Keys to Correct Sanding-The Key to a great finish.
Raw wood preparation sanding -Use a step up procedure. Start with 80-100 grit paper. The use 120, 150 and 180 grit paper. The purpose of this step up procedure is to tighten up the grain. A smoother, tighter grain will yield less grain raise and will result in stain being absorbed evenly.
If you skip from 100 to 180, some portion of the wood will be smooth but will still have some deep grooves which will encourage grain raise and burning of the stain. If you desire a particular stain to give you a darker color, sand up to 180 grit pape. Otherwise, a final sanding with 220 paper is recommended for most woods.
Sanding between coatings. For acrylic coatings, always sand between coats with 220 to 320 paper. For urethane coatings, always sand between coats with 220 paper. Always use non-stearated paper and do not use treated tack cloths for remove dust from the wood surface. Use a Scotch Brite type pad to remove any residual glossy areas for the best results.
Stain coat sanding : Stain coats do not need to be sanded unless left overnight before a sealcoat is to be applied. Scuff lightly with a Scotch Brite Pad before applying seal coat.
Sanding different woods: In general, sanding raw wood up to 220 grit paper works best for most woods, particularly maple and oak. Excellent results may be obtained on some woods, those with tighter grains, when they are sanded to only 150 or 180 grit.