How to Use Liquid Sandpaper

A wood table.

Many people think of liquid sandpaper as an alternative abrasive for rubbing down household of workshop items. In fact, liquid sandpaper does not sand at all and is designed for removing the gloss surface from paints. Liquid sandpaper eliminates the need for abrasive sandpaper on delicate surfaces that are being prepared for fresh coatings. If a project is particularly sensitive, using liquid sandpaper is a better option than gritted paper. It can be rubbed gently onto a surface before being left to dry. Liquid sandpaper is ideal for use on antiques or other valuables.

Preferred Surfaces

Sanding takes a lot of physical effort when you are removing or keying paint, especially if the painted surface is a crown molding or decorative piece. Accessibility into tight areas can be impossible with traditional sandpaper. Also, if the paint layer is very thick or has multiple layers, it can be hard to sand down. Liquid sandpaper is a much better option for troublesome surfaces.

Step 1 - Clean

Before beginning work, make sure that surface is completely clean. You can use warm soapy water to wash the surface and a lint-free cloth to dry it. The surface needs to be thoroughly dry before wiping away any dust remnants with a tack rag.

Step 2 - Use the Liquid Sandpaper

Liquid sandpaper is not an alternative to paint stripper. It will not remove coats of paint that have already been applied to the surface you are working on. All it will do is remove the gloss from the surface of the paint so that you can apply a fresh coat over the top of it. Liquid sandpaper will not remove imperfections or blemishes.

Read the instructions provided with your liquid sandpaper before you start. Application can vary slightly between different brands. Once the instructions have been read, you can start to apply the liquid sandpaper to the surface of your project. Don’t leave it on the surface any longer than specified. Always wear gloves and safety glasses when applying liquid sandpaper to your surfaces.

Step 3 - Rub it In

Once you have applied the liquid sandpaper, use a clean dry lint-free cloth to rub it into the surface. This will de-gloss the existing paint and leave it with an effective bonding area when the time comes to repaint the surface.

It is not only painted surfaces that liquid sandpaper can be useful on. Varnished surfaces will also benefit it. Gloss varnished and satin varnished surfaces have a sheen that liquid sandpaper can remove to create a good bonding surface prior to re-varnishing.

Step 4 - Take Safety Precautions

Liquid sandpaper is highly flammable, so don’t use it in enclosed areas or places where there is exposure to naked flames. Also, any cloths that you use to apply your liquid sandpaper should be thoroughly dry before you dispose of them because remaining vapors could still catch alight.

Always remember that you are using a chemical-based, highly flammable solution so great care should be taken during all stages of application, removal, and disposal.