How to use sandpaper like a pro

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 20, 2022
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Why sanding is necessary to get a good result and the importance of properly using sandpaper.

If you ask everyone if you like painting, many will answer yes, as long as I don’t have to sand.

It turns out a lot of people hate that.

How to use sandpaper

Nowadays you don’t have to hate this work anymore, because so many sanding machines have been invented that, as it were, take over the work for you, provided you use the tools properly.

Sanding has a function.

This topic certainly has a function.

It is part of the preliminary work of painting.

If you wouldn’t do this preliminary work, you can see it later in your final result.

Sanding should be done to get a better adhesion between 2 layers of paint or between a substrate and a layer of paint, for example primer.

You must know how to do this.

With all surfaces, whether treated or untreated, you need to know how to do this and why.

Before smoothing, you must degrease well.

Before you start smoothing, you must first degrease well.

If you don’t do this, you will sand the grease along and this will be at the expense of good adhesion.
The purpose of smoothing is to increase the surface area so that the paint adheres better.
Even if you have bare wood, you still have to make sure that you sand well.

Just make sure to sand in the direction of the grain.

You should do this because your primer and the subsequent layers adhere better and it also aims to keep the paint job nicer for a longer period of time!

What kind of sandpaper should you use.

It is important that you know with which sandpaper you should sand a surface or surface.

If you have wood where the lacquer layer is still intact, you only need to degrease and lightly sand it with sandpaper P180 (grain size).

If you have untreated wood, you need to sand in the direction of the wood grain and make sure to sand out any bumps so that you get a smooth surface, you do this with P220.

If it is treated wood, i.e. already painted and the paint is peeling, you will first sand it with a P80, just as long as the loose paint has been sanded off.

Then sand it smooth with P180.

TIP: If you want to smooth out quickly and effectively, it’s best to use a sanding block!

Flatten with a scotch brite.

If you want to keep the wood structure of, for example, a log cabin, shed or garden fence, you have to sand it with fine-grained sandpaper.

By this I mean at least grain 300 or higher.

This way you won’t get any scratches.

Even when stain or lacquer has already been used once.

Alternatively, you can also use a scotch brite for this.

This is a sponge that gives absolutely no scratches and with which you can also get into small corners.

You do wet sanding   inside.

If you want to have something painted inside, you will also have to make it flat beforehand.

Many people do not like this in view of the dust that is released.

Especially if you level with a sander, you will get the whole house covered with dust.

However, there is also a nice alternative for this.

It is wet sanding.

I wrote an article about what it exactly means.

Read the article about wet sanding here.

 new products  are also being developed in which dust no longer has a chance.

Alabastine has such a product that does not release any dust.

This is an abrasive gel where you can sand the surface with a sponge.

The only thing you get is a wet substance with abrasives.

But you can clean it.

You can also post a comment.

Thank you very much.

Pete deVries.


I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.