I recently picked up some old wooden toy chests off gumtree for free and was hoping to sand them back and give them a new coat of varnish. As this is my first furniture restoration, I simply purchased a cheap second-hand Ozito sander just to get things started and to keep costs down.
My first question is what sort of sand paper would I need? The toy chests have quite a few scratches and marks from the previous owners so perhaps i'd need a medium or coarse grit paper. What's your suggestion?
Probably almost goes without saying but be careful. The sandpaper you need depends on the type of timber. If its really soft you might need to be very gentle. Its better to be conservative - don't start with a rough grit. Typically you would start with a medium grit paper and then work up to a finer grit. Make sure you sand in the direction of the grain and have even strokes. If you sand across the grain you'll scratch the timber. If you're using the orbital sander rather than doing it by hand, don't apply any pressure at all - simply guide it.
Good luck. Bringing a piece of furniture back can be very satisfying.
Thanks for the advice @MartyH. I've purchased a few sheets of the 80 grit and will see how that goes. The timber is rather solid so thought i'd start with 80 and then work up to a finer grit like you've suggested.