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Subject: painting small wooden pieces rss

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Craig Blumer
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I am making a larger Drop It game. I cut and sanded 1/4 inch birch for the pieces and painted with inexpensive hobby paint. They look good, but have a rough unpleasant feel. How do I "buff" or sand them to have a smoother feel?

Thanks,

Craig
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Luke K
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There are various vibrating/tumbling bins used with grit materials (metal pellets, etc.) to remove rust from metal parts. I would suspect a similar process with a less abrasive granulated substance (rice?) might do the trick. A re-purposed second-hand rock polishing / tumbling kit, maybe?

Edit (add): I thought about it a second. I'd maybe even just try an old coffee can filled with dried rice. Not sure how long something like that might take, though.
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gurc
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Maybe you can try a matte finish like this one: https://www.krylon.ca/products/matte-finish/

It provides a nice smooth layer that protects color. Otherwise, inexpensive acrylic paints tend to fade with time. At least that's my experience with minis.

Applying one or two thin layers would be enough I believe.

Hope it helps.
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Melody
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One thing to note is that all water-based paints are going to lift the grain on wood. If you want a smooth finish you'll have sand or tumble it then put a second coat. Coating with a sealant like varnish, varathane, acrylic ect will help as well as protect the paint.
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Gretchen Fontenay
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When I worked at a cabinet shop we would apply 2 layers of paint/stain and sand between each of them... and then 5-10 coats of clear varnish (very thin coats- we used an air sprayer) and lightly sand each one before applying the next. Be sure everything is all the way dry prior to sanding and remove all trace of sanding dust before the next coat. Result was a really tough mirror finish.
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John Middleton
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For little objects like that, I would try rubbing them together. Get an old rag/t-shirt and put some pieces of the same color then place it between your hands and make a motion like you are warming your hands on a cold morning. More pressure between your hands will rub the large flat parts, and less pressure will let the edges get burnished.
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JPotter - Bits77
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wren08 wrote:
When I worked at a cabinet shop we would apply 2 layers of paint/stain and sand between each of them... and then 5-10 coats of clear varnish (very thin coats- we used an air sprayer) and lightly sand each one before applying the next. Be sure everything is all the way dry prior to sanding and remove all trace of sanding dust before the next coat. Result was a really tough mirror finish.


That's the way to do it right ... and also why a tumbler is involved when working with small parts. Factories that make wooden bits in bulk sand, paint, and clearcoat them by tumbling.

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Greg Darcy
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wren08 wrote:
When I worked at a cabinet shop we would apply 2 layers of paint/stain and sand between each of them... and then 5-10 coats of clear varnish (very thin coats- we used an air sprayer) and lightly sand each one before applying the next. Be sure everything is all the way dry prior to sanding and remove all trace of sanding dust before the next coat. Result was a really tough mirror finish.

+1
Also sand to P400 grit, then wet down the pieces, air dry and sand at P400 again will remove most of the problematic raised grain. Damping down and ironing also helps, but ironing such small pieces will be problematic.

I am wary of tumbling. It is likely to round off the edges and especially the corners.
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Craig Blumer
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Well I can’t see getting a tumbler. But trying rubbing the pieces together, seems like an easy place to start, then I’ll move to sanding and clear-coating.

Thanks
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Craig Blumer
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middletonner wrote:
For little objects like that, I would try rubbing them together. Get an old rag/t-shirt and put some pieces of the same color then place it between your hands and make a motion like you are warming your hands on a cold morning. More pressure between your hands will rub the large flat parts, and less pressure will let the edges get burnished.


This worked great! Just rubbing two pieces together as you described did the trick. The roughness of the pieces gently smoothed things with much less loss of paint than fine 220 grit sandpaper.

Thanks much middletonner.
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John Middleton
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wyldeoak wrote:
middletonner wrote:
For little objects like that, I would try rubbing them together. Get an old rag/t-shirt and put some pieces of the same color then place it between your hands and make a motion like you are warming your hands on a cold morning. More pressure between your hands will rub the large flat parts, and less pressure will let the edges get burnished.


This worked great! Just rubbing two pieces together as you described did the trick. The roughness of the pieces gently smoothed things with much less loss of paint than fine 220 grit sandpaper.

Thanks much middletonner.

Awesome!

Wood on wood finishing is a handy trick to have in the toolbox for odd shaped pieces. I first learned it when being taught how to lathe, but there are plenty of times where it is just what is needed.
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