8 Sanding Tips for Polishing Polymer Clay to a Beautiful Finish:
If you have read any of the other articles here on my blog, you will know how much importance I feel it is to sand your polymer clay beads. It is probably the most important step if you want your jewelry projects to have that professional look. Here’s some tips on how to do it correctly:
1) Use Silicone Carbide wet/dry sandpaper, not the regular woodworking or DIY home improvement sand paper.
2) Sand polymer clay wet and add a drop of dish soap into your water dip to help reduce clogging of the sandpaper.
3) Wash out sand paper when it gets clogged. A soft brush and dish soap works well for this. Clogged paper doesn’t do much but give you a sore arm from sanding forever.
4) Start with a low numbered grit like 320 or 400. Then progress through higher grits such as 600, 800, 1200 and 1500. Some artists even go to 2000 grit but it is harder to find.
5) The best industrial grade sanding materials are found in auto supply stores. It is tough and you can often find packs with a variety of grits.
6) Cheap sandpapers tend to curl up and wear out faster, so buy the best brand you can afford. Ask because each store carries different brands. 3M makes a great product so look for it if you can.
7) Change sheets often. Sandpaper doesn’t last forever. If you can’t feel a bit of a ‘tooth’ to the paper, it is probably worn out. You might want to always keep a small square of brand new stuff in all the grits so you have something to compare it to.
8) A polymer clay bead or pendant that has been baked hard for at least an hour, will sand way easier and smoother than one that is under baked.
For more information on how to set up your sanding kit here’s a couple of other articles to read:
If you have any other sanding tips for making shiny polymer clay beads and jewelry, I’d love to hear them. Or if you have a question, I’m here to help.