I am working on a table that is a potential huge problem. It is a beautiful book matched mahogany table but is particle board substructure. A large chandler fell on it and created some rather large compression dents.
1st. Added just enough water to the dents to lift them before stripping. After stripping cleaned with lacquer thinner so not to cause any unwanted puckering on the substructure.
2nd. 3 piss coats of sanding lacquer sealer then sand with 320 and repeat.
3rd. 3 coats of finish in this case High Gloss lacquer. 1 piss coat and 2 heavy coats.
4th. Wet sand with 400.
Now I use tap water cool water and few drops of dish washing liquid.
Begin with a sanding block and the paper wraped around it. Start with a light touch so not to burn through the finish.
I go over a single area a minumum of 7 times and since I am right handed I start on my rt. and move lt.
Now for the details' As I am rapidly half with of the table I am listening for the sound of the finish to soften from a raspy sound to a smooth sound. as the sound softens I slide a little left and cut the finish down to that smooth sound.
1 of the best helpers or tricks I have used in learning how to make the paper last is to get as much saliva mixed in with the water. I dip tobacco so having enough is not a problem, if you do not dip do not start use gum LOL.
You want to create a nice foam of white residue when sanding and try not to lift the paper off the table, that will increase the likelihood of clogging to the paper. Add saliva as you go.
Now once you are to the other end the edges are left with unsanded areas and you can see it in the shinny little creators left. You can take the sand paper and something I would not advise for the novice, work agaise the grain length-wise but lightly and most times only about 1" of 2 in withe is needed to remove the area that was not sanded. Then sand out with the grain lightly to remove cross grain scratches. Now do the other side.
5. on to the next step; apply 3 oats for finish 1 piss coat 2 regular. Now wet sand with 400 lightly then 600 lightly then move to 1200 but a little more pressure will be needed and then 2000 gt. Once you have finished with 2000 you are ready to buff with fine Liberon steel wool and wax.