How To Sand Plywood To Get A Smooth Finish – 7 Steps

Do you want to see your plywood surface smooth and stained? Then, you have to sand down its surface. Now, the question can arise, how to sand plywood to get a smooth finish?

Can you sand plywood? Well, In this article, we will teach you everything about sanding a plywood surface. Moreover, you will get to know the step-by-step process of this work. 

I am sure that you will be able to smooth out the rough edges of your plywood after reading this article. 

So let’s start our journey without wasting any time. 

How to sand plywood to get a smooth finish?

There are many ways by which you can sand plywood surfaces. The manual sanding process is considered the best way. But nowadays, sanding with a power sander is also popular. 

Whatever the process is, you need to get a smooth finish of the plywood. 

Let’s jump to the ultimate process. 

Uses of sanded plywood

Before going to the sanding process, let’s have a look at the various uses of sanded plywood. It is mainly used to make furniture. A wide variety of furniture is made from this metal. It has huge usability in creating shelves, tables, cabinets, etc. 

The grade of plywood is another noticeable thing. There are mainly four grades in the plywood. The grade starts from “A” and ends in “D”. Each graded wood is used for individual functionality. 

However, select your intended plywood for your project. Then move forward to the sanding process. 

Required tools and materials 

In the sanding process, you do not need a lot of things. You just need sandpapers, a power sander, and your safety pieces of equipment such as gloves, goggles, face masks, etc.  

01. Select the best sandpaper.

Different kinds of sandpaper are available in the market. Available sandpapers are graded as coarse, medium, fine, extra-fine, super fine, etc. 

Generally, fine or very fine sandpapers are used in plywood sanding work. However, 180 grit sandpaper is highly used for this work. On the other hand, 200 grit and 220 grit sandpapers are applicable when you need lees stain paint. 

So, at the very beginning of the process, choose the best sandpaper for your project. 

02. Prepare the surface

Take good preparation before starting to work. Arrange the necessary things and thoroughly clean the plywood surface. 

The cleaning step is very necessary to get a smooth finished plywood surface. So clean the surface with a piece of cloth. Remove any kind of dust. 

Instead of a cloth, you can use a vacuum in this process. It is workable when there is a lot of dirt on the surface. 

03. Sand the plywood

After removing dust from the surface, start to sand it. Keep in mind that you need to go through a gradual process to get the ultimate finishing. Let’s follow the processes. 

Use 180 grit sandpaper.

Start to sand the surface with 180 grit sandpaper. This step is very crucial to creating grooves on the surface. Try to continue this step three to four times. 

You will be able to notice any kind of fault after stroking the surface with this sandpaper. However, now the surface is ready to be smoother. 

Use 200 grit sandpaper. 

Now, use 200 grit sandpaper to make the wood surface smoother. You have to apply this process at least three times. Otherwise, you may not get the awaited result. 

However, this finer will finish those lines and imperfections that are created by the previously used sandpaper. Now your wood surface is ready to get the final smoother step. 

Use 220 grit sandpaper.

At last, you have to use very finer sandpaper to get a smooth finish of the surface. You have to rub the 220 grit sandpaper on the plywood. 

This is the last sanding process. Try to do it very carefully so that you can get a perfect and highly smooth finished surface.

04. Find any gaps and fill

Now, find out whether there are any gaps in the plywood grain. Never forget to do it. Because it is a very crucial step. A small gap will make the wood surface imperfect.

After finding out any gaps, fill them with wood putty. You can also use any kind of wood filler. Now let it be dried. 

05. Sand again

After that, you may need to sand the surface again. Never hesitate to do that. 

You can use both a hand sander and a power sander in this step. But experts recommend using a hand sander because it will not leave any scratches on the surface. But keep in mind that it is a time-consuming step.

06. Use power sander

Instead of a hand sander, a power sander can be used. It will let you do the work very quickly. But sometimes, it may leave scratches on the surface. 

However, if you want to finish the work as soon as possible, then a power sander is the best option for the final sanding step.  

Now the decision is on you. Choose a sander for the final sanding step based on the project requirement.

07. Remove the dust

After completing the sanding process, you have to remove the dust created by sandpaper from the wood surface. Use a piece of cloth to clean. A vacuum will be a great alternative to cloth to wipe the dust very easily and quickly. 

Now, the plywood is smooth enough and ready to be used. 

Some crucial tips

Here are some very crucial tips for you that will be helpful in the whole sanding process. 

Use sandpaper according to your needs. Sandpapers are available from 40 grit to 600.

Some projects may require the roughest sandpaper while others require finer. So, firstly understand the project requirement and then apply specific sandpaper. 

Select the best plywood based on your project’s requirements. 

And never forget to wear personal protective pieces of equipment.


Sanding is not tough to do. But try to maintain a regular process while sanding plywood. 

Most importantly, don’t over sand the wood after removing the scratches. Otherwise, you will face difficulties. 

However, I hope you have a clear concept now on how to sand plywood to get a smooth finish. I strongly believe that you will be able to sand the plywood in your next project.

Good luck! 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top