Skip to content

How to Sand Concrete With a Sander? Complete guide

sand concrete with a sander

You may have heard that sand concrete with a sander can be an effective way to smooth out surfaces damaged by years of wear and tear and improve the appearance of your home, but you might not know where to start with this project. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn everything you need about sanding concrete with a sander and making your old concrete look brand new again!

Are you confused about the thing “Can we sand concrete with a sander”?

Yes, sanding concrete can be done with various power tools. The only things that matter are how tough your surface is and what kind of finish you’re going for. Suppose your concrete floor sander is made from cement or some other extremely hard material.

In that case, even an orbital sander will have trouble progressing without gouging out chunks and splintering dust all over your floor or wall. For surfaces like these, it’s best to bring in heavy equipment like grinders and jackhammers or hire someone else! On top of that, different kinds of finishes require different tools.

Steps to sand concrete with a sander.

Determine your sanding task. Determine whether or not you need to rent a sander. Determine if you have access to the sand. You’ll want to pick the appropriate sander for the job- so don’t forget about the other options! Now it’s time to prepare the area where you’re going to work. There are two steps here- clean up before starting and prepare for possible messes during the project.

1: Obtain all necessary supplies (paper, dust mask, etc.) Preparation

If you’re new to sanding, you must have all of your equipment and materials ready before you begin. The last thing you want is to rush around while trying to lay down sheets of sandpaper or make repairs as your project takes shape. Ensure all necessary supplies (paper, dust mask, etc.) are on hand. 

Wear gloves and safety goggles if possible both can save plenty of headaches. In preparation for sanding bare concrete flooring, use a concrete cleaner (or an environmentally-friendly alternative) to remove any grease or oils from previous coatings.

2: Clean workspace Preparation Process

It saves you time, ensures safety, and increases accuracy when sanding. The entire room should be clean and well-lit for an optimal experience, so find an area that is large enough for your sander but also includes enough space for storage of all necessary items. If there are any pre-existing holes or cracks in your floor, cover them before sanding begins. 

Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to protect your work area from dust and debris. It’s also important to ensure adequate ventilation; check in advance what type of exhaust system your workspace has. A wet/dry vacuum connected through a central duct will create adequate airflow while keeping most dust inside.

3: Prepare for potential messes during the sanding process (don’t wear nice clothes) 

During the sanding process, it can be messy as well. Get ready for that and make sure your clothes don’t get stained. Wear an old T-shirt, shorts or something like that before starting sanding. It will help you not to ruin your nice clothes.

During the sanding process, it can be messy as well. Get ready for that and make sure your clothes don’t get stained. Wear an old T-shirt, shorts or something like that before starting sanding. It will help you not to ruin your nice clothes.

4 – Get ready to sand! 

If you want a smoother finish, use wet-dry sandpaper or invest in an electric sander. A handheld sander can get into tight corners and create consistent results much more quickly than hand-sanding—but it’s not your only option. If you have access to an orbital (or random) sander, either stationary or portable, try that out first; it’ll allow you more control than simple hand sanding and might reduce your overall sanding time.

You can also check out our other related article, Sanding hardwood floors by hand:

Why do we sand concrete with a sander?

 sand concrete with a sander
  • You would want to sand concrete with a sander for many reasons. For example, if you own an older home with cracking in your concrete, sanding it down is one of your best bets for revitalizing its appearance. 
  • Additionally, concrete often has contaminants (like metal shavings or even paint), which can lead to further issues like rust or corrosion that won’t be addressed until it’s sanded out of existence. 
  • You would want to sand concrete with a sander for many reasons. For example, if you own an older home with cracking in your concrete, sanding it down is one of your best bets for revitalizing its appearance.
  •  Concrete often has contaminants (like metal shavings or even paint), which can lead to further issues like rust or corrosion that won’t be addressed until it’s sanded out of existence. 
  • In addition to giving a facelift to your cracked and chipped sidewalk, the process also helps harden the surface by removing excess moisture and rebinding the old material together. Plus, when combined with other processes such as acid washing, etching primer/sealer into the cracks after drying gives a stronger adhesion between each layer, so water doesn’t seep through easily.

Method to sand concrete with a sander.

Some different methods and technologies can be used to sand concrete. Some of these include using sanders, vibrating tools, and power grinders. The type of machine you choose will depend on the type of material you’re working with and how smooth you want your finished product to be. For example, suppose you’re applying an acrylic finish or painting over your concrete floors.

In that case, it’s best to use a vibrating sander as it does not remove any materials from your surface (and helps prevent scratches). If you’re removing old paint or residue from your concrete floor, an orbital sander may work better for you since it will strip away old paint layers and help even out uneven concrete surfaces.

Safety Consideration

When sanding concrete with a sander, you should always wear protective eyewear, including safety goggles and face shields. The grit from concrete can scratch or chip your eyes if it gets into them. If you have respiratory problems or allergies, wear an N95 mask to avoid breathing in any dust kicked up during sanding. Standing for long periods is also physically exhausting. Be sure to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water throughout your day.

