Thursday, 14 May 2015

Magic sponge

painter's sanding sponge

I discovered this magic sponge right at the beginning of my dolls house 'career' and I am so glad I did.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am rubbish at painting but even if I weren't this is a very necessary object if you want a good finish on anything.  The first coat of any paint or varnish will 'bring up the wood', leaving little 'nibs' - basically the moisture sinks into the surface and a fine layer of wood fibres rise up from the surface.  Often is isn't particularly visible but if you run your fingers over it you will have no doubt about the surface being incredibly rough.  Putting more paint or varnish over this is a hide into nothing.  It will  never get better by trying to cover it, you have to rub it down.  I am avoiding the word sanding because it suggest a fairly rough abrasive.  The opposite is needed it must be as fine as you can get.  Indeed it can be done with scrumpled brown paper but is harder work than this sponge.  

If you buy a painter's sponge in the finest finish you can get it is just magical.  It will follow almost any contour.  It covers a good size area if you want to finish walls as I am currently doing.  It is covered on four of its six sides so you have a great ninety degree sanding area to get into corners and edges.  It is washable.  If I tell you this one is four years old and has been used on everything I have ever painted (and more), you can see how well they last.

I have just Googled it as I might treat myself to another and B & Q, its birthplace, doesn't seem to have them any more.

I found them, online, at Wickes for the princely sum of £2.49 but I am sure you can get them from other places if you don't have a Wickes nearby.

I did get excited by a little piece of material that I got with a Jane Harrop kit which does the same job.  It is called Abranet (click on the name if you want to know more).  It is lovely to handle and it did a fabulous job on the small kit I was building.  I just haven't got round to finding out more about it or a source for it.  You might want to spend some time at this though as I am sure it would answer a lot of 'smoothing issues'.  It is certainly durable and is really easy to rinse clean between jobs.

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