How to Sand in Grooves – 11 Tricks and Tips

If you are doing any DIY woodwork, it is common to struggle with sanding the grooves of your woodwork. Sanding is important to give nice, perfect final touches in woodwork. But sometimes it is hard to sand in the grooves areas. It doesn’t look good without sanding but also you can’t find a way to sand them properly. I know it can be very frustrating. If you are facing the same problem and want to know how to sand in grooves, you are in the right place! 

In this article, we will cover some of the ways that might help you to sand in the grooves areas properly. 

So, let’s get into it!

How to Sand in Grooves: An Ultimate Guide

Sanding is the preparation of applying varnish or paint on the woodwork. So it is important to smoothen the jagged surfaces and eliminate any types of lumps or shards of the woodwork. 

Different types of fine designs make sanding mandatory yet the places are hard to reach by using traditional sanding paper or sanding method. But don’t worry, there are a few methods that can get you out of this fuss.

Method 1: Making a Customized Sander

Before jumping into any specialized tools, try to make your own customized sander. It can be an easy way. 

Take sandpaper. Then cut it with a blade into the size of the groove that you are dealing with. Stick the cut piece of the sandpaper with any curvy suitable tool or just stick it with something handy that you can hold with proper grip. Then you can use it as a sander to reach those hard-to-reach grooves. 

You also can change and renew the sandpaper when the sharpness fades out. 

Method 2: Contour Sander 

A contour sander is an unpopular sanding tool. But you can definitely use it as it provides a very convenient solution to this problem. It is a double-ended sanding tool that can sand both concave and convex areas of your woodwork.

They’re usually found in rubber pads with a concave profile on one end and a convex profile on the other. And that is separated by a thin and longer flexible segment. 

You can find it in different sizes to fit the variety of grooves you are facing problems with. 

Method 3: Steel Wool

Steel wool can be another easy solution to sand the groove areas. It is available and costs a little. This one is both useful for large and narrow areas. Sometimes it is even more effective than sandpaper as it provides flexibility and helps to reach comparatively narrow areas. 

But while using steel wool, make sure to work gently to avoid any harsh cuts on the wood. There are different types of steel wools available in the market, try to use less sharp ones for sanding purposes.  

Method 4: Duct Taping the sandpaper

Cut your sandpaper into a piece that will require it to reach the uneven areas. After that attach duct tape to the back of your sandpaper. 

This is a very easy way to smoothen hard-to-reach areas. It will help to remove any wood splits or dried glue as well as will even the surface. However, it may take a little bit more time than usual. 

Method 5: Hose Sander 

It is a very useful method to sand the curvy areas. If you have a radiator hose, look for a straight part of it and then cut it off by using a saw.

In the next step, apply any type of glue or adhesive to stick a piece of sandpaper with the hose. Your DIY hose sander is ready to help you in the sanding process.

Method 6: Emery Board 

It is another handy sanding solution. It is easy to grip and helps to sand curvy or narrow designs of the woodwork.

It also gets along with hook and loop not only to speed the process but also you can reuse it several times before you dump them. 

Method 7: Detail Sanding Cone

This is an easy, quick, and efficient way to clean up the surface. These sanding cones are available in different- sizes both small and large.

It also has different grit. For a large one, you can have two hundred and three hundred grit. And for smaller ones, you can have 250 to 350 grit. Thus it helps to reach the difficult areas. 

These cones come along with a tapered screw mandrel for smaller ones and a tapered split mandrel for larger ones. You will have to poke the cone into the screw to make it ready to use. 

It is used for extremely detailed areas. You can use it by hand or may use a micromotor machine to accelerate the process.

Method 8: Nylon rotary Abrasive Wheels 

These are the nylon brushes impregnated with abrasives. It is also available in different grits from 80 to 240. All you have to do is to connect the brushes with a drill machine and place them where you want to sand. 

It is usually used in large woodwork like cupboards to finish the edges of the cupboard design. 

Method 9: Rotary Tool

It can be critical to sand ornate carvings areas of the furniture. To deal with this problem, you can use a 3M Roloc machine for sanding. 

It will not only save your time but also save the designs of your woodwork from being damaged. 

However, don’t rush while using this tool. Take easy and slow steps to get perfect finished woodwork.

Method 10: Curved Backers

Grooves and other curved shape areas like coved moldings, and profile edges can be difficult to sand properly. For this purpose, curved backers can be an effective option. There are different types of curved shape accessories available in the market.

Choose the one that gets along with your woodwork, and use adhesive glue to stick sandpaper with the curved backers. Here you go, you have an easy sanding tool.

Method 11: Reciprocating Sander

This is a sort of DIY sanding machine. If you have a reciprocating saw, you can make and use this tool. Firstly, you will have to cut a piece of sandpaper and stick it with glue at the tip of the saw. Then plug the saw and start the process.

It can be used to sand the inside of the juice groove areas. But it also can be a dangerous process if you rush or are not able to use a reciprocating saw properly. Make sure to do the process slowly and take safety measures if necessary. 


You can understand from the above discussion that there are several methods to sand the grooves or hard-to-reach areas and most of them you can make at home. Choose a method according to your need and forget to worry about unfinished woodwork!

Now you know how to sand in grooves. Just follow any of the above-mentioned methods and have fun. 

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