How to sand epoxy resin

How to sand epoxy resin

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– Well good afternoon, my
name is Katherine swifton I am the chief creative director
and CEO at resin obsession. And today I want to show you a little bit about how
to sand resin smooth. So its a question I get from time to time you’ve got a resin piece,
its not necessarily even or maybe there’s some sharp edges and you want to know how can you sand your resin to get it smooth so that it not only has a nice surface to it but you know, its not,
something that’ll hurt somebody when you go to wear your
resin jewelry piece. So, before we get started with the sanding there’s a few things you need to know or you need to have anyways. So right away you need
to have a dust mask okay resin dust is not something
you want to inhale this is a dust mask that I got from the home improvement store. You can see its got a little filter you’re gonna wear it securely this part here at the top goes around your nose. You’re gonna secure it to your face and you wanna wear this anytime you’re working with resin dust. If you’re working with a lot of dust you know, doing some big scale pieces the same setup that you might
use for a fume respirator this is the respirator I wear for fumes but you get different cartridges so if you’re gonna do something like this make sure the cartridges you get are good for resin dust particles okay not all cartridges are
meant for all purposes so just make sure you
get the right cartridges and same thing you want this mask to fit securely to your face because you don’t want to be able
to inhale air from around where it fits on your face
instead of going through the particle filter first. So the next thing you’re gonna need is some wet dry sand paper, you’re gonna want to start with something coarse. I generally start with something in the neighborhood of 150 to 400 grit. This happens to be 150 grit paper. You’re gonna want to have this along with several other grits going from down to say like a 400,
600, 800 and then at least 1000 to end with maybe even a higher grit depending on what kind of finish you want. This Is 1000 grit paper
you can see the differences you know, this is a really coarse paper, this is a really fine paper. The coarse, wet dry sand paper you can get from multiple locations including home improvement stores. The 1000 grit and 1500 grit, 2000 you can generally find
at an auto parts store back in their automotive
detailing section. And then the other thing I like to use too are some super fine papers and these are the 3M polishing papers and I like these for getting a really super smooth, really matte, really velvety surface to resin jewelry. These are 3M finishing papers,
there’s six different grits and there’s various sources where you can find these as well. So let me grab a piece here
and we can get started, so, if you look at this resin charm it’s not necessarily unusual sometimes when you’re casting resin
it’s gonna have an edge, and this is partly from the
resin shrinking a little bit as it cools, as it cures
and then partly because it just wants to ride
up the side of the mold. Its not necessarily anything
anybody’s done wrong it’s just unfortunately
kinda how physics works. So, what I like to do, start
with your wet dry sand paper start with something coarse, you’re gonna wanna get
your piece wet, okay, two reasons for this; you
don’t want the friction from sanding to distort
your piece in any way sometimes it can warm your
resin and make it misshape and the other thing too
is keeping your piece wet means your dust will be
wet and so its less likely you’re gonna inhale it.
So, get your piece wet and I’ve done it about 4 times already and start sanding and you want to hold your charm or whatever you’re sanding you wanna hold it evenly and just go in, go in one direction and then at some point you know, we can see we’re
making a little progress you can dip it in your
water again get the dust off and then go in another direction so I’m gonna now sand the opposite way. You can see its starting to turn white and that’s just the dust
combining with the water. You can also go, you know,
up and down, back and forth, do a little figure eight motion. The key is that you want
to change directions while you’re sanding because you’ll find that you will
hold it maybe not evenly or maybe you’re putting
more weight on the piece on one side rather than the other and so what you’ll find is that you won’t sand your piece flat but you’ll kinda sand it at an angle and so you may find that
all of a sudden you’re like oh whoops, its taller at
one end than the other. So by changing directions, it minimizes the chance
that that’s gonna happen. So once you have your piece sanded at least to the point
were you’re happy with it so lets take a look at this
again, let me dry this off. Then you start going down to the next lowest grit of sand paper. So we’ll look at this
one, so you can see here, we’ve taken off the edge
okay so no more sharp edge that we have to worry about
somebody hurting themselves with however, you can see
its kinda frosty here. Now, you might like that, you might think that’s a pretty cool affect. you know, and if this is where you
wanna stop then that’s great. Otherwise you want to go to your next lowest grip of sand paper which in this case, because
we started with a 150 I’d probably go down to a 400. So you might be asking well, lets just speed this up and go directly
to like 1000 or a 2000. You know I wish it worked that way, I know that would be a lot quicker because nobody likes sanding but you’re not gonna get
out all this coarseness. It’ll make it a little better but it’s not gonna make it perfect and so you really need
to go down gradually with your grits of sand paper to get it looking really
nice and really smooth okay. Alright my little pro tip here is if you’re going to re coat this with another layer of
resin, end with a 1000 grit or higher sand paper
otherwise you’re gonna see the scratches underneath
your new layer of resin okay. Alright, what do you do
if you’ve got something you need to sand like
this cabochon that I cast you can see what happened
was so I overfilled the mold a little bit so I’ve
got this little edge here that I need to get rid of, so
how are you gonna sand that so, the way I like to do it is you want to sand with the
curve of the charm, okay. So you want to take and go with the curve so its like a flick of the
wrist kinda thing, alright and let me hold this on its side so you can kind of see
what I’m talking about. So what I’m doing here is
is just sanding it like that along with the curve of the charm and the reason you wanna do it that way is if you do it like this
or if you do it like this you’re gonna end up with a
bunch of like, little edges along your resin charm and
you’re still gonna have to go back and even those out anyway. So, same concept just
kinda go with the curve. Right, you know, and flip it
around and change directions And that gets you a nice,
hopefully a nice curve and same thing start with
coarse and work your way down and you’re gonna get, see
its already looking better already looking good so okay,
so, you might be wondering well how would you sand
a piece of resin artwork. And you can do that too,
so sometimes you might find that you’ve got a painting you’ve done that just didn’t quite work
out the way you wanted, so perhaps you know, maybe
you didn’t use enough resin and you got fish eyes or you used some kind of disruption
media to create cells and you got pockets and so you’re like ugh crimey know what I’m I going to do so when it comes to sanding
a flat piece of artwork obviously you wanna just like
you did with your resin charms you wanna make sure you’ve
got it on a nice surface or a flat surface, firm surface. You still want to make sure
and wear your dust mask and what I like to do
is start with the same coarse grit of sand paper again and you can either buy
something like a sanding block or you can get a wood block and you’re gonna do the same thing. I’m holding it here
around the paper, okay, were gonna put just a
little bit of water on here because we don’t want to
inhale the dust alright and were gonna do the same
thing, were gonna sand. Back and forth, circles, or you can do a figure
eight motion okay, now, one of my tricks that I like to do on sanding resin paintings that I learned from my metal smithing days. For those of you who’ve ever sanded metal it’s the same concepts but generally what I would
do is try and make my sanding marks go in two
different directions so like maybe like, you
know, east west, north south and then what I would do with
the next grit of sand paper is go opposite to that and that way you’ll know that you’ve
gotten all your marks out from the previous grit of sand paper so that way by the time you’re done hopefully you’ll know without a doubt that you’ve got another
really really smooth surface that you can then either
leave with that matte surface or you can re coat with
another layer of resin, okay. So sanding takes a
while I’m not gonna lie, its not something I like
to do. I don’t know, I know there’s a couple of you out there that like to sand and I think its probably a cry for help in some way
because, this is just horrible and boring and all that,
certainly there are power tools that can help you. You know,
the trick with them though is knowing when to stop, being careful that you don’t take off too much and obviously be careful that you don’t, you know, hurt yourself
or something like that. So, same thing with resin
paintings once you get down to a 1000 grit or higher, you should not see any sanding marks on your piece once you flood it with
another layer or resin and hopefully you will have the perfect resin piece the next time. Okay, alright well, anyway
thanks all for joining me today I’m glad you could join me and learn a little bit about sanding. If you want to learn
more about how to sand your resin pieces or learn more about how to work with resin. Please
stop by we’ve got lots of information to help you with your resin project. We’ve also got, the resin supplies that we use ourselves for sale in our shops.
So we hope next time you need something for a resin project you’ll come shop with us as well and if you haven’t
already you can find us on other social media channels such as; Facebook, Youtube and
Pinterest where we share helpful advice as well. So thanks everyone for joining me today I do this every Friday at
noon Eastern on Instagram. So I hope to see you again next Friday for a little lunch break
with resin, see ya!


