How to Polish Polyester-Resin Casts

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Polyester-resin casts can be used to make beautiful jewelry, crafts and tabletops. It's easy to polish your polyester-resin casts using tools and materials available in your local hardware store.

Things You'll Need

  • 320-, 400-, 600-, 800- and 1200-grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Metal polish (optional)
  • Plastic cutting compound (optional)
  • Polishing machine (optional)

Sand the casts, starting with 320-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Sand in one direction. Switch to 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper and sand in a perpendicular direction. Continue to sand, changing directions each time you switch to increasingly higher grit of wet/dry sandpaper until you reach 1200-grit. The 1200-grit sandpaper will produce a very fine, slightly matte surface.

Clean the polyester-resin casts so that they are free of oil, grease, dirt and lint.

Polish the sanded and cleaned polyester-resin casts by hand, or with a polishing machine. To polish by hand, use a liquid metal polish and rub the polish into the cast until you obtain a bright shine to the surface.

Add a cutting compound for plastics on a cotton or wool mop. Place the casts against the mops, to polish using a polishing machine. Keep the casts moving constantly while polishing, so that the mop does not cut into or burn the casts. Do not leave the casts too long in one place or the surface will turn cloudy and rough.

Sand away cloudy or rough spots and start over.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sanding polyester-resin casts requires less pressure than polishing a metal object, since plastic is not as hard as metal.
  • Pull back hair, remove jewelry and wear a mask to protect yourself when using a polishing machine.
  • Work in a well-ventilated space with resin.

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References

  • "Crafts in Polyester Resin"; Herbert Scarfe; 1973
  • "The Art of Resin Jewelry"; Sherri Haab; 2006
  • "Resin Jewelry"; Kathie Murphy; 2005
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