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Can You Sand Epoxy? (All You Need to Know)

The use of epoxy is unlimited. It can be used in high-tension electrical insulators to even paint brush manufacturing. But in order to get the best end product, it is pertinent to know how to handle and work with epoxy. Being aware of a few simple tips and tricks will help a lot.

Can you sand epoxy?

Sanding is an essential part of the process when working with epoxy. Not only is it okay to sand epoxy; most people who frequently work with epoxy claim it to be a necessary step. Sanding helps the end result of the epoxy project achieve a more polished and smooth appearance.

There is an array of different sandpaper you can choose from to sand epoxy. They differ in grit and also have a few more distinguishing features such waterproof sandpaper and many more. This huge variety of sandpaper allows people to sand epoxy either wet or dry. 

The type of sandpaper you will need to use is determined by the type of project you are handling because the same sandpaper will not work for all epoxy structures.

Now that we know about the availability of different sandpaper, let us take a look at the different types of epoxy material and how they will react when sanded. Understanding this will help in ensuring that the end result will come out perfect.

Epoxy primer:

Epoxy primer can be sanded without any trouble but it is best to wait till it has cured completely. You can test this out by sweeping over the epoxy primer with a thinner/reducer rag and if no epoxy primer transfers to it, it is safe to be sanded. 

Another reason you should allow it to cure is because this will stop it from plugging up the sandpaper while sanding.

Epoxy on wood:

It is possible to sand epoxy when it is being used on wood. It is best to dry sand the epoxy on wood even though it is not usually recommended because while dry sanding, a lot of heat is produced which can cause damage to the epoxy resin.

However, if you can, try to sand the epoxy and wood separately as they are completely different materials and require different pressure, technique and also sandpaper with different grit.

Epoxy glue:

Epoxy glue can be sanded with ease which is a good thing. Epoxy glue works well with a wide variety of materials such as plastic, wood, bricks, ceramics. 

When working with epoxy glue, if too much is poured it will end up looking uneven and the most obvious and reliable way to fix it is by sanding it. It polishes and smoothes the surfaces and edges where epoxy glue has been used.

Epoxy putty:

Epoxy putty can be sanded once it has fully hardened. A sandpaper or a Dremel can be used to sand epoxy putty. Epoxy putty is usually sanded after it has hardened to smooth or give the structure some additional fine details. 

But keep in mind that dry sanding will cause a lot of kick-back in the form of fine dust and to avoid inhaling that, remember to always put on a surgical mask before getting to work on the epoxy putty structure.

Epoxy paint:

Epoxy paint is sandable. But it is recommended to start sanding epoxy paint after it has fully cured and if possible try to wet sand the epoxy paint. Wet sanding helps in removing amine blush, lessens the chances of the sandpaper clogging and dust. 

It also reduces the chances of being exposed to cured epoxy paint which can be harmful for the lungs and respiratory system.

Epoxy clear-coat:

It is perfectly fine to sand epoxy clear-coat. But for ease and the perfect finish it is best to wet sand it. And for wet sanding, waterproof sanding paper would be a great choice, also remember to increase the grit of the sandpaper as you go. 

For example, you can start with a 400 grit sandpaper then change it to a 600 grit sandpaper. Continue to change the sandpaper with ones with higher grit ending with a 1500 grit sandpaper. 

An additional step of polishing with a polishing compound and polishing machine is also highly suggested.

Epoxy countertops:

It is a necessary step to sand epoxy countertops after they have cured. You will need to sand it both horizontally and also vertically. Wet sanding as usual will be the better option as it stops the excessive production of dust. 

Sanding the epoxy countertops with an orbital sander will coat and smooth it while simultaneously getting rid of any dings, scratches or scars that might be present on the surface.

How soon can you sand epoxy? Can you sand epoxy after 24 hours?

You should allow the epoxy enough time to dry and harden completely. Sanding it while it is wet can cause disastrous results. Therefore, it is best to leave it for around 48 hours to process before you move on to the sanding process. 

Even though 48 hours is the standard time epoxy takes to harden, you must still read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer because sometimes the processing time may differ. It might need more or less than 48 hours.

If you want to sand epoxy after 24 hours, you need to make sure the temperature in the room is 60 degrees fahrenheit or above. The heat will let it cure faster and thus you can sand it after 24 hours if you are in a time crunch. 

2 reason why you can sand epoxy

Beneficial for the structure: 

When epoxy has cured fully, it can be sanded with ease because by that point it has hardened completely and sanding at that point can be beneficial for the structure you are working on.

Smooth and polished look: 

Sanding epoxy gives the end product a much more smooth and polished look. Without sanding it would not have been achievable. And sanding does not disrupt the texture or appearance of epoxy.

How do you smooth out epoxy? What grit to sand epoxy between coats?

If you want to smooth out epoxy, there are two things that will help you achieve that. You can either sand the epoxy after it has cured and hardened completely. You can wet or dry sand it and then finish off the process with a finishing product. 

But if you do not want to sand it, you can simply apply a top coat of epoxy after you are done to give the epoxy a smooth finish..

After your first layer of epoxy has cured completely, you can lightly sand the entire surface and edges with a 80-grit sandpaper. This will not only get rid of the imperfection but also provide some much needed grip between the first and second layer of epoxy you will be applying later.

How to sand epoxy resin? How do you get epoxy clear after sanding?

As we have mentioned many times already, sanding is a necessary step when it comes to working with epoxy resin as it provides smoothness and polish to the final product. Here we have curated a list of steps you can follow to sand and also polish your epoxy to ensure it looks shiny and clear at the end.

Cure for 48 hours:

After the epoxy has cured for 48 hours or more, you can now use a mixture of soap and warm water to clean the epoxy. This will also prepare it for sanding.

Start sanding:

You should now gradually start sending it, you might need to use different sandpaper with varying grit or grain size. While you are sanding it, remember to change the direction for best results. 

This will help you smooth out the surface and edges and also get rid of scratches and scuff marks.

Polish it:

By this point if your epoxy continues to look cloudy, you can use a microfiber towel to polish it.

Spray acrylic layer:

Finally, spray the whole structure with a layer of acrylic spray. When this dries down fully, it will add a clear and sparkly appearance to the epoxy surface.

Can you buff scratches out of resin?

It is normal for resin to have scratches on the surface and thankfully, these scratches can be easily buffed off the resin. In order to remove the scratches, you will need to start by applying a small amount of polishing paste on it. 

Then use a drill and a polishing pad attachment to slowly buff the scratches off the surface of the epoxy.

Final thoughts:

Epoxy is a sandable material. It can be either dry or wet sanded. Sanding can be done when the project is completed or in between layers of resin. The best time to sand epoxy is when it has fully cured. Epoxy’s appearance becomes further enhanced when it is sanded as it adds smoothness and shine.