Whether you want to keep your furniture in good condition or freshen up the paint on your car, you need to know how to do manual sanding, which can become a real art for DIYers and professionals alike. In this sense, it is very important to know more about the types of sandpaper and their different uses.
The choice of sandpaper can be confusing if you want to know how to sand a wall or any other type of surface. For this reason, we mention everything you need to know about sandpaper so you can choose the type that best suits your needs.
What are the grit types of sandpaper?
The higher the number of the paper, the finer the grain, so a sandpaper with a grit numbering of 200 is 2 times finer than a sandpaper of grit 100. In this sense, the numbering expresses the density of the grain . Therefore, the higher the number, the less abrasive the paper will be.
The extra coarse grain is usually one with a number from 16 to 40 and is useful in a large number of jobs, such as sanding wood, removing layers of paint or varnish before doing more delicate work, and even sanding walls. On the other hand, the coarse grain has a numbering from 50 to 60 and, in general, this type of paper serves as sandpaper for metal, mainly on exterior structures, such as fences, window frames, etc.
Among the sandpaper for wood, the most used option is the medium grain, between 80 and 100, which is suitable for correcting small damages. There is also the medium fine or fine grain, which has a numbering of 120 to 150 and is appropriate for the last stages of work. Similarly, to polish wood and obtain a smooth surface to the touch, then you should use very fine grit sandpaper , which is between 180 and 240, suitable for the last sanding before painting.
Finally, there is the extra-fine grain that has a number of 280 or more, which is mainly intended for making small corrections, since it is a low-abrasive sandpaper.
The importance of defining the desired finish
All types of sandpaper are very useful depending on the finish you want. For example, to sand a piece of furniture before applying the varnish, a 180-grit sandpaper is appropriate. However, if you are making a piece of furniture with raw wooden boards , then you should start with a coarser grit sandpaper, such as 80 When finished, you can use a 240 grit sandpaper for the most delicate finishes.
On the other hand, it is important to mention that, whether it is paper for manual use or sheets for electric sanders, the grain is always expressed in the same way. The only thing that changes is the durability of the grain depending on the support and the quality of the manufacturer.
The different sandpaper supports
Many people do not usually take this aspect into account, but it is important to specify what type of support the abrasive is adhered to, since this could define its useful life. In this sense, sandpaper for manual use is usually made of paper and is mainly used for precision work , where it is necessary to sand a small or delicate surface.
Sander pads have a backing made of abrasive canvas or canvas, which is resistant to scratches, friction and high temperatures. Therefore, it is a more resistant sandpaper, suitable for working on large surfaces. As for the presentation of sandpaper, it is available in discs, sheets, rolls, strips and even tips. The latter is a drill sandpaper that comes in different shapes to easily get into very tight places.
Abrasives that make up the sandpaper sheets
There are three main types of sandpaper, among which flint stands out, which represents the popular sandpaper that is normally used in wood polishing. In the same way, it is possible to use it with an electric sandpaper to polish varnishes or plaster.
On the other hand, there is corundum on paper or canvas, made up of a crystallized alumina oxide, suitable for sanding very hard wood or very old paint. In addition, it is useful for easy removal of varnishes and sealants. Corundum sandpaper is therefore suitable for heavy duty work.
Also, there is the emery cloth, which is suitable for rusty metals, uneven and curved surfaces. It can also provide a long life, as it typically offers a coarse grit that requires extra strength to optimally sand rough surfaces. As for the manufacture, the emery cloth is made with a mixture of minerals that have been fixed on canvas.
Finally, it is possible to find a water-based sandpaper, made with abrasive products that can resist contact with liquids. It is usually used on metal parts, for example when repairing the surface of a car.
The origin of sandpaper
The first prototypes of sandpaper date back to the 12th century in China. At this time, a parchment presentation was used that was mainly composed of seeds, grains of sand and fragments of seashells. The version of sandpaper we know today was developed in 1833 by John Oakey, who at his company created gluing and manufacturing techniques to compose sandpaper.
To conclude, we can affirm that sanding is one of the most important DIY processes, but to achieve a surface without roughness or with specific textures, it is necessary to know how to select the appropriate sandpaper for each need.