It’s important to sand in order to prepare the surface for painting by removing flaws (also known as pimples), resulting in a nice, smooth finish while also creating adhesion by generating tiny, rough ridges for the paint to adhere to.
Choosing the right sandpaper for a woodworking, painting, or finishing project may make all of the difference; but deciding among the many various types of sanding pads available might be difficult. Here are some pointers to help you choose the best sandpaper for your next endeavour.
Sandpaper is graded numerically from 0 to 400, with lower numbers representing coarser grit and higher numbers representing finer sandpaper.
Because coarse sandpaper creates deeper scratches, start with the finest sandpaper that will take care of the task easily and progress to finer grits. Here are some popular sandpaper grit sizes, as well as suggestions for using them on various projects.
40 to 80 Grit Sandpaper
Coarse grit sandpaper is great for rough sanding and removing stock quickly, such as sanding the edge of a sticking door with a belt sander.
100 to 150 Grit Sandpaper
For most applications, coarse sandpaper is a good place to begin, from sanding rough wood to removing old varnish.
180 to 220 Grit Sandpaper
For removing the gouges produced by coarser grits on unfinished wood and for lightly sanding between coats of paint, use finer grit sandpaper.
320 to 400 Grit Sandpaper
Fine-grit sandpaper is used for light sanding between coats of paint, as well as metal and other hard surfaces.
How much should you sand?
The most difficult sanding job is to be sure you’ve removed all flaws from the surface and then all scratches from each preceding grit before moving on to the next. Most of us sand more than we need because we’re not certain whether these flaws and scratches have been eliminated.
Experience is the key to learning when you’ve sanded enough. However, there are two techniques that may help you. Take a close look at the wood in a low-angle reflected light, such as from a window or a light fixture on a stand, after removing the dust. Second, wet the wood and view it from various angles while looking into a reflected light.
Sanding is a time-consuming process, and it may seem to be an endless one. Any flaws will be enhanced when the final finish coat is applied if you don’t sand properly.
The warm, rich glow of a wood floor, the smoothness of a freshly painted wall or ceiling, and the high sheen of a recently varnished tabletop are all indicators that a task has been completed properly. And they’re all possible thanks to the meticulous sanding.
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