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I remember reading somewhere that depending on the type of wood you're working in sanding past a certain grit is generally wasted effort. Well I've got a few projects in mind for the basement & garage using "2 by x" generic 'whitewood' lumber and I want to sand and stain it to look nice but I'm not going for that showroom foor finish, mostly shelving, some play tables, etc that I was going to splash some stain/poly combo finish on and call it done. What would be a good stopping point to get a reasonably smooth surface, like 150 grit?

thanx gang
 

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Hi Jei'son
for that I would say stop at 220 or for a nicer finish take it up to 240. Once the major sanding has be completed the purpose of the other grits is just to get rid of the sanding marks left by the previous paper.

On furniture I generally finish at 400 and when French polishing have been known to go to 2500. But as you say that different to shelves. so I'd stick to 220~240.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
2500 geez…i hope thats skipping a few grits somewhere, I'd never have the patience for that LOL!
 

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Jei, if you are going to stain then 150 is fine since sanding to a higher level closes off the pores and inhibits the stain adsorption. If it were a natural finish then I would go to 180.
 

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My feeling on sanding is that if it's going to be primed and painted 150 to 180 is plenty. If it's going to be stained then I take it to at least 220, but if I am only putting a top coat like varnish or lacquer then I go to 320. I disagree that sanding to a higher grit prevents stain from being absorbed..it might slow the absorption rate down but it wont stop it…you just have to leave the stain on longer for good penetration. Also when trying to stain woods that have a tenancy to blotch, stepping through the grits all the way to at least 220 wiil help even out the stain absorption.
 

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I find it is very subjective as to which grit to sand. A lot depends on the look you are trying to achieve. I suggest you take several pieces of scrap wood from your project. Sand and finish one at 150 grit, one at 180, and another at 220 etc. Then you can choose the one that most fits the look you like. pkennedy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
cool thanx guys passes around slices of thank you cake
 
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