Item Image

Wood Prep: Pro Tips to Prepare Your Workpiece and Create an Even Surface

Last edited: 01 June 2022

Staining sets the tone for finishing your workpiece. Messing up the staining process results in lots of work to fix any issues before applying a top coat.

#1 Don't skip more than one grit when sanding.

Sanding creates a scratch pattern on the workpiece, consisting of peaks and valleys. Whenever you start working with a finer grit, it should erase the scratch pattern of the previous one and create a smooth surface. Skipping more than one grit in the sequence will just take off the tips of the peaks. The deep scratches of the grit used before are left behind and will result in uneven stain.

#2 Clean the workpiece between sanding steps.

It's ideal to clean between each grit change. Use an air hose, and maybe even an additional dry rag to get rid of all dust and debris to open the wood's pores to accept stain evenly.

What if prepping goes wrong?

How to fix issues on a stained workpiece before applying the top coat? If you end up with one of the following problems, there's an easy solution: sanding.

Main issues that can occur:

  • Uneven Stain & Discoloration
  • Bubbles
  • "Running Look" on the sides
  • Rough Surface
  • Scratches or Streaking

You can sand your workpiece to get that even surface you need for your topcoat.

While a larger, flat area can be worked on with an orbital sander, we highly recommend hand sanding for the sides. It's easier to control, and will ensure that you don't take off all the stain by using too much pressure.

Related Videos

Recommended Products


High quality aluminum oxide grain, with Kling-on, PSA or plain backings, in various sizes and hole pattern options: GreenTec is the latest addition to our coated abrasives line. Anti-loading properties, tear resistance and water resistance make it an ideal product for numerous applications.

  • Material #: PS77 for paper backing, FP77 for film backing
  • Available as 5" & 6" Diameter Discs, Sheets & Rolls
  • Grit range
    • P60 - P220: C-weight paper backing for medium pressure and aggression
    • P320 - P2000: 3 mil film backing for tear resistance and waterproofness
  • Ideal for Fiberglass, Composites, Wood, Aluminum, Painted Surfaces

PS 33 Disc

PS33 is our number one choice for universal woodworking applications. It combines a high removal rate for an unbeatable price.

You'll get efficient results, and increased longevity due to a stearate additive that prevents loading. The flexible paper backing allows for use on random orbital sander or hand sanding.

*The links below lead to the 5 inch versions.

View 80 GritView 100 GritView 120 GritView 180 GritView 220 Grit

SPARTAN Random Orbital Sander

KLINGSPOR's Spartan Random Orbital Sander is a pneumatic Sander that runs with ease. It's comfortable to use and creates perfect sanding results with minimal effort.

It requires 90 PSI and has a variable speed option for up to 10,000 RPM. - 5" & 6" Models available. The Spartan features a male 5/16-24 thread to connect a suitable backing pad.

View 5" SanderView 6" SanderView Backing PadSpecifications
Back to Woodworking