Tips to sand concrete with a sander.

There are some things you should know before using your sander on concrete. 

  • The first is that even if you’re not planning on sanding for too long, ensure your sander has sufficient charge in its battery. There’s nothing worse than running out of power mid-job and having to break apart your workpiece so that you can get back up and running again. 
  • Another important tip is to use an anti-static wrist strap when sanding on concrete. You don’t want any electrically charged particles attached to your clothing and then transferred onto anything else you touch, like metal or glass surfaces (or people!). Take precautions to keep everything clean and safe!
  • A skim coat is typically made from cement, water, and aggregate (in other words, sand). To create the layer of skim coat material needed for effective coverage, it’s best to apply it over small areas at once. If this material dries out before being used, it becomes very difficult to spread evenly across the surface area desired.
  • Always be careful when working with heavy pieces of machinery such as a sander around small children or pets. Be aware of potential hazards and wear appropriate safety gear while performing these tasks! 
  •  If you feel like you need some extra power, invest in an air compressor. This will allow you to run your sander for extended periods without worrying about recharging or stopping frequently.

Things to Avoid

 sand concrete with a sander

Using too much water, not enough water, or letting it dry too quickly. The best way to go about sanding concrete is like any other wood project—take your time and use as few tools as possible. Treat it more like refinishing furniture than construction work; you should do just fine.

1. Avoid sanding concrete without Glasses

Thousands of people injure their eyes each year by not wearing safety glasses. If you’re doing your sanding and don’t want to be one of them, remember that a pair of safety glasses is always better than no pair. Even if you have vision problems, it’s much safer to wear safety glasses when working with concrete or other dust-producing projects.

If you want an extra layer of protection for your eyes, try using clear dust masks for eye protection when working in high dust environments like concrete.

2. Always sweep up excess dust before sanding.

Dust left on your floor after you sweep or vacuum can get sucked into your sander and clog it, slowing or even stopping it. Make sure you leave no dust behind before moving on to sanding. If any dust is visible, use a brush or broom to clean it up.

If the sander starts feeling heavy as you over an area of the concrete, stop and take care of the problem. Otherwise, you may end up with unevenly sanded concrete areas in different stages of roughness due to too much pressure from the machine.

3. Keep the sander clean and in good condition.

To ensure that your sander is operating at peak performance, you will want to ensure that your sander is kept clean and in good condition. The easiest way to do so is simply by vacuuming it out after each use, but particles can build up and make their way into other areas of your house or workplace over time.

The best way to avoid getting anything other than sand in your sander is by using paper bags for all your sanding needs.

4. Wear gloves 

If you have been close to someone who has had their skin abraded (have been in an accident, or even just had their skin rubbed against sandpaper), you know that cement can be very abrasive. Make sure you wear gloves when handling the surface of cement or anything else on-site as well as when preparing any other materials. Have one bucket for clean water and another for used water that contains all of your soap or solvent.

5. Never apply water directly either during or after use

Instead, clean your tools and equipment when you’re done by spraying them down with water or sweeping them lightly with a wet broom or hose. And never use anything that could damage cement, like steel wool or motorized grinders. Finally, never work on just one area at once: make sure to smooth out all of your work every so often as you proceed. Using these tips, sanding concrete can be fun and safe for everyone!

Types of sanders that you can use to sand concrete with a sander.

There are so many tools that can be used to sand concrete, but here, we have listed 10 types of sanders that can be used.

1) Random Orbital Sanders

These sanders have a spinning circular head and work in an orbital motion. They come in either electric or air-powered versions. The discs are usually made of abrasive material, like aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, garnet, or diamond. The discs can be wet for heavy-duty jobs like removing rust from steel pipes. But they need water to work. 

Random Orbital Sanders do not produce as much dust as standard hand sanders because the rotation of the discs decreases the impact on the surface being worked on. However, they do not leave a consistent finish due to the natural fluctuations that occur when working in an orbital motion.

2) Belt Sanders

This type of sander has an abrasive belt and works on any surface level. One way to use this machine is by first applying a wet coat of sanding sealant over the concrete’s surface. The sealant helps the process go faster and easier by making it less likely for the sandpaper to clog up or peel off. It also creates a protective layer for your concrete that lasts for about one year but can be reapplied in between coats as needed. 

The belt sander should be used at medium speeds with moderate pressure for best results; too much pressure can damage the concrete. As you’re using it, you’ll need to rotate the blade periodically, so it doesn’t create grooves in your finished product.

3) Hand Sanders

This is the most basic type of sander, but they are great for doing smaller jobs and getting into tight spaces. The belt sander can remove old paint or varnish from wood. You’ll need an air compressor for this job. Belt sanders come in various shapes and sizes, depending on what you need them for. 

The circular saw has a rotating blade that cuts through wood, plastic, aluminum, or metal. The circular saw is one of the more popular tools in any workshop. One common use of the circular saw is cutting boards with nails. A die grinder is a powerful tool often used by welders because it can be fitted with attachments such as wire brushes to clean welding joints and parts.

