Domino cleanup and restoration - Sanding
Continuing on the domino cleanup and restoration series. Sanding your dominoes is next. This step really should be refereed to more as polishing or buffing since the grit of abrasive pads used is not enough to take off much surface.
This is by far the most important step to SKIP if you do not need to do it. Once something is sanded off, it cannot be put back on. Whatever you do in sanding is permanent.
In the package shown on the left, I only tend to use the 8000-12000 grit pads.
What these sanding pads do is basically polish your dominoes. The lower grits can remove minor scratches but the end goal of this step is to get a smooth surface.
You want to have a smooth surface at the end because the next step is painting.
If you have ever spilled something on a wood surface that was not varnished you know that liquids soak into every crack and crevace they can find. The same is true when you paint the dominoes. If you have lots of tiny crevices then paint will be stubborn in those spots and if you allow the paint to dry completely before cleaning out those spots then you could have permanent speckles.
How to polish/sand/buff:
Make sure the domino can lay flat on a table. If you have spinners on your dominoes, cut a hole in a piece of cardboard and put the domino on the cardboard so the spinner sits in the hole. This just keeps the domino from spinning or wobbling while you are sanding.
Using your sanding or buffing pad, sand the surface of the domino with the buffing side of the nail block or the 12000 grit pad. This will take a couple minutes per domino if you have surface issues. Again - if you do not have issues - skip the sanding
If you do have a small scratch that you are trying to remove and the 12000 doesn't seem to be working, go to the 8000 pad. Be patient, this may take a while. This is where you do not want to rush it or go to something like the 4000 and end up with more scratches. If a full 2 minutes on the 8000 does not work, try 6000 and so on.
NOTE: If you use any other pad than the 12000 you will need to go back over the area with EVERY pad between the one you used and the 12000 IN ORDER
This means that if you use the 4000 pad, you will then need to use the 6000 pad, 8000 pad and 12000 pad in that order to get the domino back to a smooth surface from the scratches a 4000 pad will put in.
Next post: Painting