Okay sand paper results for finishing.

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Forum topic by Mark posted 06-08-2011 01:39 AM 1557 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1801 posts in 2693 days

06-08-2011 01:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sanding finishing

Now previously I’ve had many questions in regards to getting the best out of my finishing and I was mentioned 1000 grit+ . So that being said today I have placed an order to Lee Valley for 1000, 1500, and 2000 grit sand paper. So what I wanna ask is what proper methods do I use with these grits and for what kind of results? Hence I mainly use polyurethane when I do finishing if that helps…

-- M.K.

14 replies so far

View Gary's profile


8965 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 06-08-2011 04:05 AM

I’m not exactly sure what you are talking about but, you can use those extra fine grits with a little blo as lubricant to polish the finish to a superior finish.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2693 days

#2 posted 06-08-2011 04:25 AM

thats what I’m talking about gary….just shoot me anything u know about nice finishes using superfine grits

-- M.K.

View oluf's profile


260 posts in 2459 days

#3 posted 06-08-2011 05:09 AM

Very fine grits of sandpaper are of no value on bare wood. The moisture in the air will keep fibers raising up after any sanding and make the surface less smooth than you sanded to. Fine grits will work to smooth out the surface of the finish that you apply if you apply it thick enough. After sanding you will need rubbing compounds if you want a glass like surface. There is no end. there is always a finer polishing compound. What is your goal?

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 1971 days

#4 posted 06-08-2011 05:10 AM

I don’t particularly use them (hell, most stuff seems fine with 60 and then some “coarse” and “fine” emery paper, (then again, I like satin finishes, or the raw oiled wood look), but my guess is that you’ll want those in wet/dry papers, not just “sandpaper”, and you first wipe on a small amount of oil on the surface you wish to sand to help lubricate (and possibly soften) an existing finish. It should be able to get your from “semigloss” to “really gloss” if that’s the sort of finish you prefer. If you don’t, then you don’t really need them.

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Steven H

1117 posts in 2480 days

#5 posted 06-08-2011 05:59 AM

They are fine for rubbing out a finish. BUT DO NOT use them for between coats.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 2470 days

#6 posted 06-08-2011 08:47 AM


As has been said, those grits are useless on domestic wood, especially when using a clear film finish, Most stop at 180 or 200 grit. In some cases it may be advantageous to go up to 320 to cut down blotch in cherry or pine. If you want a super gloss, wet sand your poly with blo or mineral spirits as a lubricant up through 600 then use automotive polishes and a polisher to finish it off.

I use those those grits for sharpening (works fine) and on really hard woods like yellowheart, bloodwood, cocobolo,etc. These woods achieve a natural polish and wax is all that’s necessary to finish off. I routinely take yellowheart up through 2000 and it looks like a yellow mirror.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#7 posted 06-08-2011 02:29 PM

For most domestic woods I see little value in sanding beyond 220 grit. As Steve says, there are exotics that benefit from higher grits. I have used one rare wood, Kauri, where they recommend sanding to 1200 grit. I did and the real beauty in that wood didn’t come out until I sanded to 1200 grit.

I use sandpaper all the way to 2000 grit for sharpening my irons and chisels.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2196 days

#8 posted 06-08-2011 03:10 PM

I use them between coats of finish. I use them with mineral spirits or water (wet sanding) and they make the finish much smoother. Its a lot more work but the results speak for themselves. Then again, I don’t use any sandpaper courser than 220 on cherry, walnut, ash, maple, pine, and poplar.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2480 days

#9 posted 06-08-2011 04:41 PM

When I said between coat, I meant sanding between coats in polyurethane. It will have adhesion problem.

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2693 days

#10 posted 06-08-2011 04:49 PM

Wow thanks alot everyone…mental note taken! Reason I am asking is because I’m really starting to wander outside my typical finishing and am wondering how can people use a grit soo high up there. I was told it was to really make a nice gloss the higher you go ( i think ) so I want to get practicing.

-- M.K.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2074 days

#11 posted 06-09-2011 05:11 AM

The grits you are talking about are made for automobile finishes.

The finest paper I’ve used in 40+ years of woodworking is 400 wet/dry grit – and that was used to wet sand a lacquer finish to a super fine sheen then I rubbed it out with auto rubbing compound. 220 or 320 grits are great when you are going to do a hand rubbed oil finish. If I’m going to stain, I stop at 150 or 180 grit. Between coats of spray on finish I use 220 or 320 grit.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 2045 days

#12 posted 06-09-2011 05:22 AM

Just a note,when you use sandpapper that get a high gloos it will last longer and look better then if you use a buffing compound, but the down side is it is alot more work.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Earlextech's profile


1157 posts in 2110 days

#13 posted 06-09-2011 12:27 PM

Those grits are strictly for polishing finishes.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 1974 days

#14 posted 06-09-2011 12:42 PM

i have used up to 1000 grit on on project but i worked my way up the grits.i sanded to 320 on the raw timber(macrocarpa ,jarrah,kohikitea and mahogany) then aplied 3 coates of poly gloss and sanded with 400 between coats for the next 4 coats just using soapy water as lube…then aplied thiner coats sanding with 600 and then 800 etc..but each coat had more thinners ,i never had any adhesion problems and the final coat was rubbed with 1000 and finished with a fine rubbing compound. the result was a very high gloss but an awful lot of work and many hours which i will never repeat. was it worth it?..yes as an experiment but the gloss was hard to maintain and it marked easily due to the macrocarpa being quite soft. the project was a games table with both chess and backgammon boards inlaid into the top hence the differnt timbers.

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

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