How to Sand Grooves in Furniture

It is a very rare event that someone is excited about sanding. That’s because sanding always seems a very tiresome and long process. In this article, we will try to help you by discussing how to sand grooves in furniture. Hopefully, it will help you to make the sanding process easier, if not enjoyable.

It gets even worse when you have to deal with the groove areas. But there is no way that you can skip this step when you are aiming to have perfect-looking furniture. 

People nowadays tend to use power tools in this process. But a power tool might not always be a good choice as it can destroy the furniture depending on the material. 

How to Sand Grooves in Furniture an Ultimate Guide

How to Sand Grooves in Furniture: an Ultimate Guide

You can do your sanding job by using specialized tools or by using only sanding papers. A tool can surely fasten the process but doing it by hand can give finer details.

In this article, we will discuss both.

How to Hand Sand the Grooves By Using Sanding Paper

Required Tools And Material

The only material you will need in this process is sandpaper of different grit and grades. You may need a knife or blade to cut the sandpaper into small pieces.

Sanding Spindles or Round Parts 

Chair Legs, spindles, narrow rugs, or other round-shaped portions of furniture need different sanding treatments. If you sand it by using the usual large sanding paper with a higher grit, it may deform the round portions by removing a high amount of wood.

But in this process, you are required to remove only a tiny amount of wood to make these areas smooth.

  • To smoothen these areas, use 5/0 or 6/0 sandpaper, and cut them down into narrow strips. 
  • The next step is to wrap the round portion with a single narrow stripe, in a transverse manner.
  • Then keep pulling the ends of the stripe back and forth. It will help to buff sand the wood.

Make sure to follow the same process in the entire area as you are aiming to have an even surface. Don’t hesitate to change the angles if necessary. 

Sanding Carvings Areas

Carving is another critical area of sanding. If the sanding process goes wrong, you can end up blurring the lines of the carving area. 

To sand this area properly, use sandpaper with fine grit. Grades of the sandpaper should be 5/0 or 6/0. Avoid using any kind of sanding blocks, rather try to do it by using your fingertips. 

Hold a narrow piece of sandpaper in your hand, and start pressing in the carvings areas carefully. Sand as deep as you can reach. Don’t try to overdo the process which may damage the design. 

Sanding Curved Areas

  • To sand the convex or concave curved areas of the furniture properly, you will need to do the sanding gently.
  • For a convex area, take a small piece of sandpaper and sand lightly along with curves by using your fingers.
  • Be careful to avoid damaging any edges or adjoining surfaces.
  • For concave areas, you may use a dowel with the same thickness as the curve. Then warp the dowel using a piece of sandpaper, and push the dowel back and forth along with the curve area.
  • It will gently sand the curved area. However, don’t push the dowel too hard. 

Sanding Delicate Patinas and Veneers

Veneers and patinas are the sensitive parts of furniture. It requires more gentle and careful sanding than the usual sanding process. If you push too hard or rush the process, sanding can totally damage those areas. So, to successfully complete this process, you will need to be patient.

In terms of sanding materials, you can use fine-grit sandpaper, which belongs to 5/0 or 6//0 grit. However, to sand very thin veneers, using fine-grade steel wool can be a better choice. 

Hand Sanding Tools

Hand Sanding Tools to Sand the Grooves in furniture

While talking about hand sanding, it doesn’t necessarily mean to sand only by using your hand and sandpaper. There are different types of tools available to facilitate the hand sanding process. Some of these facilitate tools have been discussed below:

Taper Tip Tuck

It is a very handy sanding tool that comes with a rubber belt around it. You can use it in the fine detail areas of your furniture. It allows you to easily reach the curved and other fine detailed complex areas. You can also have it in different grit according to your needs.

Emery Board

It’s yet another useful sanding tool. It is comfortable to hold and aids in the sanding of curving or narrow woodwork designs.

It also works with hook and loop to accelerate the process and allows you to reuse it numerous times before discarding it.

Spline Slide

A spline of hardboard works well as a support for reaching into grooves. Take a piece that is thinner than the groove you are working on. First sand one side of the groove over the other side. If you try to sand both sides of the grooves at once, it may not work. 

Power Sanding Tools to Sand the Grooves 

Power sanding tools are getting popular day by day, as people want to make this process faster. But as mentioned earlier, power sanding may not always be suitable for your furniture. 

Here we will discuss some power tools that may be suitable when you are working on a piece of large furniture or your furniture is comparatively strong.

Radial Bristle Discs 

It is a bristle disc that needs to connect with a drill machine to function. It is really a great tool to reach the deep recess areas. 

You will need to take three bristle discs and connect them with your arbor spin. Then start drilling along with the carvings areas. No matter how fine the carvings are, they can easily reach those places. 

This tool makes the sanding process too easy. But don’t rush too much as it can create uneven surfaces. It is also available in different grit depending on your needs.

Nylon Rotary Abrasive Wheels

These are abrasive-impregnated nylon brushes. It’s also available in a variety of grits, ranging from 80 to 240. You will have to use a drill machine to connect the brushes and set them where you want to sand.

It’s most commonly used to polish the corners of massive furniture like doors or cupboards. 

Rotary Tool

It is the most commonly used tool for sanding. This tool comes with different accessories like sanding bands, sanding discs, flap wheels, abrasive brushes, and abrasive buffs. 

Each accessory has different attributes to make the sanding process easier and to reach as many grooves as possible. 

Sanding is important to make the furniture ready to paint or varnish. You can choose hand sanding or power tool sanding depending on the strength of your furniture and your patience.


Hopefully, this article on how to sand grooves in furniture may be able to guide you on your next sanding task. However, don’t forget to take necessary safety measures like glasses, masks, and gloves before jumping into the process.

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