Skip to Content

Can You Use Sandpaper on Glass? | What You Need to Know

Please share!

When I first started working at an auto body shop, I was amazed at the work that our painter was able to do. One of his most important tools was sandpaper. I soon found out that it could basically be used on just about any surface.

You can use sandpaper on glass. However, you will need to use wet sandpaper and be very careful when sanding down glass objects. Additionally, you’ll have to work your way up to using extremely fine grit sandpaper, especially if you’re sanding glass to get rid of scratches. 

This article will explore how to use sandpaper on glass in further detail. I’ll answer questions about what kind of sandpaper to use on glass, what grit sandpaper you should use to sand glass, and what precautions you should take when doing so.

Sandpaper being used on a car headlight

What Is the Best Way To Sand Glass?

The answer to this question depends on what you aim to get from sanding your glass object – smoothing down the edge or removing scratches from the glass surface.

The best way to sand glass to remove scratches is to use an extremely fine grit, wet sandpaper. The best way to sand glass to smoothen the edge is to use wet sandpaper. 

Sanding Glass To Remove Scratches

To sand glass to remove scratches from the surface, you should:

  1. Use extremely fine grit sandpaper. You will need to start at 3000 grit sandpaper and make your way up to 7000 grit.
  2. Start with 3000-grit sandpaper. Ensure both the surface of the glass you’re working on and the sandpaper have been sufficiently dampened.
  3. Start sanding the glass, moving the sandpaper in circular motions.
  4. Once you’re done sanding the glass with 3000 grit sandpaper, repeat these steps with successively finer sandpaper. Ideally, you should get to at least 7000 grit sandpaper, but you can go up to 10,000 grit if you want.
  5. Remember to keep your sandpaper and glass surface wet at all times. If either starts to dry out, add some more water to dampen them again.

Sanding Glass Edges With Sandpaper

The most affordable and convenient way to sand down glass edges is to use sandpaper.

What Grit Sandpaper for Glass Edge?

Unlike sanding away glass scratches, you do not need ultra-fine sandpaper to sand down the edges of glass objects.

To sand glass edges, you will need to start with 80 grit sandpaper and make your way up to 400 grit sandpaper. To achieve a professional look, you can go up to 2000 grit sandpaper instead.

To sand glass edges with sandpaper, you should:

  1. Dampen your 80-grit sandpaper and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Hold your glass, placing the edge that you will be smoothening against the sandpaper.
  3. Move the glass in a circular motion over the sandpaper to smoothen out the rough edges.
  4. If the glass is too large to hold against the sandpaper and sand, you can hold the wet sandpaper and move it around the glass edges instead.
  5. Remember to rotate the glass/sandpaper to smoothen out all sides of the glass equally.
  6. Repeat the process for the inner and outer edges of the glass. For these edges, you will have to hold the sandpaper, as holding the glass will not be convenient.
  7. Remember to ensure that the sandpaper is wet at all times, re-dampening it if it dries out.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 with finer and finer grit sandpaper until you get to 400 grit sandpaper. After this, you can continue sanding with finer grit until you reach 2000 grit sandpaper if you want a professional-looking finish.

What Kind of Sandpaper Do You Use on Glass?

To sand glass, you will need to use wet/dry sandpaper that can be dampened. You can also use silicon carbide sandpaper or a diamond sanding pad for the best result and easiest sanding experience. 

Various types of sandpaper on carpet

If you’re looking for a diamond sanding pad, I recommend the Toolocity DHPSET Diamond Hand Polishing Pads (available on Amazon.com). This set of 7 hand polishing pads starts at 50 grit and goes up to 3000 grit, ensuring you can easily sand out the rough edges of your glass object without needing to buy additional pads. Additionally, they are designed with a radius design to be easy to hold and use.

Is Sanding Glass Dangerous?

Sanding glass is dangerous because you may inhale glass dust. Inhaling glass or silica dust over a long period of time can cause silicosis, a disease of the lungs.

Silicosis results in inflammation and fibrosis of the lungs. This is a long-term risk of sanding glass, which is why you must always take safety precautions when working on such projects.

You should wear a ventilation mask, as well as gloves and eye protection at all times when sanding glass. Ideally, these should be worn during any sanding projects, including when sanding wood and metal.

Final Thoughts

You can use sandpaper on glass. However, you will have to be extremely careful when sanding glass and use wet, fine-grit sandpaper at all times unless you’re looking to create a frosted effect by sanding the glass.

For more, check out Can You Use Acrylic Paints on Glass? | Washable vs Permanent.

Please share!