Sanding a painting


(Deborah Kommalan) #1

I would like to ask about sanding a painting surface. I am working on a painting in which some dust was caught in the wet paint. As it is in the dark shadow part of the composition, it’s more than visible, it looks pretty bad. I’d like to sand the surface to get rid of the junk so I can repaint the section that needs help. I don’t want to ruin anything nearby that is in good shape. I worry about the edges of sandpaper touching the surface and making a mark in the good area.

I was thinking that perhaps I could make a pouche of some type of cloth and fine grit emery so I could have better control of the area to be sanded. I could make one maybe the size of my fingernail.

I’d be interested in what kind of cloth… several layers of cheesecloth? Maybe that mesh is too open? And the fineness of emery? Where could I get emery powder?
Would the powder stick in the dry paint creating more problems?

Any thoughts?


(Sandra Power) #2

Wish I could be of help. I have trouble getting rid of particles, hair etc that have dried in to the surface. I use a very fine sandpaper which doesn’t do the trick but when I use a coarser paper the paint comes off. I’ll be interested to see if you get any tips as I could use the help also.
Thanks for sharing your problem…glad to learn that I’m not the only one with this issue. :slight_smile:


(Anthony Waichulis) #3

Hey Deb! I don’t know how I missed this question. Sorry about that!

I have had similar problems every now and then. What can make this issue worse is that when the painting is varnished, many of those protruding particulates could throw off a specular highlight (something most really don’t want in the dark regions of a painting.)

What I have done in the past (and continue to do) is to rub two pieces of 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper together to get a relatively smooth, near paper-like surface. The sandpaper surface will still hold some some very small aggregate–but it is often too fine to be noticed by touch. Rub this smoothed sandpaper over the affected area until the particulates are gone. You’ll see that it only “scuffs” (not scratches) the surface and by applying a little medium you’ll soon see that the content is preserved.