How to Sand Glass (Sandpaper or Dremel)?

If you have a glass that has a lot of scratches and you want to remove these scratches without replacing the glass then you have to sand and polish the glass.

Sanding glass is not hard, but you will need a guide to follow so you can know what you are doing. Down below we have made a simple but effective three-step guide to help you sand glass easier.

Can You Sand Glass?

Yes, you can sand glass. If a glass has scratches and you want to remove them or if you want to smooth the edges of a glass, then sanding it is a good idea. 

To sand glass, you can use a few tools. I prefer to use sandpaper, but you can also use a sander or a Dremel. It’s an easy process, but you have to be careful. You can easily break the glass while sanding. That’s why you need a step-by-step guide. 

Related Read — Can you Sand Aluminum?

What Tools Do You Need to Sand Glass?

There are a lot of tools you can use to sand glass, but here are 3 main tools we recommend: 

  1. Sandpaper
  2. Sander
  3. Dremel

If you have to sand small objects such as your watch face then you can do it without any tool, you can just get a few sheets of sandpaper and sand it with your hand, it won’t take you a lot of time since it’s small.

But, if you are working with medium or big surfaces then you surely need a machine to do the work for you. I recommend you to use an electric sander, you will complete the task faster and better, and you won’t spend a lot of energy on doing it.

There are a lot of different sander models and types. But what I recommend you using is an orbital sander or a belt sander.  They are the most used sanders and they do a great job so they are worth it. If you don’t have a sander then make sure to check our best sanders for paint removal post.

If buying a sander is not an option for you then you can use a Dremel. It is a very small multi-function tool that can be only used for small surfaces. Dremels are a good alternative to sanders since they have a sanding and polishing attachment. And the best part is that they don’t cost a lot of money.

Whenever you choose to use a sander or a Dremel it’s up to you. But you need to have 3 of four different sandpapers and a polishing pad. You also need a polishing compound to polish the glass once you are done sanding it.

Read also: Grinder Vs Sander

How to Sand Glass With Sandpaper?

Follow and read these 5 steps slowly and carefully and we guarantee you that you will get excellent results.

Step 1 – Protect Yourself

First things firsts, you need to wear safety gear such as goggles and gloves before sanding glass.

Always while working safety comes first, especially if you are working with objects or pieces that can hurt you, such as glass. That’s because, while sanding glass, a lot of dust glass or fragments will start to float in the air, they can harm you and people that are near. That’s why it is important to use safety gear.

If you are a DIYer or a professional then you may already know this, but if not, then you need safety goggles to protect your eyes, gloves for your hands, and something to cover your mouth. You can find these in almost every shop, but there’s a big chance that you will also find these in your home since these are essential for almost everything.

Keep in mind that safety comes first, and using safety gear is not optional, you should always wear them while working with these kinds of materials.

Step 2 – Sand The Edges

Step 2 - Sand The Edges

For this step, you need coarse sandpaper. You should start with 80-grit sandpaper. This is the first phase and it’s only to get rid of any bumps, scratches, and making the surface flat. 

Place the sandpaper on a flat surface, and start adding water to the sandpaper. Using water helps the glass to move easier and it also reduces the amount of dust. Now, place the glass on top of the sandpaper, start moving in circular motions. and apply some pressure. Do this for at least a minute. 

After a minute has passed, check the glass. Use a dry towel to clean the dust and the water so you can have a clear look. You can easily notice what parts were sanded and what parts weren’t. If it looks good to you then you can continue to the next step, if it doesn’t then you can sand it again.

Step 3 – Sand The Inner Glass

Step 3 - Sand The Inner Glass
 

Now that the edges of the glass are flat, you should sand the inner glass. Take the same (80-grit sandpaper) and wet it. Hold the glass with one hand, and start sanding the inner edges with the sander. Don’t go very deep into the glass, you just need to sand the beginning of the inner part. 

After you are done, you need to start the outer edges of the glass. Do the same process, hold the glass with one hand and sand it with the other hand. Be careful while doing this, you can easily cut yourself. 

Step 4 – Polish The Glass

Step 4 - Polish The Glass

You are done with the sanding part, now it’s time to polish the glass. For this phase, you need to start with 150-grit sandpaper. 

Do the same process, place the sandpaper into a flat surface and add some water. Now, put the glass on top of the sandpaper and start doing circular motions while applying some pressure. 

Do this for a minute or more. Once you are done with the edges, you need to polish the inner and outer glass. Hold the glass with one hand and the sandpaper with the other and start sanding.

The changes in the polish phase aren’t as noticeable as the ones in the sanding phase. So, you have to dry the glass before noticing any changes. 

Step 5 – Move to a Finer Sandpaper

Step 5 - Move to a Finer Sandpaper

After you are satisfied with the 150-grit sandpaper, you need to move to finer sandpaper (220-grit) and do the same process. Once you are done with the 220-grit  sandpaper, you need to move to a finer one. Here is a list of sandpaper’s you need to use to sand glass:

  1. 80-grit
  2. 150-grit
  3. 220- grit 
  4. 400-grit
  5. 1000-grit
  6. 2000-grit

After you are done with all of these, clean and dry the glass. And this is how you sand glass with sandpaper.

How to Sand Glass With Dremel or Drill?

Sanding glass with a Dremel is the same as sanding glass with sandpaper. The only difference is that a Dremel does most of the work for you. 

Step 1 – Attach a Sanding Bit 

Have a bowl of water near you. Place the tip of the Dremel into the water, and put the whole glass into the water. 

Once both are wet, you should start with an 80-grit sanding bit. The sanding bit should be large enough, the larger it is the faster you will complete this project.

Just make sure that the bit can fit inside the glass. You will have to sand the inner parts of the glass, so the sanding bit must fit inside. Test it before starting the Dremel.

Related Read — Steps on Sanding a Table?

Step 2 – Start Sanding

Hold the tool with your dominant hand and the glass with the other hand. Start the Dremel and sand the inner part of the glass first. 

Don’t apply too much pressure or you can break the glass. The Dremel rotates up to 32,000 times per minute. A light pressure it’s enough.

Once you are done with the inner part, you need to move to the top of the glass and sand it. Do the same process, hold the glass with one hand and move the Dremel into the glass with the other hand. Once you are done with the top part of the glass, you should do the same process with the outer part of the glass. 

Step 3 – Move to a Finer Sanding Bit

Stop the Dremel and check the results. You have to completely dry the glass to have a clear view. If you are satisfied with the results, then you should do the same process all over again but with the finer sand bit. 

I’d recommend using a 220-grit sanding bit, then a 320-grit, and so on, until you are happy with the results.

Related Read — Steps on Sanding a Door?

Final Words

Take your time. Don’t rush things. Make sure you have sanded all the area with one sandpaper before using the other one, and after you are done with one step always make sure to clean any dust or water before continuing to the next step.

If you don’t get a smooth surface then you can just re-do the whole process since it won’t take you more than 10 minutes.

Once you do this a lot of times then you can get the best results with one take, but until that time comes just make sure to re-do each step until you are satisfied with the glass look.

Learn also: How to sand your car?

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