How to Sand Metal?

Knowing how to sand metal can be useful. Usually, people sand metal to get rid of an old and unwanted color from that metal or to remove any scratches. Sanding will give the metal a smooth look and it will also make the surface even. So, if you are interested in learning how to sand metal then make sure to read this article.

How to sand metal?

Try to follow these instructions in order to sand metal like a pro. Make sure to read the steps carefully and if you don’t understand something, then make sure to shoot us a private message using the “Contact us” page.

Tools You Need

You can use different tools while sanding, but the most used one and the best one is the electric sander. You can use different things to sand a metal such as the classic sanding blocks or manually sanding it with a sanding paper [ more on that later ] but I highly recommend you to use electric sanders.

Electric sanders are known for their speed, you can’t even compare on how much faster you will complete sanding with an electric sander then with the other two. Not only they are fast, but they also will give you outstanding results and a great smooth surface especially if you are working with large ridges or surfaces. They are affordable, you can check their price by clicking the link above, and they last a lot, so you will be set for years.

Sure, you can use sanding blocks too. But they are slow. You will be spending a lot more of your time and physical effort to complete larger surfaces. Plus they won’t give you good results. Its harder to get a smooth and scratch-free surface with sanding blocks. So that’s one of many reasons why you need an electric sander to sand metal.

How to sand metal with an electric sander?

While sanding with an electric sander you should never use the same sanding disk to complete the entire process, to get the best results you should use different sanding disks. It’s always recommended to use the coarse sanding disk at the beginning.

I always use an 80-grit sanding disk when I start out to sand metal, a big reason for that is because with an 80-grit sanding disk you can easily remove the top layers of paint and scratches. But, you also have to be careful while working with this sand disk, you will have to sand slowly since you should avoid the disk from eating into the surface and weakening the surface. Once the top layers of the paint and scratches go away, you should switch to another sand disk.

You should switch to a higher and finer grit. I usually switch from the 80-grit sanding disk to the 200-grit sanding disk. The 200-grid disk is smoother and it will not eat the surface, which gives you the opportunity to get a smoother finish without limiting yourself on how fast you sand. You should use the 200-grid disk until all the material is gone, and the metal is smooth and clean.

If there’s any space where the paint remains, or the surface isn’t as smooth as the other parts of the surface then you can manually sander that space. You will have to go at the same steps as you would with a sand disk. Start sanding it manually with your hand by using the 80-grid sandpaper and once you are done then move to the 200-grit sandpaper.

Once you are done your metal should look smooth and clean. However, if you want a smoother surface then you can use the ball of steel wool. It will give a smooth and unique finish. You can simply rub it in circular motions until the metal looks polished. You can also sand wood by using the best sanders for wood furniture

How to Sand Metal Using a Sand Paper?

Yes, using an electric sander will speed up the process and it will give you better results, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do all that process without an electric sander. As we mentioned it earlier, you do this process manually using sandpaper. The process is the same. You start with 80-grit sandpaper and sand the metal in circular motions.  When you remove the unwanted material such as the top players of paint, or any scratches then you move to finer and higher sandpaper such as the 200-grit sandpaper. Using the 200-grit sandpaper until you get a smooth finish.

 

Things you should know

Learn more about the different things that you should know while sanding.

Know the Grit Numbers

As you can see in this article, we have mentioned sandpapers/disk a lot. You can also see that each sandpaper has it’s own grit number. So how do you know which one to choose at the beginning and which one to choose when you just want to smooth the surface? Well just remember the higher the number of the grit the smoother that sandpaper is.

So using sandpapers between 35 and 100 grit means that it will remove all the top layers and unwanted material. It’s best to use these sandpaper/disk on an electric sander. But you also have to be careful with these sandpapers since they can weaken the material. The grits between 100 and 180 are more used for smoothing the material and from 180 and up are used for smoothing it even more. The numbers can go up to 2000 grit, usually, the 2000 grit sandpapers are used to achieve the mirror look finishes.

Final Words

And this is, this is how you sand metal. Once you are done sanding metal you can re-paint it with another color or you can leave it with its natural metal color. But keep in mind that if you are not satisfied with the sanding then you can re-do the whole process again and again until you are satisfied.

But, make sure to only remove the top layers of paint and to smooth the metal, if you try to hard or push the electric sander to much you can weaken the metal. So always while using 30 to 100 grit sand disks try to move the electric sander as slow as possible and not push it as much.

Learn also: How to sand Tables?

 

Michael is the Editor at thetoolgeeks.com. He used to own a local shop where he sold different tools for 20+ years. He now enjoys researching DIY tools and writing guides about it.

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