  1. Nice! I get my 1000 grit + in the automotive department at walmart. I never have seen those finishing papers but I already have a favorite anyway. Micromesh! 🙂 I think the highest grit on those I usually get is 12000. – Heidi

  2. I sand with 180 and then cot with resin and never see the resin marks. Lots of people agree with this. Why is your advice different?

  3. Can you please do a video on how to sand/finish a piece to a clear and see-through finish without adding more resin? After I cut or sand my resin to the desired shape it's left all scratched and cloudy. Even after sanding down up to 600 grit where the piece feels super smooth I still can't see through it. Adding a top coat of resin is not an option due to the shape such as a sphere.

  4. I sanded my pieces up to a 5000 grit. I bought that online. However, in the end it still looked cloudy. I went from 400 grit, to 800 to 1000 to 1200 to 2000 to 5000.

    Any idea why this didn't work?
    Or is there any other way to do it??

  5. My resin on my ball markers didn't cure smooth. I think my ratio was off. Its still a little sticky and its been 3 days. Do you recommend sanding?

  6. I'm confused. You said that the scratch marks from sanding will be noticeable even if you pour another layer of Resin in top. I don't understand this, because when people talk about pouring another layer of Resin on top of a fully hardened piece (not a tacky layer), they mention to scratch it up so that the Resin can adhere to the piece better. I've done this as well, when pouring another layer on top, and you do not see the scratch marks at all inside it, once it seals together. Why is the scratch marks from sanding, different?

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