Is very fine 220 grit sandpaper the right sandpaper to use to sand an alder wood table?

I have what's labled "all-purpose very fine 220 grit sandpaper" in my house.
Can you please tell me if I should use this to sand an alder wooden table before painting it?
The table is en route. I've only seen it online. It's a kit that I bought which needs to be put together, so I am guessing it's already somewhat smooth.
I sleep during the day and I'm starting to get drousy now, so I don't think that I'll be able to make it to the hardware store and the hardware store is a little Mop & Pop shop whose hours change depending upon their moods and not by what the sign on the door says. And the table should arrive Thursday or Friday, so when by the time I go down to the package room to get it, the hardware store will probably be closed for the day. So I am hoping someone can tell me whether or not the sandpaper I have is the right one?
Also, if it is the right one, is there a different tectured one which would work even better?
Please correct me if I'm wrong: I won't need to first sand with medium- grain sandpaper seeing that the table must already be somewhat smooth since it's coming from a furniture seller (it's a table that cabinet makers and dot.com businesses buy (they don't make it themselves) and then sell to the public.
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I just read below that and in smaller letters it says "For light sanding between stain and sealer." I would feel more comfortable with a finer sandpaper. It feels rough to the touch and is making me nervous (like I could do damage if I go too fast and if I go too slow it will take all day and it won't come out right (like I might make an indentation)).
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You're really just trying to knock down edges and do touch up sanding. There's no risk of sanding a hollow into the table by hand as you're not trying to remove dings and such. Since you're painting it, and you _have_ to use a primer and two coats of paint, you won't be able to see any sanding marks at all. Fear not.
Sanding dust gets everywhere so sand outdoors, or if you absolutely have to sand indoors, close off the room, put a fan in the window blowing _out_, and sand close to the window. After you're done sanding, vacuum the room while it's still closed up with the fan running. Then leave the fan running for an hour or so.
R
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Thank you. I will sand outdoors. My father told me in an email to "wipe off sanding dust with damp cloth, and let dry for at least 24 hours before painting."
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Sort of good. Wiping with a damp cloth will raise the grain and it may need more sanding.
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However, wiping with a tack cloth will be safe and will do a better job of getting all the dust off.
nate
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I read the words "tack cloth" in the past eight hours. That must've been on the instructions that came with my sandpaper, or in web sites I found under key words "sanding wood furniture tips."
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on 8/16/2007 8:38 AM Chris Tsao said the following:

Better yet, use a 'tack cloth', that is specifically made for removing dust from woodworks. Basically, it is a piece of cheesecloth that is impregnated with varnish and is almost dry, but tacky to the touch. It can be bought in craft stores, or make your own. Store in a airtight plastic bag to prevent drying out between uses.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Thanks, I am awake and the hardware store should be open by eleven. In the meantime, in Google Images, I will check to see what a tack cloth looks like.
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Chris Tsao wrote:

1. Run your hand over the surface. Does it feel rough (probably not)? If yes, lightly sand smooth with your #220 and brush off the dust. You really don't need a tack rag and you don't want to use water.
2. Paint with primer. Repeat #1 after primer dries completely.
3. Top coat. Repeat #1 after top coat is dry enough.
4. Top coat again.
Unless you are trying for a flawless, high gloss paint finish (not likely possible for you at this stage of experience) the above is *ALL* you need do. Don't over-engineer the job..
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Thank you. Just one thing. By "Repeat #1 after primer dries completely," you mean I should sand again after I put on the first coat of primer. That would mean, I (1) sand, (2) apply 1st coat of primer and (3) sand a second time, and (4) apply on a second coat of primer.
I read your post after I got back from the hardware store, so I bought two tack cloths.
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Chris Tsao wrote:

Yes. Just lightly, by hand, to knock down any nibs caused by dust etc. You only need one coat of primer, two (probably) of the top coat.
Ideally, the primer coat would be thoroughly sanded to perfect smoothness and flatness, removing any brush marks in the process. That is ideal because it provides a perfect surface for the top coat(s) and - if the top coat(s) are applied and flow properly you'd wind up with a very good finish. Not perfect but very good.
Unfortunately, primers that sand well are not generally available...those generaly available are soft and clog the paper. That can be improved by wet sanding but they are still a pain. Additionally, most people are using latex/acrylic "enamel" these days for top coats and that simply doesn't flow well...even if the primer were baby butt smooth the top coat wouldn't be. Oil based enamel is a different story.
BTW, you didn't mention the sheen of the paint. One's first impulse is generally to use glossy but I wouldn't as it will show every imperfection. Additionally, if it is acrylic/latex, things set on it will stick to it even though it seems dry. Ultimately, that stick-to-it characteristic will pass but it can take weeks/months. Semi-gloss would be a better choice. Maybe even egg shell. Probably not flat, too hard to keep clean but it is very forgiving of application errors. _____________

No. Sand, primer, sand, top coat, sand, top coat. Keep in mind that the sanding of primer/paint is just to knock off nibs. That isn't going to give you a great paint job but at your current level of experience - and without spray equipment - it is about the best you can do and you will probably be happy with it.
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Thanx. I got semi glossy (green). Okie doke, I will put two coats of primer on. The table didn't come wrapped. So all the wood clanged together and it has dents and scratches. I guess it's a good thing, because now I don't have to be anal about it. It's a tea table that I will be taking from room to room.
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wrote:

Really, it's hard to say without seeing (feeling) the table. Carefully inspect the table for defects. Moving furniture often results in dents, scrapes and gouges which should not be corrected with sandpaper.
Use 220 grit and a sanding block. Be extra careful about edges and moldings. A tack rag is a good thing to have. Use a oil primer especially formulated for bare wood and follow the directions carefully. Use a work (trouble) light to inspect the surface. Don't rush the job!!!
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On Aug 16, 1:20 pm, Phisherman

Thanx. It came yesterday. FedEx took a week to deliver!!!!!!!!! It was rather rough. The instructions said to sand it. I finished sanding it. It rained last night and this morning, so I had to sand it underneath scafolding.
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