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Sandpaper Grits and Their Uses – What Do Those Sandpaper Numbers Mean?

In this post: Have you ever begun a DIY project, only to wonder which sandpaper you should start with or which one to use between coats of paint or poly? Here are the most common sandpaper grits and their uses as a handy reference!


Do you know what the different sandpaper numbers mean? Do you know which sandpaper grit to use for which DIY project? Here are the most common sandpaper grits and their uses, plus a free printable reminder chart for you!

Have you ever begun a DIY project, only to wonder which sandpaper you should start with or which one to use between coats of paint or poly? Here are the most common sandpaper grits and their uses as a handy reference!

Sandpaper Grits and Their Uses

The most commonly used sandpaper grits are 80, 120 and 220. In fact, you can likely get away with having only those three grits of sandpaper on hand for typical do-it-yourself projects. You could use 120 as a medium, do all the things sandpaper, 80 grit if you want to really rough up a finish or do a little shaping and 220 grit for final sanding between coats of paint or poly. 

But if you want a little more flexibility, here is a fuller picture of the sandpaper grits and their uses.

24-26 Grit

24-26 grit sandpaper is extra coarse. It works well for very fast removal of material, hardwood flooring initial sanding.

40-50 Grit

40-50 grit sandpaper is fairly coarse. It is also good for the rapid removal of material.

60-80 Grit

Medium or 60-80 grit sandpaper is good for sanding bare wood in preparation for finishing and for the gentle removal of varnish.

100-120 Grit

Fine grit sandpaper of the 100-120 grit variety is best for sanding bare wood in preparation for finishing. It’s not suitable for removing varnish or paint from wood though.

150-220 Grit

150-220 grit sandpaper is very fine. It’s used for sanding of bare wood and some sanding between coats.

240 Grit

240 grit sandpaper is very fine and makes and excellent choice for sanding finishes between coats.

320-360 Grit

320-360 grit sandpaper is extra fine. At this grit, you star the polishing of wood.

400-600 Grit

Super fine grit sandpaper is 400-600 grit. It’s perfect for the final sanding of finishes and the final sanding of wood.

800-1000 Grit

800-1000 grit sandpaper is ultra fine. It’s used for final sanding and polishing of thick finishes.

(Source

lady sanding table

Free Printable Sandpaper Grit Cheat Sheet

If you want a printable version of the Sandpaper Grits and Their Uses, we’ve got ya covered. Just click on the image below to open the PDF version and then print and post in your garage or workshop!

Have you ever begun a DIY project, only to wonder which sandpaper you should start with or which one to use between coats of paint or poly? Here are the most common sandpaper grits and their uses as a handy reference!

There ya go! Now you have a handy reference when you tackle those DIY projects!

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