The Go-To Guide for Choosing the Best Sandpaper for Plaster


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When it comes to plastering, achieving a smooth and flawless finish is essential. Whether you are working on a DIY project or a professional job, choosing the right sandpaper is crucial for achieving the desired results. With a wide variety of sandpaper options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is the best fit for your plastering needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about sandpaper for plaster, including different types, grit sizes, and tips for selecting the best sandpaper for your specific project.

The Best Sandpaper for Plaster

1Our Pick
Emery Cloth Roll, 5 Grits Abrasive Sandpaper Rolls

2You might also need
BLACK+DECKER 2.0 Amp Electric 1/4 Sheet Orbit Sander

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Aouker HS85180 Hand Sander

Understanding Sandpaper for Plaster

Sandpaper, also known as abrasive paper, is a versatile tool used for smoothing surfaces by abrasion. It consists of a sheet of paper or cloth with an abrasive material attached to one side. The abrasive material can be made of various substances, such as silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or garnet. Each type of abrasive material has its own unique properties and is suitable for different applications.

Types of Sandpaper for Plaster

There are several types of sandpaper available for plastering, each designed for specific purposes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly used types:

1. Silicon Carbide Sandpaper

Silicon carbide sandpaper is known for its exceptional cutting ability and durability. It is ideal for sanding hard materials like plaster, metal, and glass. This type of sandpaper is available in various grit sizes, ranging from coarse to fine. Coarse grit silicon carbide sandpaper is suitable for removing rough surfaces and leveling uneven plaster, while fine grit sandpaper is perfect for achieving a smooth finish.

2. Aluminum Oxide Sandpaper

Aluminum oxide sandpaper is another popular choice for plastering. It is durable, long-lasting, and suitable for both hand sanding and power sanding. Aluminum oxide sandpaper is available in different grit sizes, making it versatile for various plastering tasks. Coarse grit sandpaper can be used for removing excess plaster or paint, while fine grit sandpaper is ideal for achieving a polished finish.

3. Garnet Sandpaper

Garnet sandpaper is a natural abrasive material that is commonly used for sanding wood and plaster. It is less aggressive than silicon carbide or aluminum oxide sandpaper, making it suitable for delicate plastering tasks. Garnet sandpaper is available in different grit sizes, ranging from coarse to fine. It is particularly effective for sanding curved or contoured surfaces.

Choosing the Right Grit Size

The grit size of sandpaper refers to the number of abrasive particles per square inch. It determines the coarseness or fineness of the sandpaper and plays a crucial role in achieving the desired finish. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the right grit size for plastering:

  • Coarse Grit Sandpaper (40-80 grit): Use coarse grit sandpaper for removing rough surfaces, leveling uneven plaster, or stripping old paint.
  • Medium Grit Sandpaper (100-150 grit): Use medium grit sandpaper for smoothing surfaces, removing scratches, or preparing the plaster for painting.
  • Fine Grit Sandpaper (180-220 grit): Use fine grit sandpaper for achieving a smooth finish, removing small imperfections, or preparing the plaster for a final coat of paint.
  • Extra Fine Grit Sandpaper (240+ grit): Use extra fine grit sandpaper for polishing the plaster or achieving a mirror-like finish.

Tips for Choosing the Best Sandpaper for Plaster

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types and grit sizes of sandpaper, here are some additional tips to help you choose the best sandpaper for your plastering project:

1. Consider the Type of Plaster

Before selecting sandpaper, consider the type of plaster you are working with. Some plasters are softer and more delicate, while others are harder and more durable. For softer plasters, such as gypsum plaster, it is recommended to use a finer grit sandpaper to avoid damaging the surface. For harder plasters, such as lime plaster, a coarser grit sandpaper may be required to effectively smooth the surface.

2. Assess the Surface Condition

Take a close look at the surface condition of the plaster. If it has rough patches, deep scratches, or uneven areas, start with a coarser grit sandpaper to level the surface. As you progress, switch to finer grit sandpaper to achieve a smoother finish. It is important to assess the surface condition before starting the sanding process to determine the appropriate grit size.

3. Consider the Sanding Method

Consider the sanding method you will be using. If you are sanding by hand, it may be more comfortable to use sandpaper sheets or sanding blocks. If you are using a power sander, make sure to choose sandpaper discs or belts that are compatible with your sander. Additionally, consider using sandpaper sponges for sanding curved or contoured surfaces.

4. Test the Sandpaper

If you are unsure about which sandpaper to choose, it is always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the plaster. This will allow you to assess the sandpaper’s effectiveness and determine if it is suitable for your specific project. Testing the sandpaper beforehand can save you time, effort, and potential damage to the plaster.

5. Consider Wet or Dry Sanding

Depending on the plastering task, you may need to choose between wet or dry sanding. Wet sanding involves using water or a lubricant to reduce dust and prevent clogging of the sandpaper. It is particularly useful for preventing heat buildup and achieving a smoother finish. Dry sanding, on the other hand, is more suitable for tasks that require quick material removal or when working with certain types of plaster that are not compatible with water.


Choosing the best sandpaper for plaster is essential for achieving a smooth and flawless finish. By understanding the different types of sandpaper, grit sizes, and considering factors such as the type of plaster, surface condition, sanding method, and wet or dry sanding, you can make an informed decision. Remember to test the sandpaper before starting the project and always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear. With the right sandpaper in hand, you can confidently tackle any plastering project and achieve professional-quality results.

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