How to Sand Plexiglas

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(Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Sanding or filing Plexiglas to ensure a straight line or a tight fit for a project can cause undesired scratches. Knowing how to properly work with Plexiglas, as well as the steps to maintain it, will save you money by extending the beauty of your Plexiglas piece. Working with Plexiglas opens up many do-it-yourself projects, such as creating aquariums, furniture and windows.

Things You'll Need

  • Triple-, double- and single- cross-cut metal files
  • 200-,400-, 600- and 800-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Novus #2 or #3
  • Buffing compound
  • Drill or a rotary tool with buffing attachment
  • Buffing wheel
  • White toothpaste

Choosing to sand Plexiglas might be due to a rough cut made by a saw. Knowing some of the tricks to trimming or sanding the cut to desire design will help the project go smoother. Filing is required to finish up a cut, when the cut isn't as exact as needed. Determining the amount of plastic wished to be removed will help you decide which file to use. Choosing a triple-cross-cut file will allow for large amounts of plastic to be shaved off in a small amount of time. Picking a double-cross-cut file will give you a medium amount, and using a single-cross-cut file will take a minimal amount off the edge, leaving only small scratches behind.

File the Plexiglas in one direction. Pick an end to start on, push the file, pick up the file and move it to the same starting end and push again. Continue this pushing and picking up of the file until the desired filing is achieved.

Running your fingernail over the surface of the edge can determine how deep the scratch is. If you feel the Plexiglas and it is still smooth, then the scratch is minor and all that is needed is a plastic polish product this will restore the polish.

Novus polish is widely used by those in the plastic and acrylic industries. Knowing which number of the Novus product to use will ensure a fix to your need. Novus #1 gently cleans, restores lustrous shine, prevents fogging, resists dust, and prevents static. Novus #2 removes light scratches, cloudiness and abrasions from many plastics. Novus #3 eliminates deeper scratches and scuffs from most acrylic materials. Finishing off the scuffs and scratches with Novus #2 down to #1 will restore the polished shine.

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