Written by Marloes

How do you choose the right sandpaper?

Before you give the kitchen cabinets, dining table, doors or frames a new layer of paint or varnish, it must be sanded. Only then can you be sure that the paint adheres well to the surface. But if you choose too coarse sandpaper, you run the risk of scratching. If you choose a too-fine version, you are busy before the old layer of paint is removed. Which sandpaper grain best suits your job and what you have to pay more attention to, I tell you in this article.

1. Determine the grain of the sandpaper

Grain of sandpaper

Anyone who has ever bought sandpaper knows that every type of sandpaper has its own number. This figure, preceded by a 'p' or a 'k', stands for the amount of grains per square centimeter. The lower the number, the coarser the sandpaper. A sanding sheet with a grain size of only 60 or 80 is used to sand the roughness of rough wood and to remove old layers of paint. Then you go one step higher to finer sandpaper, to the very fine p240 when the job requires a very secure finish. For a nice and even result use fine sandpaper. Paint sandpaper is also the best choice for sanding paintwork, or between the newly applied lacquer or paint layers.

2. Choose the right size and color

Correct color sandpaper

It sounds very logical, but look carefully at the size of the sandpaper and the dimensions of the sole of your sander. If the sanding sheet is too small, you do not use the full range of the sander and that is, of course, a waste. But a too large sanding sheet does not work well either. The sandpaper is not tight against the sanding sole, so you will not get a nice result. In addition, the color can be decisive for your choice. Perhaps you have noticed that sandpaper is often red or white. You use red sanding sheets for blank wood, chipboard and metal and the white variant (which often lasts longer) for painting, filling materials and filler.

3. Attach the sandpaper

Sandpaper fastening

Depending on the sander, there are 2 ways to attach sandpaper: with Velcro or with a clamping system. If the sanding sheet is attached to the sanding pad with velcro, you can replace the sheet as needed in an instant. You simply pull off the old one and stick a new sheet. Also, the paper stays in place properly, if it is fastened with Velcro. Other sanders are equipped with two clips on the side of the sanding pad, where you hold the paper in place. The advantage of this is that you can cut your own (larger) piece of sandpaper to size and that you are not tied to the exact size of the sanding sole.

4. Get dust-free now

Dust-free sanding

Do you have a sander with an extraction system? That's nice, because that saves you a lot of cleaning up afterwards. But keep in mind that the sandpaper does not cover the holes in the sole. Use sanding paper with perforation holes that correspond to the holes in the sanding pad to ensure the extraction system works optimally. In addition, a lot of dust is released during thorough sanding. Therefore, put on a dust mask to prevent the dust from inhaling.


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