immediately with a towel and allow it to dry for at least two to three days.
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#2. Apply Stripper
Liquid strippers are suitable for scraping. You may apply a liquid stripper with the help of a brush on your furniture. Allow it to sit for few minutes. Well, it’s best to follow the instruction. After two to three hours, the paint will bubble, which shows that it’s time to scrape.
But if you are using citrus strippers, then it may take a longer time to scrape. Usually, those strippers sit on the furniture for 24 hours. Then they are ready for scraping.
Well, while stripping, you need to wear some protective essentials like gloves, goggles. Again you should perform in a well-ventilated area.
#3. Remove Your Existing Coating
You need to remove the extra coating with the putty knife. Well, you can also use a steel woof for removing old paint. It is readily available. But don’t scrape too hard because it may damage the surface badly.
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#4. Try To Repair Your Furniture
Now your wood is appropriately cleaned, and you have scraped away all the old coating and paint. Then try to repair your furniture. Well, this step is optional. You may repair our furniture if needed. If required, you may fill the uneven surfaces with wood filler or putty.
Sanding is a process that is quite important. If you have done sanding correctly, then it’s hard for anyone to notice any flaws in your furniture. If you have an electric sander at home, you can use it for sanding the wood surface. But if you don’t have one, you can use sandpaper. Sandpaper is readily available in the market, and it is affordable.
#6. Try To Clean The Dust
After sanding, you need to clean the dust thoroughly with a brush and then wipe it with mineral spirit.
Now apply a new coating to your furniture. Allow it to dry for a few minutes or maybe one hour. Then use the second coating.
#7. Apply Finish
The last step is the vital step, and you need to apply finish to your furniture. There are several options for a wood finish in the market, like lacquer, polyurethane, and oil. You can choose according to your preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
#1. Can I use mineral spirits to clean sanded wood?
You can apply mineral spirits to the sanded wood. It is an excellent method to clean the surface of the wood. But before that, you should clean all the sawdust and sand dust from the wood surface with a brush.
#2. Do mineral spirits darken wood?
Yes, mineral spirits darken the wood temporarily. After some time the darkened color evaporates. Once the mineral spirit evaporates, the wood returns to its original color.
#3. Should I wipe down wood after sanding?
Some professionals use a tack cloth to wipe down wood after sanding. But for best results, you need to moisten a piece of cloth with denatured alcohol and wipe it on your wood surface.
#4. What can I substitute for mineral spirits?
If you don’t have mineral spirits at home, you can substitute with denatured alcohol, acetone, or turpentine. Each of these is a perfectly good option and will do the same job.
#5. How do you clean wood before finishing?
- Take a spray bottle with 2 cups of water.
- Add two tablespoons of vinegar into the spray bottle.
- Now moist a clean cloth with the water-vinegar mixture and wipe the wood surfaces.
- Never use a paper towel as it may leave small particles of paper on the wood surface, which may be a problem during staining.
- Wipe the wet cloth in the direction of grains of the wood.
- After wiping for a few minutes, allow the wood to dry before staining.
#6. Can you sand off varnish?
If you plan to remove the varnish from the wood surface, sanding is the best option. You need 150-grit sandpaper, readily available in the market, and rub it on the wood surface.
#7. Should I wash furniture after sanding?
Sanding is a process to make the wood surface smooth. But you need to clean your wood surface thoroughly. If you don’t clean all the sand dust and apply the paint, the paint will not last for a long time.
#8. What is the best finish for a dining table?
You can use Polyurethane varnish for your dining table. It is an excellent finish. But before applying, check the instructions. You may need to apply three to four coatings of varnish on your dining table.
#9. How can you paint your furniture without sanding?
- You can use chalk paint which will give a shiny matte finish to your wood surface.
- You can use mineral paint which is usually waterproof and stain-proof. It does not require any top coating.
- You can use milk paint with a bonding agent. The bonding agent is just like a primer that helps the milk paint adhere to the wood surface. You require it only on the first coating.
- A good bonding primer does not require sanding.
- If you want to avoid the sanding process, you can use liquid sandpaper or a DE glosser. You need to apply the liquid to your wood surface. The chemical reaction will occur on the wood, which will allow the paint to adhere to the wood surface. Well, it smells a lot. So try to operate the whole process in a well-ventilated area.
Sanding is the most important step which brings your wooden furniture near its finished shape and look. But for sanding to work, you need to clean all the dust properly after the sanding process.
I hope this article has helped you in knowing the best methods to clean the dust after sanding. Please do share your suggestions for this article, and if you find the methods useful, please share pictures of your latest accomplishments in the comments section below.