Resin products are sheer beauties, but working with the material comes with its own sets of challenges.
When you are working with resin, it is essential that you follow some steps diligently to ensure the perfect end result. And sanding is an essential step to achieve that. You need to sand the resin surface well to make sure that there are no unwanted scratches or dents left. Otherwise, the paint will not adhere to the surface.
Some people even consider sanding for the sole purpose of enhancing the shine of the surface. Whatever your goal is, it is crucial to understand how to sand epoxy resin properly to achieve the desired result. That’s why we have designed this guide with all that you need to know when sanding epoxy resin.
So, without much delay, let’s dive right in!
Sanding Epoxy Resin
Ways Of Sanding Epoxy Resin
Broadly, there are two types of sanding when it comes to epoxy resins, viz., dry and wet sanding. And both these methods come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In many scenarios, dry sanding will come in really handy. If you are confused about when dry sanding can work wonders, then let us break it down for you.
You might be planning to sand epoxy resin on materials that are partially made of wood or any other similar material sensitive to moisture. In that case, it is best to go with dry sanding. This is because if you use any other method, then chances are that the surface might swell up and get blotchy.
On the other hand, wet sanding is better as it helps remove unevenness in a short time span without much effort. And the best part is that it hardly produces much dust, thereby reducing the amount of work required for post-sanding clean up.
Apart from that, dry sanding can end up producing a lot of heat. And if that happens, then the resin surface will lose its shine. It may also become impossible to fix, meaning nothing will be able to bring back the shine.
In short, we’d say that we prefer wet sanding over dry sanding any day. However, we will take a brief look at the ins and outs of dry sanding too.
Advantages Of Wet Sanding
As we have already mentioned, the advantages that come with wet sanding are plenty. We tried and tested both methods, and we can say with conviction that wet sanding provides excellent results.
This is because the moisture helps in cleansing the abrasive particles present on the surface. As a result, the sandpaper does not get clogged easily and can be used for a long time.
We know that many people are allergic to dust. And if you are one of them, rest assured that wet sanding won’t give you a hard time. There’s hardly any dust that gets generated in this process, saving you from the trouble of inhaling any when executing this process.
Disadvantage Of Wet Sanding
Even wet-sanding comes with its fair share of disadvantages. Because the sanding material is already moist, it absorbs a good amount of dust itself and makes the water muddy. And if you keep using the contaminated water on the resin surface, you will end up doing more harm than good.
So, you need to ensure that you use a good quality trampoline when sanding. In case you do not have a trampoline in the workshop, you can even choose to use plastic sheets.
Moreover, when you are wet sanding, stay very cautious about the material that you are sanding. Even if it has a partial wood composition, it will start to swell within no time, causing permanent damage to the surface. And not just wood, other similar materials will also face the same problem.
A Beginners Guide To Wet Sanding
If you are new to wet sanding, you will get well-acquainted with the dos and don’ts after reading this section.
Before starting off, we would recommend that you put all electrical equipment away as you won’t want to get electrocuted. Unless you are careful, because of the water present, you might have to experience electric shocks.
Other than that, you can also keep a rubber sanding block handy to keep the paper flat during working. In case you are planning to work on a surface that is not flat, we would suggest that you opt for a suitable alternative.
And when you are wet sanding, it is mandatory to keep a wide water tank close by. If you are working in a cold area, it is best that you use hot or lukewarm water.
While you are working, at no time forget to dip the tip of the sandpaper in the water in frequent intervals. Also, remember to use a circular motion to do the sanding. In case you make horizontal or vertical strokes, the chances are that your surface will get damaged.
Wet sandpaper generally lasts a long time, and you should consider changing it only when it is worn out, and the grits are not visible anymore.
Tips And Tricks For Effective Wet Sanding
It is true that we have already spoken about the methods of wet sanding. But in this section, we will take a look at how to achieve the best results with it.
The most important thing to remember when wet sanding is to keep a spare piece of cloth to remove the residue. If you keep removing the residue as you keep working, it will help keep track.
When you decide to move to finer grit sandpaper, make sure that you wipe the surface clean before starting. This will protect it and prevent it from getting scratched.
Moreover, we understand that sometimes you might be in a hurry and want to start the painting process right after you are done sanding. In that case, make sure that you use an electrostatic cloth that will wipe the smallest of the dust particles off the surface. Once you are done with that, the surface will be completely ready to be painted on.
Apart from that, we always recommend our readers wet the surface properly before beginning with the work. And for this, it is better that you wet the surface and not the sandpaper. If you choose to wet the paper, you have to constantly keep doing that, and that will increase the work.
So, consider keeping a spray water bottle handy to keep the workpiece constantly moist. This is highly effective in preventing the surface from incurring unwanted scratches and dents.
A Beginner’s Guide To Dry Sanding Epoxy Resin
When you have taken up a big project that requires you to sand large surfaces, it is best to go for dry sanding. With this, the effort and time that you have to spend are considerably less.
However, keep in mind that a lot of dust gets generated in this process, and it is best to keep a respiratory mask nearby. In case you do not want to go into any extra work, you can simply choose to do it outdoors and not stay in a confined space.
When you are dry sanding, it is crucial that you start small. We would suggest that you begin the work with 200 grit sandpaper and eventually increase it to 800 grits. And while working, don’t get surprised if your sandpaper gets clogged. With all the dust, what else do you expect?
However, there is a way around, for which you would need a rubber stick to get rid of all the residues.
Tips And Tricks For Effective Dry Sanding
When you are dry sanding, the most important thing to remember is to clean the residual dust properly. In most cases, the dust is toxic and can severely affect your lungs. Apart from that, if not removed, the paint will not stick well to the surface, and your entire effort will go down the drain.
Moreover, when you are sanding, make sure that you are not too hard on the surface and applying too much pressure. Sanding the same area over and over again with extra pressure will cause irreparable damage on the surface and diminish the shine considerably. When you put paint after sanding, the depression on the surface will become more and more visible.
Other than that, remember to use a headlight. It will help you figure out the gouges and scratches better. When that happens, you will be able to re-sand the area according to your requirement.
Sanding Epoxy Resin Most Asked Questions
Q1. How To Smoothen The Surface With Sanding?
The main reason for sanding resin surfaces is to ensure that it is completely smooth, thereby making it easier to put paint on. And in order to make epoxy resin smooth, you have to ensure that the sandpaper is top-notch and has a grit range from 400 to 1000 grits.
We’d say that the best way to do the sanding is by placing the resin on a stable surface and applying the right methods of sanding. You need to keep doing it until the surface is properly flattened. Apart from ensuring that the quality of the sandpaper is excellent you also need to take care of the fact that you are using all the correct techniques of sanding.
Q2. What Is Amine Redness And How To Get Rid Of It?
Many times you will see an unwanted sticky layer forming on your workpiece during the process of curing. This happens mainly because there is a fluctuation in temperature when the resin starts to dry.
This layer is not always red in color. If you are working in colder regions, you will see that it is dull grey in color. In case you spot one, you have to take immediate steps to cure the resin properly.
And for that, you can consider using soapy water to sponge off the layer. Or you can make use of an industrial spirit and a piece of cloth to remove it. Keep in mind that you do it immediately after spotting it because the paint will not bond well with the resin if you don’t.
With that, we have reached the end of this comprehensive guide.
We hope that after reading this, you will be able to sand your epoxy resin in an efficient manner and achieve the desired results. With the right techniques, you will be able to remove the unwanted scratches and make the surface plain and give the resin surface an extra shine.
And take your time to figure out which sanding technique will work the best for you. In case you have any further questions, write to us in the comments section below.
Until next time, fare thee well!