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  • Why Do You Need to Use Sandpaper? Is It to Make the Surface Smooth or Rough?
Why Do You Need to Use Sandpaper? Is It to Make the Surface Smooth or Rough?

Why Do You Need to Use Sandpaper? Is It to Make the Surface Smooth or Rough?

The benefits of using sandpaper and what it actually helps our paint projects to achieve

To achieve a nice smooth finish, it's essential to sand to help prepare the area for painting application, by sanding you are removing imperfections (also known as pimples), creating a nice smooth finish while at the same time adding adhesion by developing small, rough ridges for the paint to stick to.

Using the right sandpaper can make all the difference in a woodworking, painting, or finishing project; but choosing between the many different types of sandpaper that are available can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to choose the best sandpaper for your next project.

Sandpaper is rated numerically according to the size of the grit particles. The lower the number, the coarser the grit; and the higher the number, the finer the sandpaper.

Since coarse sandpaper leaves deeper scratches, start with the finest sandpaper that will tackle the project easily and work your way up to finer grits. Here are some common sandpaper grit sizes and what projects to use them one.

Common Sandpaper Grit Sizes

40 to 80 Grit Sandpaper: Coarse grit sandpaper is a good choice 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: Medium grit sandpaper makes a good starting point for most projects, from sanding unfinished wood to removing old varnish.

180 to 220 Grit Sandpaper: Finer grit sandpaper is great for removing the scratches left by coarser grits on unfinished wood and for lightly sanding between coats of paint.

320 to 400 Grit Sandpaper: Very fine grit sandpaper is used for light sanding between coats of finish and to sand metal and other hard surfaces.

How Much to Sand

The biggest sanding challenge is to know when you have removed all the flaws on the surface and then when you have removed all the scratches from each previous grit so you can move on to the next. Being sure that these flaws and scratches are removed is the reason most of us sand more than we need to.

A lot of knowing when you have sanded enough is learned by experience. But there are two methods you can use as an aid. First, after removing the dust, look at the wood in a low-angle reflected light – for example, from a window or a light fixture on a stand. Second, wet the wood then look at it from different angles into a reflected light.

Pushing sandpaper often seems like an endless job. But without proper sanding, any imperfections will be magnified when the final finish coat is applied. It’s a crucial part of the surface preparation process – only when it’s done should you apply your varnish, spray paint or whatever your project requires.

The flawless gleam of an oak floor, the smoothness of a painted wall or ceiling, the high shine of a varnished tabletop are all signs of a job done well. And all are made possible by the patient, methodical application of sandpaper.

For more tips and tricks regarding sandpaper and achieve a flawless finish speak to your nearest Inspirations Paint store.