Refinishing Wood Table--scratches after first coat of stain

iowafarmstudJune 6, 2013


First time DIY-er and I am refinishing a table for my wife. I used a rotary sander and smoothed everything out...felt nice and smooth, but after I applied the first coat of stain I noticed circular scratch marks all over the table!
My question--do I need to sand the entire top again? Or--can I just sand the areas where I see scratches (about 1/3 to 1/2 the table I apparently went against the grain!).
Also, would you use a finer grit like 220 to redo it? I need to do a 80/100 first and then do the 220?
Thanks for any help!

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Sophie Wheeler

Yeah, you screwed up with a rotary. You always want to use a palm sander, and with the grain. Or a block sander with the grain. The grit you need to sand with again will depend on how deep the scratches are. If you started with 80, they're probably pretty deep, and you will probably need to start with at least 80 again. And hope there are no veneers involved.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 7:59PM
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It only takes one stray grit particle from a coarse paper to ruin the sanding when using a ROS. For pine it's usually not an issue, but on cherry (in particular) it can be a disaster.
To fix it, I'd start with a cabinet scraper which will get the swirls out faster than sanding. Then block sand, by hand, with the grain, with 220.
A cabinet scraper does require a learning curve for both sharpening and usage, but it's a miraculous little device.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 8:37AM
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