How to Use an Orbital Sander for Furniture Flipping

Written by Jessica Mitchel

I've been flipping furniture for profit for over eight months. I like to share all of the tips, tricks, and learning lessons along the way.

January 10, 2023

If you plan on flipping furniture often, then it will be worth investing in an electric sander. Electric sanders are great for doing scuff sands, removing old varnish, and sanding down wood filler. If you’re not familiar with how to use an electric sander, here is a quick tutorial on how to use an orbital sander for furniture flipping.

I always recommend orbital sanders for beginners because they are the most versatile, in my opinion. I currently use a Rigid sander and have had great luck with it. I’ll put a link to this sander in the description.

Depending on what you are doing with your furniture flip, the sand paper you’ll want to use cold vary. I made a video on how to sand your furniture that you can use for reference.

Different sanders can have different ways of attaching sand paper, but typically orbital sanders will attach with velcro. Make sure you purchase sand paper that matches your sander. To put on the sand paper on this sander, just put the felt side down on the bottom of your sander and press down lightly. It’s just as easy to remove the sand paper.

Next, you’ll want to get your settings straight. There’s nothing overly fancy about this sander, you can only change the speed. I’ve found that leaving it on a medium to high speed works just fine most of the time. The only time I’ve ever lowered the speed was when I was working with veneer. But for doing a scuff sand, medium to high speed will work.

Now it’s time to sand your furniture. If you haven’t prepped your furniture yet, make sure you check out this video first.

You’ll want to have a firm grip on your sander. Turn the sander on, usually there is an on/off switch. Place your sander lightly on the surface. I recommend starting with a flat surface. You shouldn’t need to put a lot of pressure on the sander. Just hold the sander down so that it’s in contact with the surface. If you feel like you can’t keep a tight grip on the sander, turn down the speed until you get used to it.

With an orbital sander, you don’t have to be as concerned about what direction you are moving the sander. Just slowly move the sander back and forth across the surface. If you’re doing a scuff sand, you should only need to do a couple quick passes.

Edges and curves can be a lot more tricky than flat surfaces. And for most of these surfaces, you will want to sand by hand. If you decide to use the electric sander on these surfaces, make sure you have a tight grip on the sander.

Once you are finishing sanding, remove the sand paper and store your sander back in its bag.

Now that the sanding is done, you can move on to paint.

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