What are some uses for liquid sandpaper?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

Key Takeaways

  • Liquid sandpaper, or deglosser, is a chemical solution used to remove the glossy layer from painted surfaces. This makes it easier to repaint without sanding.
  • It is especially useful for intricate objects with grooves and designs that are difficult to sand with traditional sandpaper, and it eliminates the risk of inhaling toxic particles.
  • Always clean the surface before applying liquid sandpaper, work in a well-ventilated area and follow safety precautions due to flammability and strong fumes.

Liquid sandpaper is a chemical solution that removes the glossy layer from a painted item, enabling you to paint over the object without the paint dripping off. Unlike regular sandpaper, it just removes gloss; it can’t be used to smooth the surface, correct imperfections or as a paint primer. Liquid sandpaper is also referred to as deglosser and wet sanding.

The advantage of using liquid sandpaper instead of regular sandpaper is that it’s easier to apply and safer to use. You just rub liquid sandpaper over the object you wish to paint, wait a set amount of time and wipe off. There is no physical exertion necessary and no messy dust particles to sweep away. Furthermore, when you sand an older object using standard sandpaper, there is the possibility of inhaling toxic lead particles; however, liquid sandpaper obviates that risk. In addition, liquid sandpaper is ideal for removing paint from ornate objects that have grooves and intricate designs. It’s almost impossible to sand down such delicate objects with traditional sandpaper.


Before you use liquid sandpaper, thoroughly clean the surface of the object you're sanding with soap and water. Then dry the surface with a clean, lint-free cloth. This prevents loose pieces of dust that naturally attach to an object from remaining on the surface and being painted over. Next, rub in the liquid sandpaper using another clean, lint-free cloth. Let it sit for the amount of time specified on the package and then dry the object with another cloth.

Since the chemicals in the liquid sandpaper solution give off very strong fumes, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area and use gloves and eye protection. In addition, the solution is extremely flammable, so keep away from high heat and fire when applying the liquid sandpaper and dispose of the used cloths safely.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can liquid sandpaper be used on all types of paint finishes?
Liquid sandpaper is effective on most paint finishes, but its efficiency might vary with very durable or specialized coatings. Always test a small area first.
How long does it take for liquid sandpaper to dry before painting?
Drying times can vary, but generally, liquid sandpaper needs to sit for the amount of time specified on the product before you wipe it off and proceed with painting.