What Grit Sandpaper to Remove Paint from Wood (Complete Guide)

The most important part of sanding is choosing the right grit sandpaper. To get a smoother surface finish, you need to understand which is the right grade for your project. Sanding with the wrong grade can damage your surface. For getting a job done, you have to use different grits levels. Those who know properly can complete a project beautifully.

If you have been wondering what grit sandpaper to remove paint from wood surface and want to know in advance, this article will show you what to do.

Different Grits Sandpaper

Coarse Sandpaper

The lower grits remove most of the materials rapidly. It helps to get a good shape and round edges.

The coarse grit sandpaper is not recommended for thinner parts such as edges and corners of the surface.

Pro Tip: Be careful using this grit for plywood.

Medium Coarse Sandpaper

The medium grade of sandpaper is usually accurate for removing small imperfections in the rough surface. After finishing through coarse grit, you can use this grit for the surface to be smooth. It’s suitable for general purposes. This is because this grit type of sandpaper is used most often.

The good thing with medium coarse sandpaper you can sand on difficult material with more pressure.

Medium Sandpaper

The medium grit is coming up through the 2nd or 3rd step of sanding. Whatever, it’s sometimes used for paint preparation to apply another coat. You can finish the surfaces smoothly through this medium grit.

Choose The Right Grade of Sandpaper

High-Grit Sandpaper

The higher-grade represents the finer abrasive. It helps to get smooth wood surface finishes. It is generally ideal for polishing a project.

Low-Grit Sandpaper

Likewise, the high grade, the lower grade describes coarser abrasives. As mentioned above, this is the ideal sandpaper for heavy stripping and removing small imperfections from the surface.

100-Grit Sandpaper

The 100 grits are considered as medium grit. As I mentioned, you can use this grit in abrasive materials with more pressure. It is usually used for bare wood.

Optional 120-Grit

Likewise, The 100 grit, the 120 grit, is considered as medium sandpaper grit. If you are uneasy with 100 grit you can sand this grit for bare wood.  It also provides a smooth surface finish.

Removing The Old Finish

Most people think removing the old finishes is troublesome. It’s nearly accurate, but not completely.

When it comes to removing old varnish and paint, you can use 60 and 80 grit to refinish them. It’s a perfect grit to cut old liquor and paint from the table. It can take little time and effort, but it will be worth your step at the end of the job.

Pro Tip: Be careful to over sand so that it doesn’t scratch on your wood surface.

Go With The Grain

The grain provides the direction of wood fiber so that you can see the scratches correctly. If you Sand against the grain, it will leave scratches on the surface, which is difficult to remove. The best way to sand is to go with the grain and be manageable.

Surface Preparation

The better option for surface preparation sanding with 80 grit. As mentioned above, the medium grit is standard for any project. It removes dents, deep scratches and provides smooth finishes as well without scratching on the wood surface.

Can I Use A Sander To Remove Paint?

Yes, you can. When it comes to painting removal projects, you can go through 3 ways.

  • Belt sander
  • Orbital or Disc Sander
  • Palm sander

Belt Sander

The belt sander comes in several sizes. It removes paint from vertical wood and from horizontal flat surfaces. Also, You can use this sander to remove damages from the floor and deck.

Orbital or Disc Sander

The orbital and disc both sander remove the paint from wood. Specifically, It is designed to remove paint from flat and curved surfaces. The good part of this sander included a heavy sanding disc and fine grain polisher.

Palm Sander

It is smart! The palm sander can be relatively small, and you can not remove it fast compared to bigger models. But the good thing with this, it won’t damage your wood after removing the paint.

Pro Tip: Before sanding the paint, make sure you are using safety equipment.

Finish Sanding

Sandpaper is used for a smooth finish. But remember the grit is essential. When you want to remove small imperfections and get a good shape, 60 grit is acceptable. After getting a good condition and removing slight marks, you have to use 120 grit to get a smooth finish.

How Much Time Does It Take To Remove Paint From Wood?

How much time it will take it depends on where you are sanding. It usually takes 30 to 40 minutes to remove from the wood surface with the 60 grit sandpaper. In contrast, if you are sanding on several layers of paints, it may take more time to remove.


There are many grit options available to sand on your wood surface. But before using advanced grit, start with lower grit to test whether it works for your paint removal project. After starting with a lower grit, you can sequentially use different grits.

You should always keep in mind that you should not pressure too much in your sanding project. Using much pressure can damage your surface. Remember, if you just use the right grit it’s not enough; you should also consider the proper sanding technique.

Follow the process we explain what grit sandpaper to remove paint from wood and make your wooden surface pleasing.

Related Posts:

Leave a Comment