The Basic Guide to Sandpaper Grit

When a project calls for sanding, one must confirm the correct materials are being used. Reason being is due to the different sizing, backing and grit of the sandpaper. But, how can we identify what type of sandpaper is best? Subjected to the work needed for your project, grit size will come into play. Thus, we must make note that sandpaper is measured by its grit size while others are measured by both the grit and grade of the backing. When buying your sandpaper, check the item to confirm it states the pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) or the grit and size number. This will help when deciding which one is best for the project at hand.

 

123493-smlSandpaper Grit Sizing: If you are looking to remove a previous material such as gelcoat; begin sanding your surface with a 150 grit or lower. A low grit number determines the coarseness of the sandpaper which will give you the ability to remove materials and coatings. Sandpaper with a grit number in the 200’s and higher would be great for finishes such as buffing, polishing or the  removal of small scratches. A high grit number is equivalent to how small the grains are which will allow you to smooth the surface.

 

 

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Sandpaper Weight Grade: One may see grade letters ranging from A-E which represents the durability of the sandpaper, where E is the strongest. For example, (based on the figure above) the red Mirka Royal 40 grit disc would be ranked as the most durable, next the Mirka Bulldog 120 grit Gold, followed by the gray Mirka Bulldog 400 grit Gold .

 

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Here is a great tip!

If you are looking to conduct a wet or dry sanding, the  sandpaper coating must be waterproof. An abrasive that is waterproof will last you longer with end results you’re aiming for in a wet/dry process.

FGCI Spotlight: Compounds and Waxes

At Fiberglass Coatings, we have a wide variety of products to help with a wide variety of jobs. One of our largest lines is of compounds and waxes. We have quite a few different products with different vendors we offer to the customer. I pulled out a few from our most popular manufacturers to highlight them, but this is by no means all of them.

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Perfect-it II – An aggressive compound that removes 1200 grit or higher scratches with a minimal amount of swirl marks. You can use buffing pads or apply it by hand and it will buff to a high-gloss.

Super Duty Compound – A very thick compound that removes 1000 grit or higher scratches, you will see this used a lot with gelcoat, but it’s very aggressive for paint jobs.

3m Finesse It Buffing Compound – This is a paste compound that will remove 800 grit or higher scratches. This is generally meant for highly oxidized gelcoat and does require a good polish over the top.

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Cleaner/Polish – Meguiars one-step process to clean and polish a surface. You can apply this by hand or with a buffer.

Machine Glaze – A great, very high gloss wax that brings back the shine to pretty much anything.

Swirl Remover – Great for removing fine scratches and swirl marks. It can be applied by hand or by a buffer.

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G3 – A high gloss compound that allows one step to remove fine scratches and leave a lasting shine. This product recommends you use a buffer.

Profile 200 – A great heavy-duty compound that removes 800 grit and higher scratches. This is recommended to be used as a two-step process with a polish. This is meant to be used with a buffer.

Profile 700 – A great light-swirl remover. Farecla is water-based so it’s easy to clean up and environmentally friendly to use.

 

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PMC Complete Compound – Removes 600 grit and higher scratches and is water soluble for easy cleanup.

Cutting Crème – Great on small scratches, lite oxidation and weathering. This all-purpose product is very easy to apply and water soluble to it’s easy to cleanup.

Finishing Polish – A great polish for creating a glossy finish.

 

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Aqua Buff 1000 – Great for removing large scratches, heavy oxidation and swirl marks, this aggressive compound is good all purpose aggressive compound, too aggressive for auto work.

Aqua Buff 2000 – This product is a finer compound used for light oxidation and swirl marks; a great companion to the 1000.

 

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Buff Ball – Flitz sells a unique tool that matches with their products called a “Buff Ball.” This ball attaches to a drill and is used instead of a standard buffer to get corners and harder to reach spots. This tool does set Flitz apart, making it a great buy for automotive customers.

Flitz Marine Wax MX-32806 – This spray bottle offers a much easier application, spraying it on and wiping it off.

Flitz UV Protectant MAP-40106 – Another spray bottle that is great for preventing oxidation. Spray it on and wipe it down, it doesn’t get much easier.

 

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TR-311 Compound – Our most aggressive compound, it’s not meant for Automotive paint as much as heavily oxidized gelcoat. The TR-311 does not leave a high shine, but is great for getting high scratches out, so you will want to come behind it with a polish.

TR-315 Course Compound – A slightly less aggressive compound than the Tr-311, this is a great compound for any use.

TR-500 – Cleaner/Sealer finish Wax – This product is great as a finishing product to the heavier compounds.

 

With all of these compounds, you will want to look at the different buffing and polishing pads we carry. We have single and double-sided wool buffing pads which are great for your high-speed buffers/polishers. We also carry Polishing pads, which are foam and are great for waxes. Additionally, we carry microfiber rags and cotton rags and even shop towels for your hand applications. Pick everything up today by going to Amazon.com, Ebay.com, FGCI.com, or by going into one of our two showrooms, either in St. Petersburg or in Ft. Lauderdale. We strive to make it easy for you to get everything you need to make your project look great.

 

Have a favorite product line? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.