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Sanding Drywall With Grit Sandpaper for Finishing

What Grit Sandpaper for Drywall Finishing 
Written by Ben Myers
Last Update: January 2, 2023

Looking for the right sandpaper for sanding drywall? Sanding drywall is not a complicated process if you know which procedure to follow. Also, the type of grit you use affects your sanding process. So, knowing what grit sandpaper to use for sanding drywall is essential.

What Grit Sandpaper for Drywall Finishing

Sandpaper comes in two primary grades designed for different purposes. The first grade is for industrial uses, and the second is for commercial purposes. Industrial grade sandpaper is generally used in various manufacturing industries. You may not find the industrial grade sandpaper at a typical hardware store. The commercial grade sandpaper that you will find at a typical hardware shop has three varieties. The varieties include:

  • Garnet paper: Typical tannish-brown
  • Aluminum-oxide paper: Typical grey
  • Silicon-carbide (wet/dry) sandpaper: Typical black


Garnet paper and aluminum-oxide paper are the best for sanding drywall because they are open-coated. The open-coated sandpaper does not clog, and this feature makes the garnet paper and aluminum-oxide paper suitable for drywall sanding. Between these two types of sandpaper, aluminum oxide is your best choice because it exhausts more slowly and lasts longer than the garnet. Aluminum-oxide sandpaper does not tear up as fast as a garnet paper because of its thicker substrate.

Sanding drywall- note

The finish of your wall after drywall sanding depends on the grit of the sandpaper you use. The higher the grit sizes are; the finer the action will be. Grit sizes that are below 100 are too coarse for using on drywall. If you want a smooth wall, you should go for the grits that are above 100 even though they will take little extra work. Grits that are above 220 are also not recommended because it will take like forever to finish the job. So, you should go for the 120-grit to 150-grit sandpaper.120-grit Sandpaper is the best to start with your sanding drywall because of the roughness of the wall. Once you get a smoother sanded wall, you might as well use the 150-grit sandpaper to get a better finishing.

  • Very Coarse: 12, 16, 20, 24
  • Coarse: 30,36,40,50
  • Medium:60,80,100
  • Fine:120,150,180
  • Very Fine:220,240,280
  • Extra Fine:320,360,400
  • Super Fine:500,600

Drywall Sanding Tools

When you’re sanding drywall, a belt sander or oscillating will not help you that much. However, sanding drywall with electric sanders might ease your work, but they will cost you a lot more than the sandpaper. You might want to use a hand sander which will work well on drywall that you can sand without using a ladder. Use a pole sander for the drywall you cannot reach without a ladder. You can also use a wet sanding drywall sponge that has an abrasive surface similar to 120-grit sandpaper.

Drywall Sanding Tools

Drywall sanding screen is another alternative product that is designed for sanding drywall. It is a little different from sandpaper. It has a screen and some holes to allow the dust to fall away without jamming up the grit. It has grits on its both sides. Some people prefer drywall sanding screen to sandpaper, but most of the drywall finishing professionals prefer 120-grit sandpaper.

Some Drywall Sanding Tips

  • Wear a dust mask when sanding drywall
  • Cover the power grids and other things of the room with plastic sheeting
  • Have proper lighting before starting to sand
  • Focus the light on the surface you are working on

Sanding drywall may sound irritating and difficult, but if you get the right tools and right sandpaper, it will not be difficult at all. So, now you know the tools, and what grit sandpaper to use for sanding drywall, it should not be so difficult for you.

About the author

Ben Myers

A Floor Sanding Expert

Good day! Ben talking to you, guys! I’m a flooring specialist with a masonry certification. Over the past five years, my professional activities have almost been confined to one very particular area, floor sanding. Sanding a floor and preparing it for renovation is fun when you see the floor feels real smooth under feet. I remain busy and overwhelmed with contracts, but that doesn’t spoil my enthusiasm to cooperate with my those among my neighbors who are in the same or similar profession. What I do sometimes makes a good story, and I love to share it all with you. See my posts on this website while you can!

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