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I have done a lot of online research over the years about some of the details and instructions for interior house painting. I'm putting it out there that a lot of the information that one would find on the Internet is just plain wrong.

This Painting Blog tries to help provide better painting information so hopefully it will be useful for both homeowners and other painting contractors alike.

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Selecting the Correct Sandpaper

Preparing the surface and sanding is a critical preparation step for nearly any painting project. Sandpaper provides a way to scratch away, and clear the surface of previously peeling paint and otherwise removes imperfections and dirt from the painted substrate. It is also essential to produce some traces of roughness to the painted substrate so that the new paint material will properly adhere. Any surface that is not properly sanded and retains defects, will cause those defects to be magnified once the new paint is applied. There is a wide range of different types of sandpaper available, and it can be difficult for Homeowners to make the right decision.

Not every painting project requires the same sandpaper grit type, and it's important to have a general understanding of sandpaper Grit type. Evaluating the appropriate coarseness for the project is the first step in determining which sandpaper grit type you should use. The Grit Type Number reflects the number of particles per square inch of the sandpaper. The higher the Grit Type Number, the smaller the grains of sand and sand density on the paper. Sandpaper with a low course number of perhaps 80 grit will be able to remove much more of the surface than a very fine sandpaper that has a course number between 220 and 240.

In addition to actual sandpaper, sanding sponges are also commonly used by Painters in Northern Virginia for detail sanding for both interior and exterior painting jobs. For drywall projects, they are often used during the final stages of point-up drywall work after the the bulk of sanding has been completed with pole sanders. Sponges are easy to handle because it's made of a foam block that is completely wrapped in sandpaper on all four sides. The blocks are also more versatile and can be easily used to sand flat surfaces or odd-shaped trim surfaces with uneven edges. The grit type of most sanding sponges are usually available in 80 grit, 180 grit, and 220 grit.

Screens are preferred by some Mechanics for interior projects, and they are mainly utilized for drywall projects that involve drywall compound or plaster. They are lightweight and designed with a waterproof, sharp synthetic material that abrasive and cuts fast. Another advantage of the screens are that they are composed of holes to allow the drywall dust to dissipate and not build up. Sanding screens should be handled cautiously because inexperienced users will sometimes inadvertently leave a screen imprint on the sanded drywall compound. We would recommend that most Homeowners engage with regular paper backed sandpaper.

Although determining the correct coarseness for a particular project may be challenging, for most painting projects it is best advised to use a combination of grit types. A sandpaper with a low Grit Number is very coarse, and it should quickly remove major surface imperfections. Each successive incremental Grit Number will eliminate the scratches of the coarser sandpaper used previously, until the scratches themselves are almost invisible. For most painting projects, the 3 most common types of sandpaper a Homeowner should user are 80 Grit Type, 180 Grit type, and finally 220 Grit Type. Some complicated renovation projects and lead removal processes necessitate the use of machines for sanding, as well as, vacuums and sealed-off containment areas.

Please be advised that some sandpapers may be labeled differently depending upon the country where the sandpaper was purchased. For example, if there is a P in front of the grit number, then the manufacturer is using the European system. The CAMI System developed by the Coated Abrasives Manufacturers Institute is the sandpaper measurement system that is used in the United States. This approach to sandpaper measurement differentiates the coarseness and density in an ascending order, whereas the higher the density, the higher the grit type number. Micron-graded sandpaper with a Grit Type of up to 3000 is used in the refinishing of cars or perhaps stained and lacquer type finishes.

Paint preparation and sanding surfaces for paint is one of the most important tedious aspects of any painting project. Whether you choose to tackle the job on your own, or enlist the help of application experts, there is no better way to give your painting project a professional finish than with proper preparation and sanding. For painting projects, we administer our own preparation system that takes into account the substrate and type of application. We are competent in all phases of residential and commercial coatings, as well as, various surface preparation techniques.

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