Domino cleanup and restoration – Sanding

Domino cleanup and restoration – Sanding

 Continuing on the domino cleanup and restoration series.  Sanding your dominoes is next. This step really should be refereed to more as polishing or buffing since the grit of abrasive pads used is not enough to take off much surface.

This is by far the most important step to SKIP if you do not need to do it.  Once something is sanded off, it cannot be put back on.  Whatever you do in sanding is permanent.  

For sanding I use either either a fingernail buffing pad or sanding blocks. The buffing pad can be purchased at big box stores or pharmacies. The Sanding pads I can be found a hobby store in the model section.

In the package shown on the right, I only tend to use the 8000-12000 grit pads. 

What these sanding pads do is basically polish your dominoes.  The lower grits can remove minor scratches but the end goal of this step is to get a smooth surface.

You want to have a smooth surface at the end because the next step is painting.  

If you have spilled anything on an unvarnished wood surface, you know that liquids soak into every crack and crevice that it finds. The same is true when you paint the dominoes. If you have lots of tiny crevices then paint will stick in those spots. If you allow the paint to dry completely before cleaning out those spots then you could have permanent speckles.

How to polish/sand/buff:

Make sure the domino can lay flat on a table.  If you have spinners on your dominoes, cut a hole in a piece of cardboard and put the domino on the cardboard so the spinner sits in the hole.  This just keeps the domino from spinning or wobbling while you are sanding.

Using your sanding or buffing pad, sand the surface of the domino with the buffing side of the nail block or the 12000 grit pad. Using water as a wet-sanding medium will help this process. This will take a couple minutes per domino if you have surface issues.  WARNING – if you do not have issues – skip the sanding

If you do have a small scratch that you are trying to remove and the 12000 doesn’t seem to be working, go to the 8000 pad. Be patient, this may take a while.  This is where you do not want to rush! If you go to a low number pad too quickly you will end up with more scratches.  If a full 2 minutes on the 8000 does not work, try 6000 and so on.

Important Note – sand with every pad up to 12000

If you use any other pad than the 12000 you will need to sand with every pad up to 12000. If you used the 4000, then use the 6000, 8000 and finally the 12000 IN ORDER.

To rephrase because this is important.

If You used the 4000 pad (wet or dry)

  • Use the 6000 pad (wet or dry) to remove an imperfections caused the 4000 pad.
  • Then use the 8000 pad (wet or dry) to remove an imperfections caused the 6000 pad.
  • Finally, use the 12000 pad (wet or dry) to remove an imperfections caused the 8000 pad.

Next post: Painting

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