Sanding Polymer Clay with Drywall Sandpaper Means Less Gouging

Sanding Polymer Clay

Vid #043: Using Drywall Sandpaper For Sanding Polymer Clay:

I’m sure whoever invented this cool sandpaper product did not think it would end up being used to sand polymer clay jewelry. But I use it all the time and love it.

The open mesh concept of drywall sandpaper is much smoother than normal grit sandpaper and therefore, will not gouge your bead surface nearly as much. Give it a try sometime and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll find it in the drywall section of any hardware store in a variety of textures ranging from fine to course.

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The full version of the “Drywall Sandpaper” preview video shown above, is part of a free bonus package that I give away as a special promotion with the purchase of my Polymer Clay Bead Making Fundamentals Course. Because sanding is such an important part of making your polymer clay beads look professional, I spend a fair amount of time discussing and demonstrating different sanding techniques. In this video I talk about the benefits of using drywall sandpaper instead of regular grit sandpaper.

  1. Cindy Lietz, 14 April, 2008

    When you go to buy drywall mesh sandpaper at the hardware store, don’t confuse it with drywall mesh tape. They are completely different products. Don’t get the tape.

    Cindy’s last blog post..Finishing Polymer Clay Beads with Future Floor Polish

  2. Katina, 24 August, 2008

    Does drywall sandpaper need to be “wet” before using like regular sandpaper?

    If I want to use a Dremel to sand my beads, what is the easiest way to secure them while I am sanding so they don’t go flying into the ozone?

  3. Gabriel Diaz-Sarmiento, 23 September, 2017

    Drill the bead with a regular bit. This creates a round hole. Insert into the whole a hex bit that fits snugly so that the bead will spin with the bit.

    Sand with fine sandpaper.

    If you cannot buy the hex bit, take an Allen wrench of the desired size and cut off the L to make it into a hex wrench.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 08 September, 2008

    Drywall sand paper can be used wet or dry. I like to use it wet when sanding beads because the water unclogs the paper and it sands smoother.

    If you put the Dremel in a vice and hold the bead on a bead wire with two hands, it is easier to keep it from ‘flying away’!

  5. Patricia, 20 December, 2008

    Appreciate all your efforts,, Thank you…

    I watched your sanding video and re watched it while I was doing my first set of pc cabs, I didn’t notice until after I glazed that they were all covered in scratches. What did I do wrong? Thanks.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 20 December, 2008

    Patricia you didn’t do anything wrong, you just didn’t continue on with the smaller grit papers, so you just weren’t finished yet.

    The drywall sandpaper is quite a coarse grit and is meant for removing a fair amount of material. After using it, you need to go to a 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper, then a 400 grit, a 600 grit, a 800 grit and a 1200 grit. The paper gets finer the higher the grit.

    Each smaller grit removes the scratches made by the previous grit until the scratches are so fine you can’t see them any more.

    There are several articles on sanding on this blog that would be good for you to read. You can click on the link by my name for another article or use “sanding” as the keyword word in the search box at the top of the page.

  7. Charles Rankin, 04 November, 2009

    Just want to say thank you; regarding dry wall mesh sand paper.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2009

    You are very welcome Charles. Glad this was helpful.

  9. Judy Finch, 13 March, 2010

    Hi Cindy

    Sorry I’m so late, have been very busy lately. I love the Polymer Clay Course videos! I have not yet had time to look at all the follow up bonus tutes you emailed. Love all the techniques… like the sandpaper and water, crayon tips and so many more.

    I have a friend who likes to take shortcuts, but won’t spend the money to learn the real shortcuts like you are showing us. Anyway I love your videos. Can’t wait to watch the rest of them.

    Judy Finch

  10. Cindy Lietz, 13 March, 2010

    Judy – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It makes me happy to hear that the polymer clay short cuts I teach are working out for you. Yay!!!

  11. Reyna Castano, 24 July, 2011

    Just curious…Wont I save time and $ if I start sanding with a 1200 grit sandpaper?
    Or is the process from 320-1200 necessary?

  12. Phaedrakat, 29 July, 2011

    @Reyna Castano: Hi Reyna, unfortunately no — in fact starting at 1200 would take a long time since it’s such a fine grit. It would be difficult to smooth fingerprints, for example, or take a very long time to do. The finer grits wear out quickly, too, so you’d actually waste money this way…

    The best way to accomplish sanding is to do “the process”. At the very least start with a lower grit, then go up thru a couple higher ones. You don’t have to go all the way to 1200, but at least 600…to smooth-out your pieces. (But remember, you’ll get the best shine by doing the entire process.) Give it a try, and you’ll begin to see why it’s necessary. Have you watched Cindy’s sanding videos? Also, check out her article, Sand Your Polymer Clay Beads – Or Else.

    I hope this helps. The best way to prove how well sanding works is to try it. You’ll see how the process takes your beads from OK to extraordinary!

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