Sanding Paper

When finishing drywall, choosing the right sandpaper is crucial for achieving a smooth, professional look. Different types of sandpaper are used at various stages of drywall sanding, each serving a specific purpose. Here are the key types and their merits:

Types of Sandpaper for Drywall

  1. Coarse Grit (40-80):
    • Usage: Primarily for initial sanding to remove heavy material or old finishes.
    • Merits: Effective for quickly leveling and shaping rough surfaces. However, coarse grits are typically avoided for drywall to prevent scratching the surface.
  2. Medium Grit (100-150):
    • Usage: Ideal for general sanding of drywall compound.
    • Merits: Strikes a balance between removing material and creating a smooth surface. Commonly used for sanding joint compound and feathering edges​​.
  3. Fine Grit (180-220):
    • Usage: Used for final sanding before painting or applying finish coats.
    • Merits: Provides a smooth finish without leaving visible scratches. Ideal for smoothing out minor imperfections and preparing the surface for painting​​.

Types of Sandpaper Material

  1. Aluminum Oxide:
    • Usage: Preferred for drywall sanding due to its durability and efficiency.
    • Merits: Long-lasting and self-renewing, making it suitable for extended use without frequent changes. It is less likely to clog compared to other types, providing consistent performance​​.
  2. Garnet:
    • Usage: Effective for fine sanding and smoothing.
    • Merits: Provides a fine, smooth finish but wears out faster than aluminum oxide. It is often used for finishing rather than heavy material removal​​.
  3. Silicon Carbide:
    • Usage: Not typically recommended for drywall but used for harder materials like metal.
    • Merits: Very hard and sharp, making it suitable for polishing and finishing harder surfaces. Its waterproof nature makes it useful for wet sanding applications​​.

Tips for Sanding Drywall

  • Start with Medium Grit: Begin with 100-150 grit sandpaper for initial sanding of drywall compound to smooth out major imperfections.
  • Finish with Fine Grit: Use 180-220 grit sandpaper for final smoothing to achieve a ready-to-paint surface.
  • Use Proper Tools: Employ hand sanders, sanding poles, or power sanders with appropriate grit sandpaper to make the process efficient and ensure even pressure is applied.
  • Minimize Dust: Use sandpapers that are open-coated to reduce clogging and consider using sanders with vacuum attachments to minimize dust​.

By selecting the appropriate grit and type of sandpaper, you can ensure a smooth and professional finish on your drywall projects.