How to Finish Acrylic Plastic Sheets

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Acrylic plastic sheets can be finished in such a manner that they're stunning and shiny. There are a few things to keep in mind, since the acrylic is fragile and too much pressure can destroy your efforts.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Smooth cut file
  • Power buffer or cordless drill
  • Buffing wheels
  • Tallow
  • Buffing compound
  • Use the blade of a hacksaw to finish the edge of acrylic plastic sheets. Turn the blade over until the teeth face up, then draw the edge of the blade along the acrylic's edge.

  • File the edge to remove any tool marks. Use a 10- to 12-inch file that is considered "smooth cut." Keep the teeth flat against the surface as you file only in one direction. Do this while the file is slightly at an angle, so you don't create any grooves.

  • Sand the acrylic plastic sheets with dry 120 grit sandpaper on a wooden or rubber block. Progress up to 120 grit sandpaper, then 220. If the acrylic sheet isn't smooth enough, use wet 400 grit sandpaper next. You can go up to 600 if you're still not getting the finish you like. If you are trying to remove a scratch, sand an area that's actually larger than the scratch. Sand with circular strokes with a light touch.

  • Choose a power buffer with a buffing wheel to give the acrylic plastic sheet a good polish. You can even get buffing wheels that can go onto your cordless drill. Use only buffing wheels that are made of 3/16 inch carbonized felt or unbleached muslin layers that are formed into a wheel. Avoid stitched buffer wheels.

  • Apply tallow to the buffer wheel before you apply any commercial buffing compounds. The buffing compounds that work well are the kind you use for silver, as well as car polish that contains no silicone or solvents.

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