How To Sand Bamboo Sticks? In 5 Simple Steps



Nowadays, more and more people are relying on the use of bamboo due to its benefits. From gardening equipment and structural support to toothbrushes and bed sheets, bamboo is used in several areas and industries. But how to sand bamboo sticks for a smooth and proper finish?

Sanding bamboo sticks is essential to give them a smooth look and texture. Sandpaper is the best way to provide a proper finish to bamboo easily. This method always removes dirt, stains, etc., from the surface.

I have pieced this guide together to help you sand bamboo sticks properly. Here, I will also discuss a few tips and tricks relevant to the topic.

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5 Easy Steps To Sand Bamboo Sticks

Sanding the bamboo (1) sticks is a process of smoothing the surface. But it is important to ensure you follow the proper steps to sand the sticks correctly. Take a look at the steps to sand bamboo sticks:

Step 1: Clean The Bamboo Sticks

The first step of sanding these sticks is to make sure that you clean the surface properly. To remove the dust, debris, mold, etc., from the surface, clean it with soap, water, and a non-abrasive sponge.

Prepare a mixture of soap and water and apply it to the sticks. Scrub lightly with the sponge to get rid of all the pollutants. Read Here: Bamboo Stakes: Support Your Plants With Bamboo Stakes!

Step 2: Dry The Sticks

After cleaning the bamboo sticks, allow them to dry completely. Make sure to place the poles in a clean and dry place to avoid dust, dirt, etc., from attaching to the sticks again. However, don’t place the bamboo sticks under direct sunlight.

Step 3: Sand The Bamboo Sticks

Once the sticks are completely dry, take coarse sandpaper between 80 to 100 grits. Sand the poles properly with the help of this sandpaper. Make sure that you sand the bamboo along the surface of the grain.

Step 4: Remove The Sanding Residue

After sanding it with coarse sandpaper:

  1. Remove the residue from the surface by wiping it with a microfiber or clean cloth.
  2. Take a finer(2) sandpaper between 200 to 240 grits, and sand all the sticks again.
  3. Wipe the surface again after sanding them with fine sandpaper.

Step 5: Apply Varnish

Lastly, apply varnish or furniture oil on the surface. Make sure to remove any excess or residue from the poles. This will ensure the bamboo sticks look great, giving them a shiny and clean look.

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Mistakes You Should Ignore When Sanding Bamboo Sticks

A slight mistake can ruin your entire project. And there are quite a few mistakes people make when sanding bamboo sticks. Take a look at some of these mistakes that you must ignore.

1.   Sanding Opposite To The Grain:

One of the most common sanding mistakes people make is that they sand surfaces against the grain. Sanding in the opposite direction often leaves scratches and marks on the surface of the bamboo. Sanding the stick again will fix the scratches, but more sanding is needed to fix the scratches.

2.   Not Wearing Gloves:

Protecting your hand is important when sanding bamboo with a power sander. Wear protective gloves on the hand with which you hold the bamboo. This will prevent slipping and ensure the power sander does not cause injuries to your fingers and hand. Read Here: How To Make A Bamboo Bow [Easy Steps To Follow]

3.   Skipping Eyewear and Mask:

When you sand bamboo sticks, the dust flies around from the surface. This dust can go into the eyes or enter the body through the nose and mouse. And it can cause severe damage to your eyes or health issues, such as asthma and other respiratory problems. Ensure that you wear proper eyewear and mask during the sanding process.

4.   Not Sanding Evenly:

Another major mistake that people make is not sanding the bamboo sticks evenly. For a smooth texture, sanding the surface evenly is important. If you sand the sticks too much on one end and work slightly on the other side, it will look rough, and the touch will be different than expected.

5.   Not Using A Finer Sandpaper:

The bamboo sticks need to be sanded properly with coarse sandpaper, followed by a finer one. The finer sandpaper’s purpose is to ensure a smooth and even surface. Not using the finer one often makes the surface rough and ruins the varnished look. Read Here: DIY Build Bamboo Trellis For Vegetable Garden

6.   Cleaning With An Abrasive Sponge:

Cleaning the bamboo sticks with an abrasive sponge will leave scratches and marks on the surface. This will make the poles look bad and require excessive sanding to eliminate the blemishes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Bamboo Stick Need To Be Sanded?

Sanding bamboo removes dirt, dust, stains, and so on from the surface. When you sand the surface, it removes the waxy layer and ensures a smooth touch. This ensures that the bamboo is clean and that a sanded surface is easier to paint and varnish.

Can You Use Sandpaper To Sand Bamboo?

The best way to sand bamboo is to use a power sander. However, you can also rely on sandpaper to work on the surface. Make sure you use coarse sandpaper of 80 to 100 grits first, followed by a finer one of 200 to 240 grits. This will ensure that the surface is even and has a smooth texture.

Can Bamboo Be Sanded Down?

Bamboo can be sanded down with the help of power sanders or sandpapers for refinishing. Clean the bamboo sticks and allow them to dry. Take coarse sandpaper and sand the surface properly. Wipe the sticks clean and sand them again with finer sandpaper. Wipe and apply a coating of varnish.

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Bottom Line:

Bamboo sticks or poles are a common material used in construction or gardens. Refinishing the bamboo sticks is essential to give them a good look and remove dust, stains, etc. Now that you know how to sand bamboo sticks, you can do it yourself. Make sure to avoid mistakes to save both time and effort.


  1. Preparation of Surfaces & Finishing of Bamboo Products. (2012).
  2. Keep Your Bamboo Tables Looking Great. (2020, April 10). Scandinavian Furniture NZ. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from



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