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In this tutorial, I show you 5 simple tips for sanding an epoxy table. These useful epoxy resin sanding tips help prevent common sanding mistakes, control epoxy resin sheen levels, and much more.

In fact, I use these tips to sand my epoxy wood tables, resin wall art, epoxy countertops, and other woodworking projects.
At the end of this article, I include a FREE resin calculator to help you determine how much resin you need for any project.

Sanding Epoxy Resin Video Tutorial

There are several things which are difficult to fully explain with words and images, so be sure to check out the video tutorial below!

Best Tools for Sanding an Epoxy Table

Most of the time, tools do not matter.
However, tools matter when sanding and polishing epoxy resin.
Not only do quality tools help you produce professional results, but they also keep you safe from inhaling resin dust.
More on this later..

Rotex Sander
Soft Sanding Pad
Protection Pad
Dust Mask
HEPA Vacuum
120 grit Sandpaper
150 grit Sandpaper
180 grit Sandpaper
220 grit Sandpaper
320 grit Sandpaper
400 grit Sandpaper

How To Sand Epoxy (5 Tips)

Some of these epoxy sanding tips will help you sand epoxy resin more efficiently while others will help prevent mistakes.
Ultimately, I hope the following resin sanding tips provide you with value.

Sanding Resin and Wood Separately

I recommend to sand epoxy separate from wood.
Epoxy resin is a completely different material than wood and requires a different sanding technique and grit sequence.
Obviously, this applies to wood and resin projects such as epoxy river tables and resin wall art.
This tip helps prevent the fine resin dust from embedding (also called ‘burn in’) into the wood fibers.

Epoxy Resin Sanding Tip

Keep Sandpaper Clean

Sanding produces heat, which causes the fine resin dust to build up on the sandpaper.
If not removed from the sandpaper, this resin build up rests between the sandpaper and the epoxy surface.
As a result, sanding swirls, pigtails, and burn-in occurs on the surface.

To keep the sandpaper clean, I make 1 or 2 passes over the resin.
Next, I remove the sander from the surface.
Then, I use an air compressor to remove the resin dust from the sandpaper.

Sanding Epoxy Resin Clean Sandpaper

Use Proper Sanding Tools

As I mentioned previously, quality tools matter when sanding epoxy resin.
More specifically, the correct tools make the process easier, produce great results, and promote safety.
Why do quality sanding tools matter so much?
In order to summarize the benefits of quality sanding tools without getting too long-winded, I list the 4 essential sanding tools below along with the value it provides.

Best Sander for Epoxy Resin

Quality Sander

I recommend the Festool RO125 because it is a dual-mode, variable speed sander with a dust collection port.
I prefer to sand epoxy resin in rotex mode rather than random orbit mode.
Random orbit mode vibrates, which produces pigtails and inconsistent results.
Rotex mode simply rotates, which I find better for epoxy resin.
Additionally, this sander has variable speeds which also provides more options and flexibility when sanding epoxy resin.

Sandpaper

The sandpaper I use is equally as important as the sander.
Most of the time, I use Festool Granat NET sandpaper when sanding epoxy resin.
This type of sandpaper facilitates dust collection and lasts a long time.

Festool Granat Net Sandpaper for Epoxy

In this project, I ran short of Granat NET and had to resort to Rubin 2 sandpaper.
Rubin 2 sandpaper works just as well as Granat NET, but has to be cleaned more often.

As I mentioned previously, epoxy resin is a hard surface and wears down sandpaper quickly.

Dust Collection

Festool dust extractors remove dust very well and lead the industry when it comes to dust extraction.
Resin dust is similar to sheetrock dust.
It’s very fine and it’s not good to inhale these particles.  

Essentially, a HEPA certified dust extractor collects dust at the source – before it enters the air.  
The less dust in the air, the less dust I inhale.
For the occasional airborne dust particles, I always recommend wearing a dust mask.

My health takes priority over everything else, so I don’t mind saving up to purchase a quality dust extractor.
“Buy Once, Cry Once” is an old saying, but always proves to be true.

Sanding Grit Sequence and Direction

When sanding epoxy resin, the sanding grit sequence and direction are important.
Normally, I start sanding epoxy resin with 120 grit sandpaper. 
Next, I move to 150, 180, 220, 320, and up.  More on this in the next tip.

epoxy resin sanding direction

First, I sand the epoxy surface vertically (shorter distance) with each grit.

epoxy resin sanding direction

Then, I sand horizontally (longer distance) with each grit.

epoxy resin sanding direction

Control Epoxy Sheen

Keep in mind, this tip works best with Odie’s Oil finish.
I haven’t tried this tactic with any other finish.
Also, I wrote an article listing the best finishes for epoxy wood table tops, so checkout the article for more info on finishing epoxy surfaces.

Many people, including myself, don’t like high gloss finish – even on epoxy resin.
I prefer a flat/matte finish because it simply looks more natural.
The final sanding grit controls the sheen level of the epoxy resin surface.

  • 220 to 320 = Flat/Matte
  • 400 to 600 = Satin
  • 800 to 1000 = Semi-Gloss
  • 1200 and Up = Gloss
Epoxy Sheen Control

I received a few questions in the past on how to achieve 2 different sheen levels on the same table.
In other words, the epoxy portion of the table has a gloss finish while the wood portion of the same table has flat/matte.  
While this is possible, I always recommend against it for maintenance reasons.

Quick Tip: To get the best finish for epoxy wood tables, use Rubio Monocoat or Odie’s Oil.


I wrote a detailed article on the best finish for epoxy wood tables, so be sure to visit the article to learn more.
On this table, my customer requested Rubio so that’s what I used.

rubio monocoat finish for epoxy wood table

Conclusion

I hope these 5 simple epoxy sanding tips for sanding an epoxy table provided you value.
Please leave a comment down below if you have additional tips, questions, or comments.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to Sand Epoxy Resin?

In order to sand an epoxy resin table, use an orbital sander to sand the surface vertically and horizontally. Then, use the following sandpaper grit sequence: 120 grit, 150 grit, 180 grit, 220 grit, 320 grit, 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1500 grit.

What can I use to sand epoxy resin?

To sand epoxy resin, use an orbital sander with proper dust extraction.

How to make resin shiny after sanding?

To make resin shiny after sanding, apply polish with a polishing pad. Then, buff the polish off with a microfiber towel or buffing pad.

Is sanding epoxy dangerous?

Yes, the dust produced from sanding epoxy resin is dangerous. Use a dust extractor and a respirator when sanding epoxy resin.