You may have read our recent article ‘Can you use acrylic paint on wood’ and if you were wondering ‘can you sand acrylic paint on wood’ then you are not alone. The answer is, ‘yes you can’. Sanding acrylics can be done as you work and layer and with enough skill, you can even sand out unseemly textures and streaks in regular paintings on canvas! All it takes is some fine-grit sandpaper, patience, and a lot of practice.
In response to queries, I’ve whipped up this article to tell you how it’s done. We’ll talk about your sandpaper, sanding between painting sessions, and applying sandpaper to wood and canvas.
We’ll start by saying that ‘yes, you can sand acrylic paint on wood’ and go straight into the process!
You’ve got this, so hang in there!
You’re gonna need some fine-grit sandpaper
Sanding of acrylic paint is not only possible, but it’s a very useful skill. The key to the process is going to be using only a grit sandpaper that is fine, and using it very lightly as you work. While this sounds simple, it’s a process that you’ll need to be patient with because it can take a long time for you to master it.
The nice thing is that once you have learned how to effectively do this, you aren’t limited to simply using it on wood. A light enough touch can remove unwanted textures on a number of surfaces, so this is a skill that’s well worth practicing.
Sanding also helps to prepare the surface for the painting in the first place, so let’s talk about that first before we get in to playing with paint textures. Don’t worry, it will only take a moment!
Is it good to sand between coats?
If you are doing something complex, be sure to ‘hedge your bets’ with some of the techniques we’ve detailed in ‘How to transfer an image to your canvas’ and in ‘Sketching and painting’ as you learn these techniques. This will give you a nice foundation to build on as you see what sanding between coats can do.
So, is it good to sand between coats? I believe that it is and I’ll tell you why. While you won’t use it a lot in the beginning, as your painting projects get more complex then sanding between coats can give the finished work a smoother, more organic finish. You don’t HAVE to sand in between coats, but I’d highly recommend that you at least try it so that you can see the difference that it makes.
It’s a little more time consuming but when you get good at it, you can spot-sand and smooth textures that you don’t like while keeping the ones that tickle your fancy. It opens up a lot of possibilities, so give it a try and see for yourself!
For more reasons why you might want to use sandpaper, you don’t have to take our word for it. Take a look at this 3rd party link here and you can get some more info on the subject.
Can you sand to remove textures and streaks in the painting?
Now for the part that got you hooked in the first place. Can you sand to remove textures and streaks from your work? Yes, indeedy!
All it takes is your finest grit sandpaper and a careful, light touch. Acrylic dust can get in your nose doing this, so put on a facemask, and after that you can further safeguard yourself a little by dabbing a drop of water onto the dry acrylic before you start your surgical-sanding.
Sand down the texture patiently, because you don’t want to rub off too much, and with a little practice you’re going to get very good at this. Sometimes our acrylic paints get weird textures when they dry and I have to say that this simple technique really makes a huge difference.
Try it, master it, and I guarantee that you are going to use it a LOT.
In conclusion: You can sand acrylic paint on wood and lots of other surfaces
Sanding acrylic is not only fine to do, but it is a useful skill. You can sand in-between painting the surface to make your textures and layers perfect and this skill also carries into the realm of canvas, opening up a world of options for your art in this medium as well.
So, give it a try and you can see for yourself… Sanding might just be your favorite new tool in your growing list!