How To Sand Metal Safely (Pros, Cons and Warnings)

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Sometimes back, my coins accidentally fell from my collection into a can full of wet paint. I thought it was the last time ever to use them.

However, I tried out sanding, which cleaned the paint off the coin.

Sanding is the technique used to clean metal surfaces. It can also help remove old paint and rust from the surfaces.

Before painting the metal surface, the preparation process is essential as it makes the paint soften for easy removal.

Sanding makes metal surfaces uniform, smooth and easier to paint.

Silicon Carbide is the best sandpaper for metal sanding due to its finer grits. Professionals recommend it since it is an extra-fine sandpaper (400-600 grit), which forms a smooth coat for paint or varnish.

Good sandpaper should have 120-220 grit for final sanding.

Medium sandpaper (60-100 grit) is for primary sanding, while coarse sandpaper (40-50 grit) removes old finishes.

How to Sand Metals Step by Step Procedure

Step 1- Sanding Tool

The ideal metal sanding tool is the orbital sander. The sander does most of the work for you and is efficient.

If you cannot afford an orbital sander, you can make a sanding block by wrapping sandpaper around a block of wood. I used a sanding block to get paint off my coins.

Step 2- Coarse Sanding

As you begin sanding the metal surface, use an 80 grit sanding disk or sand block. In case you are using a sanding block, sand in a back-and-forth or circular motion.

Unless you have a preference on how the sanding marks appear, the direction does not matter.

Continue sanding until the paint or rust is almost off the metal surface. However, do not sand it too much to avoid weakening the metal.

Step 3 – Fine Sanding

Replace the 80 grit with a 200 grit sand disk or paper.

The 200 grit gives your metal surface a smoother finish than the coarse sanding grit. It also avoids digging into the metal.

Step 4- Sand by Hand

Once you finish sanding with the 200 grit sandpaper, sand by hand to reach tight spaces where paint or rust cannot easily come off.

Step 4- Steel Wool

To achieve a finer surface, you should use steel wool. Rub the steel wool gently and steadily in circular motions over the surface.

Eventually, if you follow the steps above to the latter, it will give you a smooth and shiny metal surface.

I got back my coins and used them afterwards.

Key Take Aways Points

  • Sanding prepares metal surfaces before polishing or painting.
  • If you do not have money to buy ready-made sanding paper, you can make one at home.
  • Metal surfaces need finer sandpaper compared to wood.

To achieve a finer outcome when working with metal surfaces, sand them. Follow the procedures set above for good results.

All the required materials mentioned are available at the local supermarket or hardware stores.