How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint

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In this article, we will be sharing with you all How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint. Orbital Sanders is one of the best options for removing paint. But do you know how to use an orbital for stripping paint off? It can be a little confusing especially for the newbies here.

But nothing to worry about anymore as in the below article, we have shared a complete step-by-step guide on How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint. We have divided the guide into 5 simple steps which you will have to follow in the given sequence and you will be good to go.

How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint

How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint

Given below is a step-by-step guide on How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint. Make sure to follow the below guide in the same sequence as mentioned below. Also, ensure that you have performed each and every mentioned step so as to not miss out on any thing.

Step 1: Prep Up

First things first. Safety First! Even if an orbital sander is not a potentially dangerous device, precautions are always better than a cure. We would recommend you to wear your safety goggles, mask and an ear plug to not get affected by the dust.

Another major point while preparing to use an orbital sander is to clear your workspace. Also, cover the areas such that no or less dust will spread in other rooms. Another helpful piece of advice would be to keep a vacuum cleaner nearby so as to clean up any mess right away.

Note – Since we are using an air orbital for removing paint, we would recommend you to replace the orbital sander pad for paint removal.

Step 2: Know the base

Assuming that you have followed all the guidelines mentioned in Step 1, you can now start with knowing the base of your paint that you want to remove. You should never use a chemical paint remove for anything else than molded baseboards. 

We would suggest you to use a sander. A sander will help you remove the paint and thus let you understand what base it has. It will also protect the base from getting damaged while stripping the paint off.

Step 3: Prep the Surface

By now you might have understood that using an orbital sander for removing paint is very easy but the preparation is the difficult part. While you are preparing the surface for using an orbital sander to remove paint, below are the things you need to take care of. Note that, if you skip these, there would be consequences you would not want.

  1. Cleaning the base – This is a crucial step. You will have to clean the base before you use an orbital sander for paint removal. You can use any cleaning agent or a grease-cutting cleaner for this purpose. Just note that after you have cleaned the surface, let it dry up for about 12 hours.
  2. Taping the boundaries – Not doing this will cause sanding in areas that you do not want. Simply put some tape for marking the boundaries. This will help you in precision.
  3. Applying paint remover carefully – After you have followed the above-mentioned steps, now apply paint remover on the surface from where you want to remove the paint. Give it a little time and the paint remover will do its magic. In case there is any stubborn paint patch left, you can take the sander to strip off that paint.

Step 4: Sand the Paint Off

Now comes the part to sand the paint away and remove paint using orbital sander. Whenever you are sanding the paint, just make sure that you know how different sandpaper sizes affect the sanding results. The lower grit sander will be, the rougher it will get.

The ideal grit size to use when sanding off paint is 60-grit, 80-grit, and 150-grit sandpaper. 60 Grit sandpaper – The 60 grit sandpaper will be helpful for covering a larger are in a shorter time period. 80 Grit sandpaper – After using the 60 grit sandpaper, shift to 80 grit one and then to the150 Grit sandpaper.

While you are doing so, make sure to vacuum every time so as to restrict getting the dust all over the place. Just note that if you are removing paint off surfaces like a car, then you will have to use as large as 600-grit sandpaper.

Step 5: Finish like a Pro

After you are done sanding the paint off, check the entire area from where you removed the paint for any imperfections. Do not worry if there are any or many, you can easily get done with them.

In case there are any cracks or holes, then you can cover them using putty. You will have to use the pre-stain conditioner for keeping the color of the base intact and not letting it look as if blemished. Also, make sure to prime the surface for polishing or varnish.

That was it all! I am hoping that you have very well removed the paint using an orbital sander. If did the right way, orbital sanders can be very helpful in easily removing paint.


What grit should I start sanding with?

The ideal grit range for starting sanding is 60 or 80-grit.

Can you remove the paint with an orbital sander?

Yes, you can easily remove paint with an orbital sander as this sander rotates and vibrates which mitigates the risk of leaving any distinct patterns on the surface.

Is a random orbital sander good for removing paint?

Absolutely yes. The random orbital sander is good for removing paint as it can easily remove old and rough paint. With a random orbital sander, you will get faster results.

Can you use an orbital sander on walls?

Yes, orbital sanders can be used on walls for small drywall projects in single rooms or walls and smaller rooms. For using it on the ceilings, you might have to use a ladder.

Which sander is the best for removing paint?

The orbital sander is the best choice for removing paint.

Can I use a belt sander to remove the paint?

You can certainly use a belt sander for removing paint, but it is not something we would recommend.

Concluding Words

I hope with the help of the above article, you all have understood How to Use an Orbital Sander to Remove Paint. One of the most crucial things while removing paint using an orbital sander is to pick the right and most suitable sandpaper for your base. This can make things way better and easier.

In case you are stuck at any of the above steps of usage or have any questions or tips, then feel free to drop them in the comment section below. We will be glad to hear from you!

Stay tuned with us for more such helpful posts!

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