Which kind of sandpaper do I use in preparation for painting cabinets?

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What course of sandpaper do I use on cabinets to prepare for painting? I’m purchasing cabinet doors, so I just want to scuff up the outer facing. Thanks for your answers in advance.Tim


  8 answers
  • Em Em on Jan 28, 2020

    Medium and fine grades of sandpaper are generally used in refinishing furniture and antiques. Coarse grits (those under #100) damage a fine wood finish. Medium grits, such as #120 and #150, are useful for removing old finish or scratches.

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Jan 28, 2020

    I agree with Em, start with a medium grind and then finish with a fine, it will scuff up the surface but still give you a smooth result for paint.

  • Gk Gk on Jan 28, 2020

    When I have scruffed up cabinets and furniture before priming I have used just a fine sandpaper and a fine and extra fine sandpaper block. It's enough of a grit to scruff up the cabinets and dull down any clear finish without damaging the wood. Clean them well with a vacuum and then wash them with a damp rag and some dish soap, let them dry, and prime them with a primer like Kilz before you paint.

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 28, 2020

    "T" --- I'm another one that agrees with Em!!

  • Beth Beth on Jan 28, 2020

    You've gotten some good advice here. I'd just like to add that I really like using sandpaper blocks, as someone else mentioned. They're so much easier to hold and use than regular sand paper, and you can get them in a variety of grits.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 28, 2020

    If you only want to scuff for paint to adhere, I use fine steel wool then clean with denatured alcohol. I've never had any issues and it's much less of a mess than sandpaper.

  • " T " " T " on Jan 28, 2020

    Thanks guys for your amazing answers.

  • Bushra Bushra on Jan 28, 2020

    I always prefer 120 grits. But what kinds of paint are you using. With chalk paint or chalky finish paint, you don't even need sand paper at all. Here is a complete tutorial on chalk paint. https://bushraslifestyle.com/how-to-paint-a-dresser/