What Grit Sandpaper to Remove Varnish From Wood? [2022]

The short answer is 150 to 220 grit sandpaper needs to remove varnish from wood. However, if you want to remove varnish first, then you will start painting; that’s a great idea to ensure wood’s longevity. 

Knowing Grit Sandpaper

The first thing you should know is that the grit sandpaper will have a different number, depending upon the manufacturer. The most common is 80, 120, 150 and 180. In field tests, using a random orbit sander, the following will work:

While removing varnish from wood or wooden furniture, sandpaper or a sanding machine is the best way to remove varnish as it doesn’t hurt the wood surface. In addition, even sanding can smooth the upper side of the wood for further usages. 

At the same time, there is a positive side and a negative side as well. The positive thing is that it is a chemical free and 100% natural way to remove varnish, whereas it requires many working hours to get the job done. 

How to remove varnish with grit sandpaper

Let’s have a quick look at when you need to use different grit sandpaper while stripping off the varnish from wood. In the beginning, you need to use P150 grit sandpaper to remove varnish from the whole wooden surface. Then you need to apply P220 grit sandpaper for final finishing. 

A 100 grit sandpaper would be great for removing varnishes from wood. It doesn’t require much effort and can be easily used by both professionals and beginners alike. They can handle small and large sanding jobs with ease. Take note this is for SMALL JOB only.

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How can you remove the varnish from wood easily? So, in that case, you can use an orbital sander to ease the removing process. However, for a tight space or curve wood, you have to do this by hand. Therefore, there is a comparison guide on the orbital sander or other sanding machines. 

What is the best Grit Sandpaper to Re-Varnish Wood?

On the other hand, if you want to re varnish the wood, you need to use 120 grit sandpaper for sharp finishing.

What grit sandpaper to remove varnish from wood
Image Credit: Pixabay

What tools are needed to remove varnish from wood? 

There are more than eight different types of equipment needed to remove the varnish effectively. Below is the list:

  • Gloves, 
  • Mask,
  • Goggles
  • 150 to 220 grit sandpaper for removing varnish.
  • 120 grit sandpaper for smoothing the surface.
  • Tarp, Clean, and Drop Cloths.
  • Mineral spirits, solvents

Sandpaper Grit for Wood

What grit sandpaper for wood? Well, there is universal grit sandpaper for wood guides you can follow in dealing with it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using sandpaper or a sanding machine. It would be best if you choose the right grit sandpaper depending on the varnish or paint thickness. Otherwise, you’ll mess up everything horribly. 

However, let’s check what it is all about. If the paint or varnish thickness is high, you need to use 40 to 60 grit sandpaper. On the other hand, 80 to 120 grit is ideal for a smooth surface. Furthermore, if you want to give it the finest smoothness, you should use 360to 400 grit sandpaper for ultimate results. 

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Different Grit Sandpaper Grade for Wood

60 Grit sandpaper – Coarse: 

It’s suitable for removing paint or varnish, shaping, and stripping, etc. 

80 Grit Sandpaper – Coarse:

It’s easy or lowers the thickness of paint or varnish removal. 

100 Grit Sandpaper – Medium:

It’s perfect for medium to easy removal. 

120 Grit Sandpaper – Medium:

It’s usually used to level the surface after removing paint or varnish. 

150 Grit Sandpaper – Medium: 

If you want to give your work the most admirable look, 150 grit is ideal for that preparation. 

180 Grit Sandpaper – Fine:

Before varnishing or painting, 180 grit sandpaper is the ultimate reason for a smooth surface. 

220 Grit Sandpaper – Very Fine 

This grit sandpaper is used to give wood or metal a very fine and smooth surface. Usually, it is used after priming and sanding. 

320 Grit Sandpaper – Extra Fine: 

This grit sandpaper is used between coating and sanding. 

400 Grit sandpaper – Super Fine:

Final finish.

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