Manufacturers commonly use particleboard with a faux wood grain finish in building furniture for the office or home. Over time, this finish wears through. Sanding prepares the furniture for painting to extend its life.
Remove any hardware
Drawer pulls, knobs and hinges get in your way while working. The simplest way to eliminate the problem is to remove the hardware as the first step of the job. If you plan to reuse the existing hardware, set it aside. If you are installing new hardware, fill the existing holes with wood filler.
Sand the surface
Use 120-grit sandpaper to sand the surface. You need not remove all the faux wood finish. The goal is to create enough abrasion on the surface to allow the paint to adhere properly. If there are rough areas where water has soaked through to the particle board, sand these areas smooth.
Remove the dust
Remove any dust you have created as you sand. A shop vacuum helps to keep dust under control. Wipe all surfaces with a damp rag or tack rag to remove any remaining dust before painting.
Paint over the faux grain
Apply primer to the sanded surface. A spray primer works best for some surfaces. Lightly sand the primer using 220-grit sandpaper, and wipe away the dust before applying the finish coat.