4) Rotary Saws 

Rotary saws are designed to cut through hard materials like tile and stone. Unlike other saws, they have a circular blade that spins at high speeds while the teeth on the bottom edge of the blade cut into the material. For this reason, it’s important always to wear protective gear when operating machines, such as gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs, and heavy-duty work clothes or aprons.

5) Wire Brush Sanders

A good wire brush sander does an excellent job at taking away material quickly and efficiently, but it can be hard on your machine. The nylon bristles of these sanders make quick work of your project, but they also wear down on your motor’s bearings. Depending on how much you use yours, it may be worth investing in another if yours begins to slow down or shake while you’re using it.

6) Drum Sanders 

Sanders for every purpose: If you need to sand concrete or wood, drum sanders are available. We will look at how these machines work and what it takes to use them. We’ll also give you tips on getting high-quality results from your drum sander. Drum sanders can be used to grind away paint or remove old flooring layers. They can even help level out uneven floors, making them perfect for those looking to make their custom home gym.

7) Drywall Finishers

For example, if you’re tiling over drywall or installing hardwood flooring over existing drywall, you may need someone who specializes in finishing out an area. Otherwise, if you have drywall skills, feel free to skip this step and move on to tiling or laying floors. Just make sure your contractor knows what he’s doing (in other words, ask for references). If possible, I recommend hiring another person who does nothing but finish work.

8) Orbital Palm Sanders

Orbital palm sanders are multipurpose electric tools that are useful for sanding jobs requiring intricate detail work. These palm sanders mount onto your hand and spin up to 12,000 rpm. Their small size allows them to fit into tight spaces, making them great for touch-ups or removing paint from hard-to-reach areas. Unfortunately, they aren’t very powerful and can cause damage to solid surfaces if you press too hard.

9) Wallpaper Strippers 

Wallpaper strippers remove wall coverings, such as wallpaper or border papers from interior walls. These tools are not very different from hand scrapers. They may include a wooden or plastic handle with an angled blade affixed at one end. The blade is often shaped like a half-moon or quarter-circle and is secured in place by screws or an adhesive strip.

10) Sponges

If you’re working in a small or hard-to-reach area, or are worried about exposing your sander too much, look for sponges that fit over your sander’s pad. These are usually sponge disks or folded pieces of sponge with some form of Velcro attachment. The idea is similar to using an abrasive disk; when sanding on sponges, you need more pressure, making them ideal for corners and crevices.

Frequently asked questions about sand concrete with a sander

A sander is one of many tools you can use to finish concrete. It’s common for workers in outdoor industries (including some contractors) to sand concrete. Here are some FAQs on when and how you should use a sander and other solutions you can try if sanding isn’t your best option.

What kind of power source do I need?

Many sanders run on electricity, but some plug into an outlet via a cord. (That being said, these plug-in models are usually much larger and heavier than their cordless counterparts.) If you need to move your sander around a lot—or if you’re working outdoors on a job site—we recommend opting for cordless.

Can I only use this tool outside? 

Some say it’s perfectly okay to sand concrete inside. After all, concrete is only vulnerable when exposed to direct contact with moisture, so you’re unlikely to damage your home if you do so. But just because you can doesn’t mean that you should; we recommend taking care of any sanding projects outdoors for better results.

How often should I sand my concrete?

It’s important to sand your concrete often. By doing so, you will be able to extend its life. Two factors can determine how often you should sand concrete; however, these factors depend on the type of material used for your driveway. For example, asphalt drives last longer than concrete ones. Also, where it is located will determine how quickly it deteriorates and requires resealing.

What about additional treatments like etching or acid staining?

In addition to sanding, there are other steps you can take to smooth out the concrete. One of these is etching (spraying your floor with an acid that breaks down any remaining cement residue), which can enhance your floor’s appearance and make it easier for stains and dyes to penetrate. 


This is how we sand concrete with a sander. Now may you have to know how we do it, and hopefully, you are ready to start sanding your concrete floors. Remember, to get the best results, ensure you have enough time. Don’t try sanding when you are tired or on something that may slow down your reactions. Make sure that no one is behind or around while you are sanding, and most importantly, have fun!

About Sanders Logo

Why Trust About Sanders?

When it comes to the world of sanding and sanders, you need a trusted source of information and guidance to ensure you achieve those perfect finishes. That's where I come in – I'm Martin, a dedicated sanding enthusiast with a relentless passion for attaining flawless surfaces. With years of hands-on experience in the sanding industry, I've honed my skills and expertise to provide you with the most reliable and accurate insights. What sets me apart is my commitment to excellence. I meticulously handpick each sander after rigorous testing, ensuring that only the best tools make it to your hands. My goal is to empower you with the knowledge and recommendations you need to tackle any sanding task confidently. When you trust About Sanders, you're putting your faith in a seasoned expert who shares your passion for perfection and strives to deliver top-notch information and reviews for every sanding challenge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *