07 February 2022

Beginner's Corner: Sanding & Buffing

In this edition of the pcPolyzine Beginner's Corner, we'll share some tips for sanding and buffing your clay creations!

Now that your clay piece is baked and cooled, you will need to decide what kind of finished texture it will have. Do you prefer a matte look? Or maybe you are going for something that shines a little more. The bottom line is that cured clay doesn't have to be sanded or buffed, but you can create those effects pretty easy!

Many times, polymer clay artists prefer to do a little sanding once their piece is cured to remove rough edges—especially those who make jewelry. This can be achieved by taking some sandpaper and gently sanding the edges until you have removed the unwanted pieces. Everyone's preferences are different, but starting with sandpaper in the 1500-1800 grit range and progressively moving to a finer grit (8000-12000) can make quick work of rough edges (you may not even need to progress all the way to 8000). 

Polymer clay can be sanded with wet/dry sandpaper. Wet sanding helps to reduce fine dust and also reduces the chances of leaving marks on your clay. However, you can also use Micro Mesh pads or swabs to sand your work. These are for dry sanding only and end up creating dust. With dry sanding, there is a bigger risk of the sanding process leaving scratches on your work. 

It's recommended to experiment with the sandpaper you have available and learn how each grit reacts with baked clay. Typically, starting with a coarser grit and progressively moving to a finer grit creates a beautiful finish!


The buffing process comes once you're done sanding and many artists love the effect it produces. Your polymer clay piece will end up having a silky finish! To achieve this, either use a buffing cloth and rub vigorously to create friction until the desired finish. If you're looking for a less demanding approach, try using a tool such as a Dremel with a buffing wheel attachment (you can purchase specific polymer clay ones on Etsy).  

Have other great coloring ideas, tips, or tricks? Share them with us through email or through social media on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

No comments: