For many homeowners, the decision of whether or not to sand between coats of paint is a personal one. Some people feel that the added effort of sanding seals the paint and protects it from fading and cracking.
Other homeowners feel that sanding between coats makes the paint job look rougher and more unfinished, which could lead to more damage.
What Is Sanding?
Sanding is a common step in the painting process. It’s often done between coats of paint to smooth the surface and remove any bumps or imperfections. The benefits of sanding depend on the paint you’re using and the severity of the imperfections.
For example, if you’re using a primer and paint that needs to be sealed for protection, sanding can help prevent peeling or chipping. If the imperfection is minor, you can usually use a cloth or sandpaper to fix it.
However, if the imperfection is severe, you may need to repaint part or all of the area. In that case, sanding will help reduce the time needed to finish the job.
Different Types of Paint
One of the most common questions homeowners ask is, “should I sand between coats of paint?” The answer to this question largely depends on the paint you are using and the number of coats you will apply.
Paint is made up of two main types: solids and liquids. Solids paint contains small, fixed particles mixed with a solvent to make a liquid. When you brush or spray paint, these small particles are sent airborne and spread evenly throughout your painting layer.
Liquid paint contains large molecules that dissolve in a solvent and turn into a liquid when they hit the air or water. When you brush or spray paint, these large molecules quickly break down into smaller ones, spreading through the layer you are painting.
The type of paint also affects how sanding between coats should be done. If you use latex paint, like house primer, you do not need to sand between coats.
However, if you use oil-based paints, like varnish or polyurethane, you will need to sand between coats to allow the oils to reach all parts of the surface. This is because oil-based
Can Sanding Cause Damage?
Can sand cause damage to your paint job? In a word, yes. Sanding can remove the top layers of paint, exposing the underlying layer of primer or sealer and causing it to chip, peel, or flake. This will damage the finish on your walls and the underlying substrate, leading to water infiltration and eventual rot. If you’re not sure whether sanding is necessary, err on the side of caution and avoid it.
How To Sand Paint
Like most homeowners, you probably think of sanding as necessary only when the paint is flaking or bubbling. But if you’re going to be painting a lot, it’s worth investing in good sandpaper so that your finished product will look good and last longer.
Here are some tips for using sandpaper to improve the look and longevity of your paint job:
- Start with good grit. If you have a high-quality paper, start with a finer grit and work your way up to a coarser one. This will help to remove imperfections while preserving the finish on the surface.
- Work in sections. When sanding large areas, use two sheets of paper backed by a piece of cardboard or plywood to hold the area flat and avoid gouging the surface.
- Don’t overdo it. Overzealous sanding can cause scratches and other damage, making your paint job look worse. Use sandpaper until the paint is smooth, not clogged with chunks or larger pieces of sandpaper.
- Clean up properly. Once you’ve finished sanding, use a clean cloth or bucket of
What Else to Use to Clean and Protect Your Walls
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your home’s paint is to clean and protect it with a coat of paint sealant every time you paint. You can also use several other products to clean and protect your walls. Here are four ideas:
- Lysol spray: This is a great quick, easy cleaning option. Just spray it on and wipe it off.
- Wet/dry vacuum cleaner: If you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you can use it to remove dirt, dust, and pet hair from your walls. Attach the hose to the bottom of the vacuum cleaner and turn it on to medium or high power.
- Cleaning cloths: You can also use cleaning cloths to clean your walls. Just wet the cloth and put it against the wall. Rub in a circular motion until the surface is clean.
- Household ammonia: Ammonia can be used to clean surfaces like countertops, tiles, and floors. Mix 1 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of lukewarm water and pour it over the area you want to clean. Scrub with a brush or scrubber until the surface is clean.
There is no right or wrong answer when sanding between coats of paint; it all depends on the type of paint you are using, how rough you want the surface to be, and your overall painting goals. If you are using latex or polyurethane paint, light sanding between coats should be sufficient.
However, if you are using oil-based paints such as linseed or tung oil, a more aggressive sanding will likely be necessary to achieve a smooth finish. Ultimately, it is up to you as the painter to decide what level of sanding is necessary to achieve the desired results.