How to Sand In Between Coats of Paint: A Comprehensive 7-Step Guide

If you’re looking to achieve a smooth and flawless paint finish, knowing how to sand in between coats of paint is crucial. This article provides a clear, step-by-step guide to help you master this skill, even if you’re a beginner.

How to Sand In Between Coats of Paint
From by Ono Kosuki

Why Sanding Between Coats is Important

Sanding between coats of paint serves multiple purposes. It helps in removing any imperfections or paint bubbles and creates a better surface for the next coat to adhere to. It’s a small but vital step in your painting project.

How to Sand In Between Coats of Paint: What You’ll Need

Step 1: Allow the Paint to Dry

Before you start sanding, it’s essential to let the paint dry thoroughly. Failure to do so can result in a mess and ruin your project. Refer to the paint can’s instructions for the recommended drying time.

Step 2: Prepare Your Work Area

Make sure your work area is clean and free of dust or debris. Put on your respirator mask and protective eyewear to safeguard yourself from paint particles.

Step 3: Choose the Right Sandpaper

Opt for 220-grit sandpaper for effective but gentle abrasion. This grade ensures you don’t remove too much paint while still smoothing out imperfections.

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Step 4: Begin Sanding

Hold the sandpaper flat against the surface. Apply even pressure and make short, controlled strokes. Make sure you sand the entire surface, paying close attention to any bumps or imperfections.

Step 5: Check Your Work

After you’ve sanded the area, run your hand over it to check for any uneven spots. If you find any, go back and sand them down until the surface feels smooth to the touch.

Step 6: Clean the Surface

Wipe down the sanded area with a soft cloth or a tack cloth to remove any dust. This step ensures a clean surface for the next coat of paint.

Step 7: Apply the Next Coat

Once the surface is clean, you’re ready to apply the next coat of paint. Follow the paint manufacturer’s guidelines for application and drying times.

For more articles on sanding, click here: Sanding: Your Full-Circle Guide to Smooth Mastery

Additional Tips

  • Always read the paint can’s instructions for specific guidelines on drying times and sanding.
  • Use good quality sandpaper to achieve the best results.


Understanding how to sand in between coats of paint can make a significant difference in the final appearance of your painting project. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth, long-lasting finish.

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