Glass has forever been the ultimate element of construction, aesthetics, utensils, etc. for centuries, adding a graceful touch of elegance like no other.
As ravishing as it can be, glass is a fragile substance that is very prone to getting scratched, chipped, broken, etc. exposing sharp, uneven surfaces that are not only imperfect to look at, but are dangerous too.
Now, if whether it’s due to wear and tear or glass cutting to create new glass objects, the affected area needs to be smoothened out to create a smooth finish to your glass project, or for polishing up an existing glass to make them look as good as new without having to make any replacements.
Hence, in order to smoothen them out, you need to know how to sand glass edges properly; and once we are done, you can do so all on your own without needing any professional interventions!
How To Sand Glass Edges- Different Methods
When it comes to sanding glass, it mostly requires wet sanding but there are other methods too. Below are six ways you can get your glass project sanded depending on the type and degree of damage.
- Wet & dry sandpapers of different grits starting from 80-grit to up to 2000-grit
- A pair of gloves
- Dust mask
The water prevents the glass powder from flying around in the air and settling everywhere. Wear gloves, goggles, and a mask for protection.
- The first step of sanding your glass object involves soaking your sandpaper wet. Start with the 80-grit sandpaper which is the coarsest and dunk it in water.
- Place the now wet sandpaper on a flat stable surface and sprinkle some more water over the sandpaper.
- Now place your glass object’s rough, sharp, chipped, etc., basically the target surface, on the wet sandpaper. Maintain extreme caution when doing so by keeping attention to the sharp points so that they cannot injure your palm while you work.
- Now you need to apply a gentle but firm amount of pressure at the top of the glass with your palm and move it around in circles within the wet sandpaper.
- While performing this action, rotate the glass object so that all parts of the glass edge get uniformly sanded to a smooth finish. Maintain consistency of the rotation after moving it for 3-4 circles in each position.
- Continue doing this for at least 5 minutes or more based on the degree of smoothness you need. Dampen the sandpaper as soon as it seems too dry.
- For both the outer and inner edges, you’d need to sand by hand by repeatedly dipping your sandpaper in water.
- Repeat all the steps with all the sandpapers until you reach the finest one to polish your glass item for that final shine.
- Once you’re happy with the results, wipe off the glass with a damp paper towel to remove any sanding debris.
2. Dremel Or Drill
A Dremel is a rotating tool that is similar to a drill and is used for sanding, cutting, and polishing not only glass but also many types of metals. It is an efficient tool that sands glass like a pro but the final output you receive also depends on how appropriately you hold your glass object while sanding them.
You can opt for either abrasive polishing rubber tapered points that are most used for glass or go for the sanding discs of silicon carbide. Choose the disc or tapered point based on the size of your glass project.
To prevent your glass item from getting damages, ensured that the sanding disc can reach all the edges without touching other parts of your Dremel device.
When using a regular drill machine, choose the right size and coarseness of the sanding disk. The method of sanding glass using a drill or Dremel is basically the same as discussed below. For the smoothest result, start with a coarse-grit, repeat with finer grit, and finish off with the finest-grit sanding disk.
- For safety, wear gloves and a ventilator as there will be a lot of powdered glass scattering everywhere.
- Attach the sanding tool of your choice to the Dremel device.
- While drilling, hold the glass object securely and rotate it as you keep sanding away.
- While sanding, the side edge of your sanding disk or rubber point should be in contact with the edge of the glass where you are sanding.
- To produce a smooth rounded edge, sand the center of the edge and then move your sanding toward the external edge.
- If the glass object you intend to sand is too small, you might need to clamp it instead of holding it by hand during sanding.
- Once done, wipe the glass object with a wet paper towel to clean off the powdered glass.
3. Silicon Carbide Powder
For this method, here are the items you’d need:
- Silicon carbide powder
- A flat piece of glass on which you’ll work
- A piece of foam to prevent the flat glass from sliding
Once you have accumulated the necessary items, take appropriate safety precautions by wearing gloves, goggles, and ventilation mask and move on to the steps below:
- On a stable flat surface, place the foam piece and put the flat glass pane on top.
- Pour your silicon powder on the glass surface and spray it with ample water to wet them. If necessary, mix up the mixture carefully with your fingers.
- Take your glass object and put its target edge on the silicon carbide powder and water mixture.
- Gently move the glass object around over this surface within your puddle of water and silicon carbide powder mixture.
- Once the edges have smoothened out, wipe off the glass dust with a damp paper towel and finish off with a fine-grit sandpaper to smoothen it all up.
4. Emery Cloth
Emery cloth is a type of cloth that is similar to sandpaper but better in terms of quality and performance. Instead of sand, it uses a different type of abrasive called corundum.
Also, unlike sandpaper, the abrasive is adhered to a type of cloth, not paper, making emery paper more durable, sturdy, and convenient to use. You can find emery cloth both in sheets or in rolls, and different levels of grits.
The method of using emery cloth to sand glass is virtually the same as using sandpaper. For convenience, attach the cloth to a sturdy piece of wood for effective sanding convenience.
Each section of your glass will get smoothly sanded within 15-30 seconds. Start with the coarsest grit cloth at first, slowly building up the fineness, and finish off with the finest grit to receive a polished, seamless, evenly sanded glass edge.
5. Oblong Sticks
As the name suggests, oblong sticks are stick blocks that possess rubber-bonded abrasive particles along with infused particles of silicon carbide.
These are great handy tools that are usable for sanding, polishing, and cleaning both glass and metals. Just like other silicon carbide abrasives, oblong sticks are also available in four levels of coarseness from extra fine to coarse. As always, you have to start with the coarsest one and finish off with the extra fine for the best results. These sticks are available in round shapes too, so choose one according to your convenience and the shape/size of your glass object.
Using them is a piece of cake as all you need to do is rub them against the surfaces of the glass that need to be sanded. The sticks may lose their abrasiveness fairly quickly based on the extensiveness of the sanding, So replace with new ones when they dull out for receiving perfect results.
This is a method only for professional users who possess ample knowledge, skill, and experience and should not be done by yourself otherwise.
Torches are devices that apply a hot oxygenated flame to speedily heat up glass, metal, plastics, air, etc. It requires extreme caution and skill and is a faster and easier method to smoothen out glass edges than sanding manually as no elbow grease is involved.
- Wear appropriate protective gear including a ventilation mask, a pair of gloves, and eye-protective gear.
- With the oxygen and flame setting at a low setting, carefully heat the entire glass, not only the target edge as or else, the difference in temperatures in the glass will crack it.
- While heating up the glass, focus more heat on the target edge.
- Within a minute or two, you’ll see the edge turn a dark cherry red color. Stop torching and let the glass cool.
- As the glass object starts cooling, the edges will smoothen out automatically within around 3 minutes.
The beauty of a glass object relies significantly on how smoothly its edges are finished, for which, you’ll need to sand your glass project properly.
Glass being a fragile substance, needs the utmost care and skill along with the right tools for flawless sanding.
Now that you have gone through our guide on how to sand glass edges in different ways, you’ll never have to struggle with your glass beauties ever again!