How to Sand Chair Spindles

Are your chair spindles looking a bit worn and in need of comfort? If so, don’t worry – reworking them is easier than you think! Sanding chair spindles can be a simple and straightforward way to give the furniture an updated look without sacrificing its classic charm. In this blog post, we will take you through the process of how to sand chair spindles step-by-step so that even those who have never tried sanding before can finish the job with ease. With some patience and the right tools on hand, your beloved chairs will soon be revitalized and ready for use once again!

How to Sand Chair Spindles

What Grit Sandpaper for Spindles?

When sanding spindles, start with medium-grit sandpaper (60 to 80 grit) and gradually move toward fine grit (100 to 120). This will help you get an even finish on the wood. Start by running the sandpaper along each spindle in one direction until all sides are evenly smoothed out. You can also use a palm sander and sandpaper discs, but be sure to keep the sander moving, so you don’t create burn marks.

After you have finished sanding in one direction, move the paper or sander in the opposite direction. This will help remove any scratches left by your first pass. Finally, finish up with very fine grit sandpaper (200-grit) to get a smooth, polished finish.

Once you have finished sanding the spindles, wipe them clean with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. This will help ensure that you get an even stain or paint on the furniture piece. If necessary, use a wood filler to fill in any holes or cracks before you apply the finishing coat. With a bit of time and effort, you can make old furniture look like new again!

9 Methods How to Sand Chair Spindles

1.  Use a Rotary Tool

One of the easiest ways to sand chair spindles is to use a rotary tool. Rotary tools are small, handheld power tools that come with a variety of attachments. The most common attachment for sanding is a sanding pad. Simply attach the sanding pad to the rotary tool and turn it on. Begin sanding the spindles with the rotary tool using light pressure. If the spindles are extremely rough, use a higher grit sandpaper.

Use a Rotary Tool

2.  Use an Electric Sander

Another option for sanding chair spindles is to use an electric sander. Electric sanders are larger and more powerful than rotary tools, making them ideal for tougher sanding jobs. However, they can be more difficult to maneuver, so be sure to keep your spindle in a stable position while using an electric sander. Choose the right sandpaper grit for the job and follow the same sanding technique as with the rotary tool.

Make sure to test the electric sander in an inconspicuous area of the chair first to make sure it won’t damage the wood. Once finished, use a cloth to wipe away any dust and debris from the spindles.

3.  Use a Handheld Sander

If you don’t have access to an electric sander, you can use a handheld sander instead. Handheld sanders are smaller and less powerful than electric sanders, but they can still get the job done. Start by attaching a piece of sandpaper to the sander and turn it on, then move it over the chair spindle in a circular motion. You want to sand in the same direction that the grain is going.

Move your hand slowly over the spindle, making sure to cover all areas evenly. After you have finished sanding, inspect the spindle to make sure it is completely smooth. If there are any remaining bumps or ridges, repeat the sanding process until they are gone. Once you are satisfied with the finish, it is time to move on to the next step.

4.  Use Sandpaper

If you don’t have any power tools, you can still sand your chair spindles using sandpaper. Start with coarse-grit sandpaper and work your way up to fine-grit sandpaper as you progress. To get into the crevices, you may need to use sanding sticks. Work in a circular motion, and make sure to sand the whole spindle evenly. Once you’re done sanding, use a vacuum to remove any sawdust that may be left behind. This is important for a smooth finish. Once you’ve removed all the sawdust, take a damp cloth and wipe down the spindle to eliminate any remaining dust.

Use Sanding Sticks

5.  Use Steel Wool

Another option for those without power tools is to use steel wool. Steel wool is a very fine abrasive material that can be used for sanding wood. To use it, simply rub the steel wool over the surface of the wood in a circular motion until you’ve achieved the desired level of smoothness. Be sure to wear gloves when using steel wool, as it can be harsh on the skin.

Additionally, keep in mind that steel wool will leave small bits of steel on the wood, so be sure to clean it up after use. It is also important to note that steel wool may not be the best option for sanding chair spindles, as a power sander will be able to provide a much smoother finish.

6.  Use a Drum Sander

If you have access to a drum sander, you can use it for sanding your chair spindles. A drum sander is an electric tool that consists of an abrasive belt wrapped around a cylindrical drum. To use one, simply turn the machine on and move it back and forth over the spindles to sand them. Be sure to use a light touch and check your spindles often for smoothness.

Adjust the speed or pressure on the belt as needed. It’s a good idea to practice scrap wood before you sand your spindles to get familiar with the machine. When you’re done, use a vacuum or brush to remove the sawdust.

7. Use a Belt Sander

A belt sander is another type of electric tool that can be used for sanding chair spindles. This type of sander consists of an abrasive belt that moves in a continuous loop around two drums. To use it, simply turn the machine on and move it back and forth over the spindles to sand them. Be sure to use light pressure and move the sander slowly over the wood so that you don’t damage it.

You can also adjust the machine to change the speed of the belt for a more customized sanding experience. Once all sides have been sanded, switch out the belt for a finer grit in order to really smooth out the surface.

Belt Sander is Another Type of Electric Tool

8. Use a Spindle Sander

A spindle sander is an electric tool similar to a belt sander, but instead of an abrasive belt, it has a cylindrical drum with sandpaper wrapped around it. To use it, simply turn the machine on and move it back and forth over the spindles to sand them. Make sure to keep the sanding motion consistent and even so that you don’t have any dips or grooves in the spindles.

You can also use a spindle sander to round off any sharp edges if needed. Be sure to wear safety goggles while sanding with the spindle sander to protect your eyes from flying wood chips. When you’re finished sanding, use a soft cloth to wipe down the spindles and remove all of the dust. Your chair spindles should now be smooth and ready to be painted or stained.

9. Use a Finishing Sander

If you just need to do some light sanding, a finishing sander can be a great option. These small tools offer very precise maneuverability, allowing you to get into tight corners and edges. Finishing sanders come with a variety of interchangeable sanding discs, so you can use the one that is best suited for your particular project.

When sanding chair spindles, start with coarse grit and work your way up to a finer one. Make sure to go in the same direction as the grain of the wood to avoid scratching or gouging. After sanding, wipe off any dust with a damp cloth and apply primer before painting. With a finishing sander, you can get great results in less time than hand sanding.

Finishing Sander Can Be a Great Option

By following these steps, you can get great results when sanding chair spindles. Sanding is an important part of woodworking and a key step in creating beautiful, durable furniture. No matter which method you choose to use when sanding your spindles, always be sure to wear eye and ear protection for safety. Happy sanding!


Although sanding chair spindles may seem daunting, it is actually a relatively simple process. With the right tools and supplies, anyone can achieve professional-looking results. Excellent work! Now that you know how to sand chair spindles like a pro gets out there and refinish those old chairs. With a little elbow grease, you can bring new life to any piece of furniture. Give it a try and see for yourself what a difference this simple technique can make.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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