Wood Prep and the Look of a Finish
The way you prepare the wood for finishing, whether by sanding as most do, or by scraping or planing as some do, has no affect on the way the wood will look with the finish applied. Different finishes add more or less color to the wood, but if you aren’t staining the wood, the way you prepare it has no impact on the appearance under any single finish.
Nor does the grit to which you sand the wood make any difference for the appearance with the finish applied. You can sand to 120 grit or to 600 grit and you won’t see any difference after you have applied the finish.
This is somewhat counter-intuitive because the wood is glossier (shinier) when scraped, planed or sanded to a finer grit.
The way you prepare the wood does make a difference if you apply a stain, however. You should prepare all the wood exactly the same, meaning for most of us, sanding to the same final grit.
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