April 27, 2022

Sandpaper Tips You Wish You Knew Sooner

Pro Tips For How To Maximize the Use of Your Sandpaper

The flawless shine of a tabletop, the smoothness of a wall, and the polished look of a cabinet all have one thing in common. An indication of a superb sanding job. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen projects that would have been much improved if they were sanded properly. A good sand depends on which sandpaper you choose and how you do it. Done the right way, the end result delivers a finished look. Rolled up Sandpaper

Sure, it takes time and some elbow grease, but sanding is well worth the effort considering the difference it makes in the end result. If you are going through all the trouble to do it right, you might as well make sure that you are maximizing the use of your whole sandpaper. I’m amazed at how much sandpaper I go through with each project, and I always want to make sure I’m using every square inch of it.

In this video and blog, I’ll show you some tips designed to help you get the most out of your sandpaper.  

Getting To The Nitty-Gritty Of Sandpaper

Knowing what type of sandpaper to use for your project is key for good results. There is a range of grades or grits that refer to the size of the abrasive particles in the sandpaper.  

The courser the grit, the larger the particles. Coarse sandpaper sands more aggressively r and leaves a rougher surface than smaller grit. The general rule of thumb is to start with the grit coarse enough to quickly remove surface imperfections and follow with incrementally finer grits. Each grit erases the scratches from the one before until the scratches are undetectable and the surface smooth. Sandpaper grits are numbered, the higher the number, the finer the grit.

This can also mean keeping a lot of different kinds of sandpaper on hand, which means you may want a system to organize your sandpaper.

HoMan folds sandpaper into thirdsw Can I Use The Whole Quarter Sheet? 

I’ve found that if I pick up a  quarter sheet of sandpaper and just start sanding, I wear out the sandpaper in a random pattern. Then, when I pick up the paper for the next project, I have to work around the worn spots.

To get the absolute most out t of a sheet of sandpaper fold it into thirds. I prefer to use quarter-sheets as they are a convenient size. Once you’ve used up one side, flip the paper over or refold the sections to provide a fresh surface. Folding it into thirds allows you to use the whole surface - every square inch - and also makes the sandpaper stiffer and less apt to crumple. 

How Do You Sand A Round Object?

Man applies duct tape to back of sandpaper strip

When it comes to sanding round objects, it’s better to have a piece of sandpaper that’s tougher and more flexible. To add that strength, I use duct tape to reinforce the back. 

My solution is to take a utility knife and cut a wide strip off a full sheet of sandpaper. Then, apply duct tape to the backside of the paper. It’s best to butt the edges of the tape against one another rather than overlapping them. Once I’ve covered the entire back with tape, I flip the paper over and using a straight edge utility knife, trim off the excess.

With your reinforced piece Man uses sandpaper on round objectsof sandpaper wrap it around a dowel (or just about any round workpiece) and pull the ends back and forth. 

For your next project, you’ll be able to put these sandpaper tips to use and take advantage of every inch of your sandpaper. For more tips on sanding, check out my article on how to properly sand wood by hand

Posted in: News Projects
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