Choosing the right sandpaper grit can be a tricky task. It’s important to have the right grit for the job so that you can get the best results. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right grit for your project:
- Determine the type of material you will be sanding. Different materials require different grits. For example, soft woods will require a lower grit while harder woods may need a higher grit.
- Consider the finish you are looking for. If you are looking for a smooth finish, a higher grit sandpaper will be needed. If a rougher finish is desired, a lower grit sandpaper will be necessary.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions. Many manufacturers include specific instructions regarding the sandpaper grit needed for their products.
- Read the labels on the sandpaper. Most sandpaper labels will include the grit size so that you can choose the right one for your project.
- Experiment with different grit sizes. If you are unsure of the best grit for your project, try testing out different grits to determine which gives you the best results.
|Sandpaper Grit Guide|
|60-80||Extremely coarse; best for removing large amounts of wood and rounding off corners.|
|100-150||Medium grit; good for general purpose sanding.|
|180-220||Fine; used to roughen surfaces for painting|
|320||Ultra-fine; helps achieve a nearly glass-smooth texture.|
60–80 Grit: Coarse
Sandpaper grit in these low numbers cuts through old paint and rough edges with ease. It can also take off enough wood to shape and round edges. Coarse-grit sandpaper is not recommended for fine details or for edges and corners that you want to keep sharp.
100–150 Grit: Medium
The most often-used gauge of sandpaper grit is in the medium range. For most applications, it is hard to go wrong with sandpaper grits in this range. You can work down difficult materials by applying more pressure to your workpiece. Or, you can preserve fine materials by letting up on the pressure. This grit is generally used for bare wood surfaces.
Seldom used on the first run-through, unless the surface is already smooth to the touch, fine-grit sandpaper in this range is typically for second or third sandings. Sometimes, fine-grit sandpaper is used to roughen glossy paint in preparation for applying another coat. Bare wood that will be stained often should not be sanded with higher than 220-grit paper. Fine or ultra-fine sandpaper grits are used for furniture work.
320 Grit: Ultra-Fine
Ultra-fine sandpaper grit is used to achieve another level of smoothness on all types of materials. With wood, ultra-fine grits usually are reserved for smoothing painted surfaces between coats. Many finer grits are used for wet sanding, which creates a fine, gritty slurry that complements the sandpaper’s efforts at smoothing.