Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Can liquid sandpaper be used on particle board?

Liquid sandpaper is a chemical solution that removes the glossy layer from a painted item, enabling you to paint over the surface of the object. When you apply liquid sandpaper to an object, the outer layer gets removed, allowing an additional coat of paint to stick to the surface. However, liquid sandpaper can only be used on smooth wood, not glued-together wood chips, since the moisture in the liquid sandpaper can damage an object.

Particle board is a cheaper, greener alternative to solid wood. Manufacturers produce particle board to recycle their scrap materials, keeping them out of the landfills. It's made by combining waste wood shavings and sawdust with resin. Five percent of particle board comes from non-wood materials such as linen flax, sugarcane and bamboo. However, particle board is not as strong or efficient as solid wood. Articles made of particle board are meant to be used for interior paneling or shelving where appearance and endurance aren't a factor. In any case, they are usually painted over, making the final product look complete and professional.

Moisture ruins particle board, causing the board to stain and weaken. Furniture made of particle board cannot be exposed to the elements and should not be used near water pipes. Since liquid sandpaper is essentially a wet solution, it can damage particle board like any kind of moisture or liquid. Therefore, if you want to repaint furniture made of particle wood, it's best to use traditional sandpaper. However, many household components made of particle board, such as wall paneling, are actually covered in a thin layer of wood to produce a smooth surface. In this case, it's possible to use liquid sandpaper, but be careful not to remove the entire top layer so the rough particle board underneath stays protected.