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Video tutorial: Sanding and varnishing metal – tool and technique explained

Sanding metal is not so hard at all. We'll show you this in the video tutorial.

You'd like to sand and varnish metal – and for example design a stool in a new colour? We'll show you in our video tutorial the right tools and the right sequence for sanding metal.


These materials and tools support you with sanding metal.
These materials and tools support you with sanding and varnishing metal.
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 Preparation: These tools and materials help you be able to sand and varnish metal

If you are sanding metal and would like to re-varnish – for example the legs of a stool – the following things will help you: A cordless drill/driver to separate the seating surface and legs if required, a sanding tool (e.g. multi-sander, random orbit sander or delta sander), the appropriate sanding paper with a grit of 180, a foam sanding pad for difficult-to-access places, metal cleaner and a cloth, adhesive primer with rust protection, varnish in a colour of your choice, brush and varnish roller, mouth protection, ear protectors, protective goggles, work gloves and screw clamps.

To be able to sand the metal, the metal legs of the stool are removed with a cordless drill/driver.
If you, as in our example, want to sand the metal legs of a stool, you should first unscrew them.
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 Removing the stool legs:

To ensure that you can process the metal legs thoroughly and above all cleanly, unscrew them with a cordless drill/driver as the very first thing.

The metal is sanded with a sanding device.
Now metal sanding is next.
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 Sanding metal:

With sanding paper of grit 180, you sand the metal only gently. With sanding paper of a coarser grit, notches quickly emerge. It is easiest to sand places that are more difficult to access, such as corners or curves, with an abrasive sponge.

You'd like to take industrial style home with you and totally free the metal of paint and/or varnish? Then you should rely on an angle grinder – this brushes right down to the bare metal. Caution: First familiarise yourself with the tool, so as to avoid sanding undesired notches into the metal.
A cloth is sprayed with a special metal cleaner.
After sanding, you should clean the metal with a special cleaner.
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 Removing the sanding dust:

Before varnishing, you should remove sanding dust from the metal. To do so, spray a cloth with a special metal cleaner and move evenly over the metal. Then go over it once more with water and dry it off well.

Varnishing the metal: With a varnish roller and coloured varnish.
Now you can varnish the metal – in the colour of your choice.
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 Varnishing the metal:

Now you can varnish the metal. To do so, stir the varnish and put into a tray. Ideally apply it with a roller and a brush. Instead of varnishing the metal with a thick layer, several layers applied one after the other are better for evenly distributing the colour.

If the metal is affected by rust or should your metal piece of furniture be outside, you can treat it with an anti-rust base coat before varnishing.
The metal legs, finished with a varnish, are screwed onto the seating surface with a cordless drill/driver.
As soon as you have screwed the stool legs back on, the seating furniture will give off a new glow.
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 Screwing stool legs on again:

When the varnish has dried, you can screw the seating surface and metal legs back together. If you now re-varnish or even upholster the seating surface, you create a completely new seating option for yourself. Learn in our tutorial how you can sand and varnish wood, or find out in a further tutorial how you can (re-)upholster a seating surface.

1. Separate the parts to be sanded.
2. Smooth down the metal by abrading with a multi-sander, delta sander or random orbit sander and sanding paper (grit 180).
3. Remove the sanding dust and treat the metal with a metal cleaner.
4. Wipe off with water and rub dry.
5. If required, treat the metal with an anti-rust base coat.
6. Varnish the metal according to the instructions on the packaging, e.g. the varnish can, and let dry.
7. After the varnish has hardened, screw the parts together again.