Sanding Grit: Your Ultimate 6-Step Guide to Choosing the Right One

Struggling with uneven finishes on your woodworking project? The right sanding grit could be the solution to your woes. This article will guide you, step-by-step, through the process of choosing and using the appropriate sanding grit for various tasks.

Sanding Grit
Emilian Robert Vicol from Com. Balanesti, Romania, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What is Sanding Grit?

Sanding grit refers to the size of the abrasive particles on a piece of sandpaper. The grit size impacts how smooth or rough the finish will be. Understanding how to choose the right sanding grit is crucial for the success of your project.

Types of Sandpaper Grit

There are several types of sandpaper grit available, each suited for specific tasks:

  • Coarse (40-60 grit)
  • Medium (80-120 grit)
  • Fine (150-180 grit)
  • Very Fine (220-240 grit)

How to Choose the Right Sandpaper Grit

Follow these step-by-step instructions to choose the correct sanding grit for your project.

Step 1: Assess the Surface

Look at the surface you’re going to sand. If it’s very rough, you’ll need to start with a coarse grit.

Step 2: Determine the Desired Finish

Think about the final look you want to achieve. For a smoother finish, you will eventually transition to a finer grit.

Step 3: Test a Small Area

Before sanding the entire surface, test a small, inconspicuous area with your chosen sanding grit to ensure it gives the desired results.

See also  Sanding Dremel: A Comprehensive 5-Step Guide

Step 4: Start Sanding

Begin sanding using firm, even strokes. Pay close attention to the surface to ensure you are getting the results you want.

Step 5: Move to Finer Grits

Once you’ve achieved a relatively even surface with the coarse grit, move on to a finer grit for a smoother finish.

Step 6: Final Inspection

After sanding, inspect the surface to make sure it meets your expectations. If it does, you’ve successfully chosen and used the right sanding grit.

For more articles on sanding, click here: Sanding: Your Full-Circle Guide to Smooth Mastery

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these pitfalls to get the most out of your sandpaper grit:

  • Skipping grit numbers
  • Pressing too hard
  • Not testing a small area first


Selecting the right sanding grit is crucial for achieving the finish you desire. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of sanding.

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