Sanding epoxy resin is a very important step in the finishing process of your project, but it should be done in the correct way to ensure the best quality of the project and the safety of those involved. If not, you risk ruining your hard work and creating serious risks for your health.
If you’re not sure where to start with sanding epoxy resin, what sandpaper to choose, what method to use for sanding, etc, then we have you covered! In short, it is entirely up to you what method you choose. This article will help you decide which one is best for you. Read on to find out more!
How Difficult Is It To Sand Epoxy Resin?
It can be difficult to sand epoxy resin. Some of the difficulties include:
– The hardness of the resin’s surface
– Safety issues due to the toxicity of particles in the epoxy.
However, the good news is that there are a few things you can do to make sanding epoxy resin easier and safer!
The Components Of Epoxy Resin
There are two components in epoxy resin, a liquid resin, and a hardener. When these components are combined, the chemicals in them react and create a solid surface.
This hard resin surface can easily clog and dull sandpaper, so you will need to replace your sandpaper often to ensure the sanding process runs efficiently.
Alternatively, you can use the wet sanding method to sand epoxy resin, since this reduces the clogging and dulling of your sandpaper significantly.
Safety Tips For Sanding Epoxy Resin
While sanding epoxy resin a substantial amount of dust is produced. This dust will cause significant health issues if it is inhaled. Additionally, the particles in the resin are carcinogenic, and if inhaled, can cause serious damage to your lungs.
To remain safe while sanding epoxy resin, we recommend the following:
– Always wear a mask and goggles when sanding.
– If possible, use the wet sanding method because this reduces the number of dust particles produced.
What Sandpaper Should You Use?
To start sanding epoxy resin, you should use medium-grit sandpaper (such as 120-grit) and begin to work your way up to fine-grit sandpaper (such as 240-grit or even 320-grit) to finish.
Please note that if the epoxy resin has many irregularities or is very rough then it is better to start with sandpaper that is 60 to 80-grit.
Can Epoxy Resin Be Dry Sanded?
We do not usually recommend dry sanding epoxy resin. This is because dry sanding with certain sanders results in heat which can dissolve the resin. The dissolved resin becomes matte and requires a lot more effort to restore its former luster.
However, we understand that there are certain situations where it is the best option. For example, if sanding both wood and epoxy, then wet sanding may result in the wood swelling up. In this case, you may want to consider dry sanding the epoxy resin.
The Best Method For Sanding Epoxy Resin
For the aforementioned safety and efficiency reasons, we believe wet sanding is the best method for sanding epoxy resin. Additionally, the epoxy resin will not wear down the grit of wet sandpaper as quickly, making it cost-effective because you are able to use it for longer.
How To Sand Epoxy Resin
Wet-Sanding Epoxy Resin
You Will Need:
– Breathing protection
– Clean rags
– A soft brush
– A block/piece of wood
1. After you have put on your safety gear, you need to clean the surface from debris. Use a soft brush or a clean rag to do this.
2. Wrap the sandpaper around a sanding block. Alternatively, you can sand with the paper directly.
3. Take your lukewarm or cold water and apply it to the surface. You can use a spray bottle, a bowl, or a bucket to achieve this.
4. Rub the sandpaper’s abrasive side against the epoxy resin surface in circular motions. Take note of where you have and haven’t sanded or you risk over-sanding the epoxy resin.
5. Once you sanded for a while, clean the surface with a rag and then inspect it. If you have achieved the desired smoothness then you can stop. If not, then continue sanding.
6. When you have finished sanding, remove any leftover debris.
7. clean the surface with a damp cloth and leave it until dry.
Dry-Sanding Epoxy Resin
You Will Need:
– A sander
– Breathing protection
– Clean cloths or rags
1. First, you need to prep the surface. Put on your safety gear and clean the surface that requires sanding.
2. Make sure you have access to a well-ventilated space, or work outdoors.
3. Attach the sandpaper to the bottom of the sander. Instructions on how to do this are typically indicated on both the sandpaper and the sander.
4. Power the sander and begin sanding the epoxy resin. It is best to hold the sander firmly (but don’t put too much weight on it!) and sand slowly.
5. Once you have sanded the epoxy resin, it is best to finish the area with either 240-grit or 320-grit sandpaper, although please note you may need to use finer sandpaper depending on what finish you’re going for.
6. Clean the surface with a soft brush or clean rag.
Everything You Need To Know About Waterproof Sand Paper
Trying to wet-sand epoxy resin becomes difficult if using regular sandpaper. This is because it will go soggy and break up with prolonged water exposure. Therefore, if you want to use the wet-sand method for epoxy resin we recommend using waterproof sandpaper.
Waterproof sandpaper can resist the damaging effects of water because it is made using silicon carbide.
So, there you have it! There are two primary ways of sanding epoxy resin. Dry sanding is necessary on some occasions but we believe the wet-sand method is better for you and your epoxy resin.
Whatever method you choose, sanding epoxy resin can be achieved by following a few simple steps. Always remember to wear your protective gear to ensure safety when sanding, and please ensure you use the correct sandpaper for the type of resin you have.