Scotch Brite Pads for sanding between coats?

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Forum topic by noone posted 06-10-2013 03:09 PM 9720 views 2 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View noone's profile


559 posts in 1691 days

06-10-2013 03:09 PM

I’ve been going through a lot of sandpaper lately and was wondering if I can/should use Scotch Brite pads in between top coats of paint/lacquer/cv.

Is this standard practice or is 320 sandpaper the norm?

This is what I have been doing for painted projects-

150 sand bare wood
prime with BIN
220 sand
1st topcoat
320 light sand
2nd topcoat

11 replies so far

View rrww's profile


263 posts in 1532 days

#1 posted 06-10-2013 03:33 PM

I use the foam backed pads with a little block of wood.

The problems I had with the scotch brite and other pads with no backing is that the pad wants to “float” over some nibs instead of cutting them. I get a smoother finish with the backed pads.

If I don’t have any pads I use P400 sandpaper.

Good Luck!

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 1780 days

#2 posted 06-10-2013 04:24 PM

I don’t waste my time with shellac since any resin based top coat will serve as its own primer/base coat.

Get rid of any nibs after the first coat with 220 drywall sanding screen and/or maroon scotchbrite.

Add subsequent coats without intermediate sanding to the desired build.

Rub out with 0000 steel wool and paste wax.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View noone's profile


559 posts in 1691 days

#3 posted 06-10-2013 04:47 PM

Well, I have been using water borne topcoats. GF White Poly and SW Pro Classic.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2111 days

#4 posted 06-10-2013 07:43 PM

I have always used 0000 steel wool but that was the old way I was taught.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View NiteWalker's profile


2735 posts in 1995 days

#5 posted 06-10-2013 08:17 PM

I use 320 between coats.
Sandpaper for hand sanding lasts surprisingly long.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Dusty56's profile


11804 posts in 3106 days

#6 posted 06-10-2013 08:45 PM

Use caution on open grained, light colored woods if you’re using a clear finish.
I’ve had poor luck with steel wool and also the gray Scotch-Brite pads as they tend to fill in the pores with dark matter that won’t come out unless you sand below the finish and start over again.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View AlanBienlein's profile


159 posts in 2093 days

#7 posted 06-11-2013 02:19 AM

This is all I ever use now for sanding between coats when finishing. They last forever and give a baby smooth finish.

View noone's profile


559 posts in 1691 days

#8 posted 06-11-2013 03:13 AM

Thanks. The sponges I had been using wore out quickly (3M) so I had switched up to sandpaper/sanding block setups for cost.

I’ll have to try these pro sponges.

View Planeman40's profile


788 posts in 2179 days

#9 posted 06-11-2013 06:41 AM

I gave up on sanding between coats years ago.

I apply two or three initial coats of varnish, shellac, or paint to build up a decent base, then use a single-edge razor blade to scrape the dried paint/varnish surface. The object is to scrape until there is no gloss. If there are still depressions or deep scratches, paint on more coats, let dry, and scrape again. The object is to scrape away the high areas and fill in low areas with more coats of paint/varnish. When all is well, lightly wet sand with 600 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper (the black stuff) and finish with automotive rubbing compound. You will have a glass smooth high gloss finish. Shellac works especially well doing this. Also, the razor blade doesn’t clog up like sand paper. Buy single edge razor blades in boxes of 100 for about $3 to $5 per box. You will also be surprised how quick this can be. I have refinished large cabinets this way as well as small items.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View noone's profile


559 posts in 1691 days

#10 posted 06-11-2013 05:20 PM

Interesting, Planeman.

I didn’t know you could rub out paint.

How would you achieve a semi-gloss finish?

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2619 posts in 2527 days

#11 posted 06-12-2013 01:04 AM

Single-edge blades as scrapers? Who’d’ve thunk it? Do you have issues with the corners of the blades?

I’ve rubbed out (automotive) paint on pinewood derby cars to a high luster. It is possible to have a less glossy finish just by controlling the grit, i.e., rubbing compound as opposed to polishing compound.

I’ve also wet-sanded painted wood to make it smooth. You just have to go easy on it.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

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