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Do You Need to Sand Between Coats of Interior Paint?

It’s no secret that interior painting can make a world of difference in a home. Not only does it give the house a new look, but it also adds to its value as well. Before you brush on that fresh coat of paint though, there’s a few important steps to take first. Sanding between coats of paint is one of those steps. Many people consider it a tedious task but if done correctly, it can add a ton of value to the overall job. This article will teach you all about sanding between coats of interior paint, from when to do it to how to do it correctly.

What is Sanding?

Sanding is the process of using abrasive materials like sandpaper or steel wool to smoothen out rough surfaces. It’s used to shape and smooth surfaces before applying a finish and can be done by hand or with power tools. Most professional painters will sand down surfaces before painting to ensure that the paint will lay evenly across the walls and not bubble or blister. It’s a great way to ensure a perfect paint job every time.

Advantages of Sanding Between Coats of Paint

Sanding between coats of paint offers many advantages including a smoother, more even finish. By hand sanding between coats, you get into those hard-to-reach areas and remove any bumps or imperfections. The result is a perfectly flat surface that looks great after it’s painted. Additionally, sanding between coats helps paint adhere better to the surface and prevents cracking or bubbling.

When to Sand Between Coats

When deciding when to sand between coats, it all depends on the colour and consistency of your paint. Generally speaking, you should sand with fine sandpaper after each coat of paint has dried. For most projects, three thin coats is enough, but you may need more depending on the type of paint you’re using. After the final coat of flat paint, you should sand lightly with super fine sandpaper just to remove any small bumps, dust particles, or other imperfections.

What Type of Sandpaper to Use

When it comes to sanding between coats of paint, it’s important to use the right type of sandpaper. Grit sizes of 180 to 220 are great for removing scratches left by coarser grits on unfinished wood. For light sanding between coats of finish, 320 to 400 grit sandpaper is recommended. While these are the ideal types of sandpaper for this job, it’s important to look at the surface you’re sanding and select a grit size accordingly.

Preparing the Surface for Sanding

Before actually sanding between coats of paint, there are a few steps you should take to prepare the surface. Start by vacuuming the surface to remove any dust or dirt particles that may have collected over time. Then, use a damp cloth to get rid of any residue that might have been left behind. If necessary, use some mild soap or detergent to clean any stubborn dirt spots. Once everything is vacuumed and wiped down, you’re ready to start sanding.

Techniques Used for Sanding

The type of technique you use to sand between coats of paint will depend on the level of detail and smoothness you want. If you’re looking for perfection, then sanding the entire wall is a good option. However, if you’re just trying to remove a few minor imperfections, then a drywall sanding pole is what you need. This tool is great for getting into those tight spots and ensuring that the surface is smooth and even.

Precautions to Take When Sanding

When sanding between coats of paint, it’s important to take a few precautions so you don’t damage the walls. Make sure to allow the coats of paint to dry for at least 24 hours before starting the sanding process. Keep the wall damp with water and use a drop cloth to collect the sanding dust. Open windows and wear a dust mask to protect against any airborne particles that may arise during the sanding process.


Sanding between coats of paint might seem like a tedious task, but if done properly, it can result in a perfectly smooth finish. Taking the time to sand between coats ensures that the paint adheres to the wall evenly and without any cracks or bubbles. Remember to use the right type of sandpaper and follow the proper techniques to get the best results. With these tips in mind, you should be able to achieve a beautiful finish on your next painting project.

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