How to Sand in Tight Spaces? 4 Simple Methods!

So you’re trying to assemble wooden furniture. You’ve already started sanding and suddenly find yourself in a situation where you’re almost ready to give up. 

It seems nearly impossible to reach those tight corners! Also, you’ve hurt your fingers when trying to reach them.

Now you’re sitting hopelessly and wondering how to sand in tight spaces.

Don’t worry! Because sanding those tight corners is actually not that complex. There are several methods to sand those tight corners. You can use wedges, dowels, or different types of sandpapers for this. However, the methods are quite distinct for each tool. Regardless, they’re pretty easy to follow! 

Still, worried? Well, don’t worry. Because here we’ve included 5 simple methods for sanding those tight spaces effortlessly. 

Follow them accordingly. And the chances of you hurting yourself or feeling hopeless again when sanding will diminish!

How to Choose The Right Sandpaper?

How to Choose The Right Sandpaper

First of all, you need to choose the right sandpaper. As most of the job success when sanding depends on what type of sandpaper you’re using.

Always try to buy high-quality ones. Because working with cheap, low-quality sandpaper is not going to do any good.

Also, always remember to check for grit. Perfect grit is another aspect that will ensure your job success.

You can find the size or grid on the back of any sandpaper. Look for sandpaper with 100-grit.

Sandpapers with heavier grit e.g. 80, will cause more harm than good. As it may induce scratches and dips which are hard to get rid of.

You will also find some higher grit (180) sandpaper. Avoid buying them as well. As they do a better job in polishing rather than sanding. Plus, they work pretty slow.

On the other hand, all-purpose sandpapers with 100 grit can do the task perfectly. It helps eliminate any scratches, glue, stain, dips, gouges, and lacquer nicely. When it comes to sanding tiny spots, 100-grit sandpaper is the best option.

4 Methods to Sand in Tight Spaces

It might be difficult to sand in confined spots. However, it becomes quite simple if only you follow the right method. 

Method 1: Sanding Tight Spaces With Folded Sandpaper

To apply this process, first, you need to fold a piece of sandpaper. Make sure that you fold it into a sharp and knife-like edge. The quality of the sandpaper should be 100-grit.

Make the edge slim and stiff enough. So it can fit in any tight space. Then push and pull the edge of the sandpaper back and forth using brief strokes.

Position the folded edge diagonally. Then use it as you would use a saw blade. This will ensure an extra-focused approach.

After some time, you may notice the edge wearing down. Or it may be crammed with debris. In that case, you need to fold that sandpaper again. This will create a fresh edge and you can resume the task again.

Method 2: Sanding Tight Spaces With Dowel Sanding

Another simple way is using dowels for sanding. It works very well for any tight space. If the space does not conform to any rigid 90-degree edge, dowels will work.

For this, you are going to need a 3/8 inch dowel. However, sometimes you may find it too small. You can always upgrade to a 1/2 inch dowel if that’s the case.

Then, you need to wrap the sandpaper around it first. Leave the extended edges of sandpaper. You can use it as a handle later. 

But sometimes you may not find enough space for the handle. If that happens, enclose the dowel entirely with the sandpaper. Then clasp the paper in the middle with your fingertips. This way you’ll be able to control it.

Dowels wrapped with sandpaper work especially well for curved lines and flutes. Also, any places where curves and tight spaces resist normal sanding methods.

Method 3: Sanding Tight Spaces With Sanding Wedges

One of the most typical items to become stuck in tiny areas is glue. When assembling furniture you might notice it oozing out edges or corners.

Though some woodworkers may try folding sandpaper around a knife. Then sand the glue from those corners. Although fine for bigger and wider panels, it doesn’t work well for tight spaces.

So you will just have to apply another method. That is, you need to make wedges for sanding tight corners.

For that, cut a 1/4 by 3/4 by 3-inch wood piece into a sharp and long wedge. You can make the wedge a bit smaller if you want. Next, you need to fold sandpaper over that sharp edge. And it’s ready to use.

Now you can sand inside the tightest corners with it.

The wedge functions the same as a surgical tool. This allows sanding in short and focused strokes. Making the process of sanding tight corners effortless!

Method 4: Sanding Tight Spaces With Sticky Sandpaper

Another way of sanding tight spaces easily is to use sticky sandpaper. It’s a recent invention in sandpaper. The peel-off backing in this type of sandpaper enables them to stick to almost anything.

Cut the sandpaper in a way so it can fit any type of dowel or wedge. Use scissors for this. Now fold the 2 pieces concurrently. Keep in mind, the goal is to create a piece of small and saw-like equipment. So it can easily reach any tight spot. Once you’re done doing that, it’s ready to use.

Sticky sandpapers are usually hard and durable. Its stiffness helps in enhancing pressure to tight places where conventional sandpapers don’t cut it.


Does a quick woodworking file work in sanding tight spaces?

This type of woodworking file is convenient to sand in tight spaces. Simply cut sandpaper so it fits around a stain stir stick. Use all-purpose glue to attach it to that stick and it’s ready to use.

Which sander is used for corner sanding?

The detail sanders work very well as they’re specially designed for sanding the corners. This type of sander does a great job in reaching tight corners. Plus, you can sand by hand in case you don’t want to use a wedge.

How do you sand small crevices?

Fold the sandpaper into a knife-edge cylinder so it will fit any tight crevices. Then clasping the sandpaper, push and pull that sharp edge back and forward with small strokes. Position it diagonally so it will act as a saw blade and serve its purpose.

Wrapping Up

We hope we’ve answered your questions about how to sand in tight spaces? Now you’re all ready to sand those nooks and crannies.

Just one more tip, always make sure there’s proper lighting where you are sanding the project. Bright light will help you detect any defects in the surface and fix them.

That’s all for now. Have a great day!

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