What Grit Sandpaper to Strip Boat Paint?

A common question that people in the process of removing layers of old paint have is; what grit of sandpaper is best for the job? The sandpaper that you choose for stripping your boat has a lot to do with how your boat eventually looks once your repainting job is completed. In order to select the best sandpaper for the job, it is important to understand the differences between the types of sandpaper. While all sandpaper may appear to be pretty much the same, this is not the case at all.

Choosing the wrong grade of sandpaper for removing the paint from you boat can have very undesirable consequences. Carelessly sanding with the wrong paper can ruin the surface of your boat. This in turn can cause your new paint job not to last for as long as it should; or to have an amateur appearance.

When speaking of sandpaper, we categorize the different types of sandpaper into grades. Grades are determined by the total number of particles per square inch of paper. Coarse, medium, fine, very fine and extra fine are the commonly used grades of sandpaper, with each grade having more particles than the previous grade.

Boat Paint Sandpaper

Boat Paint Sandpaper

The way that the various grades of sandpaper affect the job of paint-stripping is a relatively simple thing to understand. Typically speaking, the higher the grade of sandpaper used; the smoother to finish will be. The reason that everyone doesn’t use high grade paper all the time is that the rougher sandpapers remove paint faster than the smooth ones. For this reason, the typical sanding job starts with a rough grade and transitions to progressively smoother grades in order to create an even finish.
The particular grade of sandpaper that will remove paint from your boat best is something that you’ll need to experiment in order to determine. Test various grades on small areas until you find one that does a good job of removing paint without damaging the surface area beneath. Once you’ve found the right sandpaper for the job, proceed deliberately and carefully.

Steady and deliberate work ensures a smooth surface that is ready for paint to be applied to it. As most boat painters will attest to; the more time spent during preparation work, the better the end results appear. Most experts suggest breaking paint stripping jobs into several sessions. The more sessions of stripping carried out, within reason, the better the finish on the boat will appear. Boats that appear to have luxurious and glossy finished are usually the product of painstaking preparation work.

The more attention to detail that you give to your paint removal job, the better the results will eventually be. Stripping paint can be time-intensive; fortunately it isn’t a complex procedure. Just a little patience and care, can produce the kind of truly amazing results that all boat owners want for their boats.

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