Should I sand between epoxy coats?

Epoxy is a great material for many different projects. Epoxy can be used to create a durable coating on indoor and outdoor surfaces, making it ideal for art projects and home renovations alike.

However, epoxy must be allowed to cure properly in order to achieve the desired results. Once you have made sure that your epoxy coat has cured completely, what you do next will depend on what your project is and its intended use.

Here is an overview of whether or not you should sand between epoxy coats.

Can you apply a second coat of epoxy without sanding?

Can you apply a second coat of epoxy without sanding?

Whether you can apply a second coat of epoxy without sanding in between depends on how long it took to apply the first coat and how long it took for the first coat to cure.

The quicker you can get that second layer of epoxy down, the better. But if you’re using an epoxy resin like Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) or West System 105 Resin, you will have about three hours after mixing to get your resin down before it begins hardening.

If this is the case, then yes, you can apply a second coat of epoxy without sanding. If a day has passed between layers, however, then sanding is necessary to ensure a good bond on that next layer.

What do you do between epoxy coats?

Usually, you will want to sand between coats of epoxy. When the previous coat has dried, remove all dust from the piece before applying the new coat.

You can do this by gently vacuuming or blowing with compressed air like a dust blowgun. If there are areas where it’s hard to get all the dustout, a tack cloth can be useful for cleaning up any remaining debris.

You can also mask off areas that you don’t want to sand if you prefer not to risk getting epoxy over other surfaces in your project.

If using dry sandpaper, usually 400 grit works well as far as grit goes and is easy enough that it won’t cut through the epoxy layer before you’re ready for it to go through.

Wet sanding is easier than dry sanding and results in less chance of damaging the surface when done properly so if possible try using wet sandpaper and water instead of trying to use dry paper on its own.

How do I sand a second coat of epoxy?

How do I sand a second coat of epoxy?

  • Start by using 80-grit sandpaper and a sanding block to level the surface. Always use safety goggles when sanding, and for heavy-duty jobs, consider wearing a dust mask as well.
  • Once you’ve finished with your 80-grit paper, vacuum off any dust that may have accumulated.
  • Wipe down your work surface with a tack cloth to get rid of any lingering dust particles before applying the next coat of epoxy.

Can you sand and recoat epoxy?

The short answer is, yes. If the epoxy surface hasn’t fully cured, you can lightly sand away any imperfections and grime that has accumulated on the surface.

However, you have to be careful with this process. If you try to sand too early and your epoxy isn’t fully cured, you will end up with a rough and unusable surface.

The same thing can happen if you don’t use coarse enough sandpaper (like #80 grit) or if your epoxy was applied too thinly or unevenly in the first place.

Beginner mistakes are inevitable during your first few projects but there are ways to avoid them altogether.

Can you pour epoxy over cured epoxy?

Yes, you can pour epoxy over cured epoxy. However, for the best results, it should be lightly sanded with 320 grit sandpaper first.

Keep in mind that curing times will vary by brand and type of epoxy. Always refer to your product directions when pouring multiple layers.

Why is my epoxy bumpy?

Why is my epoxy bumpy?

Many epoxy installers ask, “Should I sand between epoxy coats?”

The answer is no, you do not need to sand between each coat of epoxy. If you do opt to sand, only use 220 grit or higher, and make sure to vacuum up any dust.

You should also have a good shop vac available to clean up any dust created by the previous layers of epoxy and for general clean up during the job.

Sanding is typically used when applying multiple layers of epoxy in order to achieve the desired level of shine or smoothness.

It is important that you check out the label on your particular brand and kind of epoxy and see if it can be sanded after curing. Some brands will specifically state that they cannot be sanded between coats.

How do you make epoxy smooth?

It is always best to start with a level surface. Prepare the surface ahead of time if needed. If you are using a type of epoxy that requires mixing, make sure you mix it well so there are no lumps or large bubbles.

Once the epoxy is mixed, pour it onto your work area and spread it into the corners with a plastic squeegee. It’s important to get an even coat over the whole surface, especially when applying epoxy to wood.

Use a foam roller or sponge brush to apply the epoxy so you don’t get any bubbles in it.

How long should epoxy cure before sanding?

How long should epoxy cure before sanding?

Sanding between coats of epoxy is important to help with adhesion between the layers. It’s a good idea to sand every coat before you apply the next.

Ideally, you should also try to lightly sand the first coat within 24 hours of its application (depending on your product, your epoxy may need more time).

This is because once an epoxy has cured, it becomes harder and more resistant to scratches, making it difficult for subsequent layers of resin to adhere well.

If you have used epoxy in the past that took longer than 24 hours to cure (some do), then be sure to check your product label for any instructions on how long you should wait before sanding.


The answer to this question is a resounding yes. When you sand between coats of epoxy, you help ensure that the next layer creates a smooth and even finish.

Sanding between coats helps remove imperfections, like bubbles or dust particles, in the epoxy so that they don’t interfere with subsequent layers.

The best type of sandpaper to use is fine grit—anything from 1500-grit up to 2000-grit will do the job well. You can use either a palm sander or hand-sand if that’s what you have on hand.

Just make sure you vacuum off all the dust before moving on to your next coat!

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Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

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