When you don’t have the budget for an expensive SurfPrep Sander, but you want one so bad, what do you do? Here’s a great SurfPrep Sander Alternative to get you through!
Looking for an efficient and affordable sander alternative? This combination of a cheap sander with the use of SurfPrep Foam Pads is perfect for sanding furniture on a budget. There’s a reason it is in our list of furniture painting tools and supplies! In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this SurfPrep sander alternative and explore why it’s such a great option for your sanding needs.
When you’re painting furniture, sanding is a huge part of the process to make sure that it turns out, and looks (and feels) amazing! But, if you’re stuck sanding by hand, it can be so frustrating to sand before painting, between coats of paint and after making any repairs to your furniture.
That’s why we bought a SurfPrep Sander. Its a small sander that you can attach to foam pads, that make sanding furniture a breeze!
But, the SurfPrep Sander has a big price tag! So, what do you do if you want to make sanding furniture easier, but you can’t afford the SurfPrep Sander?
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Some of the biggest reasons to buy a 3×4 Electric Ray SurfPrep Sander is to get access to:
- their amazing foam pads
- the ability to get into corners easily
- and the vacuum compatibility to suck up dust
Learn more about our favorite SurfPrep Sander here!
But, you don’t necessarily have to buy a SurfPrep to get all of those things.
*Note: Obviously, there are more things that make a SurfPrep sander a great sander, but those 3 features are the top reasons I’ve seen for wanting to get a SurfPrep.
Not all sanders are built as well, and most budget friendly sanders don’t have variable speeds. Not to mention the SurfPrep sander is super quiet. (Until you turn your shop vac on to collect the dust haha).
If you’re just looking for the basics though, here are some alternatives to get you through!
The Best SurfPrep Sander Alternative on a Budget
So, the best Budget Friendly SurfPrep Sander Alternative, in my opinion, is the
- Ryobi (Detail) Corner Cat Sander
- You can get sander foam pads that will be close to the right size and hole spacing.
- And with the adapter, you can attach your shop vac to it to collect the dust!
All in all, getting the Ryobi sander, the shop vac, and the adapter is around a 1/3 of the price compared to getting the SurfPrep 3×4 electric sander with the hose, adapter, and shop vac setup!
More SurfPrep Sander Resources
- Is a SurfPrep Sander Worth It? My Honest Review
- SurfPrep Sander – What Happened When We Put It To The Test?
- What You Need To Get Started with a SurfPrep Sander
SurfPrep Sander Alternative
Here’s how you can turn a budget friendly sander into all of these things!
Amazing Foam Pads
These foam sanding pads are SO DARN GOOD! They make it possible to use an electric sander on curves and details!
If you try to take an orbital sander to furniture or trim, you’ll end up ruining the shape! But these foam pads contour to the shape of the furniture or trim work, so you can sand without ruining the details!
But how do you recreate that for a regular ole sander?? SurfPrep actually makes foam pads that will fit other sanders!
You can buy SurfPrep foam pads for your own
- 5″ or 6″ orbital sander
- rectangular sander
- detail (mouse) sander!
They come in the 3 different thicknesses, 5mm, 10mm, and 1/2″. They even have options with no holes or holes!
*Note: Pay attention to the hole spacing and the exact size of the foam pads compared to your sander! I can get 4 of the holes to line up with this Ryobi Sander and SurfPrep Foam Pads combination.
Check out all of the SurfPrep foam pads for other types of sanders here!
I believe these foam pads were actually made to be compatible with the high end Festool sanders, so the holes and dimensions might be a little bit off for budget friendly sanders.
If you want to learn more about Festool sanders, you should check out our Festool RTS 400 REQ Sander Review.
I think for a budget friendly option though, this is a great alternative!
Sanding Inside Corners
If you own an orbital sander, you know how big of a pain it is to sand in corners. And furniture has a lot of corners to get into!
So, instead of using an orbital sander, use a detail (mouse) sander or a rectangular sander.
Learn more about the different types of sanders for furniture here.
Both are able to get into corners because they have straight edges instead of being a circle. Enough said right?
I absolutely love that I can sand furniture inside of my home without worrying about dust flying everywhere!
So, if you want to replicate the SurfPrep, get a sander that you can attach a shop vacuum hose to! (Make sure your shop vac is powerful enough to suck up all the dust! SurfPrep recommends at least 5 HP!)
I have this Ridgid shop vac hooked up to my SurfPrep using the 1 1/4″ Ridgid hose.
This Ridgid Orbital Sander can easily hook up to either of the Ridgid Shop Vac hoses (1 1/4″ or the 2 1/2″ hose)! But, that’s an orbital sander, so it won’t help you get into the corners.
**Note: I used the 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ coupling in these photos. But I have since traded it for the 1″ to 1″ coupling. (The dimensions on the coupling indicate what size it can tighten down to, and are about 1 3/8″ wide inside before you tighten it down.) And then I attached it to the end part of my hose that attaches to other accessories.
Since the PVC is flexible, you can tighten it a little bit and get a good seal, even if the dimensions don’t exactly match the dust port or your shop vac hose.
But, you definitely want the dimensions to be close! The Ryobi detail sander has a dust port opening that is 1 3/8 inches (outside) and 1 1/8 inches (inside). And the Ridgid shop vac hose is 1 1/4 inches.
It’s definitely not the SurfPrep Sander, but if you’re on a tight budget, and want something with these features, it’s a pretty good option until you can upgrade!
Check out this video I made about my SurfPrep Sander. Near the end I show the alternative SurfPrep Sander setup!
More Sander Resources
- Best Sanders for Furniture
- Best Sanders to Remove Paint
- Sanding Before Painting Furniture
- SurfPrep VS Festool Sander Reviews
- Honest SurfPrep 5″ Orbital Sander Review
Follow us on YouTube to get more tips for painting furniture.
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