Sandpaper for Wood

Sandpaper for Wood

Sandpaper is a paper product with an abrasive surface that is used in smoothing rough surfaces. It come in varying grades and grits or number of abrasive particles per inch. Lower grit sandpaper is more abrasive with a rough texture while higher grit sandpaper is smoother and less abrasive. Sandpaper has a number of uses, and with the use comes a number of grits and grades to do the job. Knowing how to sandpaper, and which type to use will make you life easier, and increase the quality of your output.

sandpaper grit

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Sandpaper 101

Sandpaper works a lot like a saw, chisel, or any other cutting tool in your shop. The particles on sandpaper are made up from a number of sharp edges that cut the wood the same way a saw blade does. The only real difference is that sandpaper, unlike your saw, can’t be sharpened.

How to Fold Sandpaper

Many sanding blocks and finishing sanders are designed to use a quarter sheet of standard size sandpaper (8-1/2"x11"). Some woodworkers will cut the sandpaper into smaller pieces. Another option is to fold the sandpaper, rotating sides as it wears. If the sandpaper is folded so that two abrasive side touch, the paper will wear against itself during use.


Sandpaper is a sheet abrasive composed of particles of flint, garnet, emery, aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. These particles are mounted on paper or cloth in "open coat" or "closed coat" density.

When Should to Change Sandpaper

Few things contribute to the final look and feel of your finished project as much as sanding. In the preparation work, between coats of paint or varnish, and sometimes even after the final coat, sanding is a key ingredient. I personally think it's fun (though some people might tell me to "get a life"), especially the results it creates.

Differences in Sandpaper

Sandpaper is essential in finishing a woodworking project. The surface of a well-crafted woodworking object does not show any scratches, dings or dents in the wood. The stain and sealant will emphasize any small defect in the wood. It is very important to look the project over completely before staining. Use a bright light to inspect the project prior to applying stain and finish.


Most do-it-yourself people still refer to various grades of "sandpaper," but the proper term for these sanding sheets is "coated abrasives." There are four factors to consider when selecting any coated abrasive: the abrasive mineral, or which type of rough material; the grade, or the coarseness or fineness of the mineral; the backing (paper or cloth); and the coating, or the nature and extent of the mineral on the surface.