3 Tips for Cleaning Wood After Sanding

Too many woodworkers experience a challenging time when they are trying to clean their wood projects after sanding. When you are done sanding, you will need to know how to prep wood for staining or painting. 

Even if you just want to apply natural oils to your woodwork, you need to get rid of every possible sawdust grains or sandpaper grit from the wood. If you don’t remove even the finest dust and grains, they can mix up with the finish.

In the long run, this can affect your next applicant, whether it is paint, stain, or the natural oils. That is why it is essential to learn how to sand and refinish furniture correctly. Luckily, we will explore some tips on how to clean wood after sanding.

The first thing to do is blow off the sawdust grains or sandpaper grit. You can use a vacuum or an air compressor. Doing so helps to eliminate the sawdust out of any crannies or nooks within the joints on the wood pieces.

If you are working on a hardwood floor, you can start by using a soft-bristle broom to sweep off as much sawdust as you can before you vacuum it up. This helps to deliver a better job.

Step Two: Wipe the Surface with a Damp Rag

Sweeping and blowing off the sawdust is not enough. There are still tiny particles of the sawdust grain and sandpaper grits left on the surface of the wood. In this case, you will need to wipe down the surface with a damp rag.

Ensure that the rag is clean enough. Some people tend to use a clean, dry piece of cloth, but this won’t deliver reliable results. A damp cloth will absorb the fine grits and hold them as you clean the wood surface.

However, you might have to rinse the cloth frequently to prevent the grits from falling back. As you use the damp cloth, ensure that you wipe in one direction all along. You can then use the wet rag to lift the collected dust off the wood surface.
When using the damp cloth, do not splash water onto the wood, lest it soaks up and damages it gradually.

Step Three: Clean the Surface

After you wipe off the tinniest grits with a damp cloth, you can then use a wood cleaner to polish the floor. Using denatured alcohol can also play the role.

When using the denatured alcohol, ensure that you apply it on the wood surface with a clean piece of cloth. The denatured alcohol can pick up the finest dust/grit from the surface. 

Also, it evaporates quickly, meaning that it won’t discolour your wood. Denatured alcohol is also ideal for use on projects that will be used with food like hardwood bread tray or a cutting board.

On the other hand, a wood cleaner should be used on the hardwood floors. The process of applying it is the same, and you’ll need to clean the floor in a circular motion.

Once you use the wood cleaner or denatured alcohol, you should allow your wood to dry completely for a few hours before you apply the stain, paint, or natural oils.

David B. Harper

David is a Professional Craftsman & woodworking expert for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources and guides on woodworking and tools.

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