January 15

Can I Use Sandpaper On PVC?

When you’re trying to cut your PVC piping to size, this can sometimes cause the surface to have burrs on it or become rough.

It’s only natural that you would want to prevent this, and smooth out the PVC pipe so that it can be more visually pleasing and less likely to be rough to the touch.

For more details on how to smooth out the edges of PVC, check out our comprehensive guide.

The usual way to do this is by using sandpaper. Thanks to its naturally abrasive surface, this helps to smooth things down in a pinch.

But can you use sandpaper on PVC pipe?

That’s the question that we’re going to answer for you today!

We’re going to take a look at what types of PVC pipe you can use sandpaper with, the best method to use for doing so, and which types of PVC piping are best left alone.

So let’s take a look at whether you can use sandpaper on PVC piping down below!

Can I Use Sandpaper On PVC?

Yes, you can use sandpaper on PVC! However, it’s important to note that you should only really use sandpaper with certain types of PVC piping.

It is suitable for use on plumbing grade PVC pipe, as this won’t damage the surface too much or give it a dull finish.

But you should never use sandpaper to try and smooth furniture grade PVC.

This is because using sandpaper on furniture grade PVC pipe won’t smooth the surface.

Instead, it will become scratched, and can even have a line or swirled effect on the surface of the PVC piping.

The finish will often be dull, too, which can make it really obvious where you’ve tried to sand down the piping.

So it will be best to double check what type of PVC pipe you have. If it’s plumbing grade PVC, then this will be perfectly fine to sand down.

What Grit Sandpaper Should I Use On PVC Pipe?

It will be important to use a fine grit sandpaper so that you don’t scratch the surface of your PVC pipe.

You should also use a gentle pressure to buff out any scratches or manufacturer’s marks that you are trying to remove.

A sandpaper with a grit of 220 or finer will be ideal, as this will be able to get you the results that you are after.

Before you start sanding your PVC piping, it will be important to make sure that you wear a respirator mask and goggles, as sanding the plastic can cause some particles to be released into the air.

Learn about the importance of properly using a deburring tool on PVC piping for a safer and cleaner process.

You will also benefit from doing this either outside, or in a large ventilated area such as a garage.

Can I Use Sandpaper On PVC (1)

You can also use sanding pads if you find this easier.

It will be best to use a manual method rather than a flat sander, as you will be able to do it quickly and evenly across the curved surface. 

The only thing to bear in mind is that the PVC pipe can become hot from the sanding because of the friction.

Discover more about the role of tools like what a chamfer tool is and how to use it in managing heat and ensuring a smooth finish.

To prevent the plastic piping from warping, keep sanding until it gets hot, then take a break for several minutes so as to allow the PVC to cool down again.

Can You Sand PVC Plastic?

Yes, you can sand PVC plastic as long as it’s plumbing grade.

If you need to sand the surface of your PVC piping, it will be best to do this by hand using sandpaper sheets or sandpaper blocks.

You will want to avoid using an electric sander as this can cause the PVC pipe to wear down too quickly, and you could end up sanding more of the pipe than you intended to.

Remember to use a fine grit sandpaper so that you can achieve the smooth finish that you’re after.

It will also be important to do so gently so as to avoid too much friction from making the plastic hot.

If you want to reduce the friction present, you can also wet your sandpaper beforehand. This can also prevent the sandpaper from becoming too clogged to use

Does PVC Need To Be Sanded?

It will ultimately come down to what results you’re trying to achieve.

If you don’t want any of those manufacturer’s marks on the PVC pipe itself, then you will want to try and gently sand these off using a fine grit sandpaper.

However, if you don’t mind those staying on the piping, then it’s perfectly okay to not sand your PVC pipe.

If you have cut your pipe to meet a new size that you need, this can sometimes have burrs from there the hacksaw has cut into the plastic.

You can of course use sandpaper to remove these. However, you can also use something like a butter knife to remove the worst of these.

You can then gently sand the remainder to make your job easier.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know that yes, you can use sandpaper on PVC piping.

However, you will need to ensure that this is plumbing grade PVC piping, not furniture grade PVC.

If you were to use sandpaper on furniture grade PVC, this can cause scratches on the surface, and even give it a dull finish.

When it comes to sanding plumbing grade PVC pipe, you will need to ensure that you use a fine grit sandpaper such as 220 grit or finer.

Combining this with gentle pressure will give you the results that you’re after and ensure that you are able to remove any manufacturer’s marks or rough parts of the piping.

It will be important to take basic safety precautions before you start sanding your PVC piping.

You will need to ensure that you are wearing a respirator mask as well as goggles, as particles from the plastic can be released in the air once you start sanding.

It will also be best to start sanding your PVC pipe in an open, well ventilated area.


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