Should You Sand Walls Between Coats of Paint


Sand walls are textured surfaces created by adding sand and pigment to a coat of paint. The surface can be left or accentuated with additional coats of paint and/or other finishes, such as glaze, wax, gold leafing, or faux finish techniques.

This creates endless possibilities for creating texture on walls through the artful application of an ordinary household product – common latex wall paint! In this article, I will discuss “should you sand walls between coats of paint.” So let us get started.

Should You Sand Walls Between Coats of Paint

Why Are Sand Walls Used?

Many homeowners like to see the old color of their walls showing through new coats of paint. If you’re painting, it’s important that you first prep your wall with sanding and an oil-based primer.

Sanding is essential because the new coat will not stick if the surface isn’t roughed up slightly before applying fresh paint (Photo 1). Oil-based primer sticks better than water-based or latex primers and extends the life of your finish by blocking stains from bleeding through. However, water-based-based and latex primers do not adhere to as well as oil-based ones, so they may need to be re-painted more often.

The best approach is to use the right product for each job. If you are painting a large area, use an oil-based primer. For smaller jobs, you can save time by using a water-based or latex product.

Water-based primer may not be the most durable option, but latex paint is still popular because it is easy to clean up, dries quickly, and provides good coverage on smooth surfaces.

A common complaint among homeowners with fresh latex paint jobs is that their walls are constantly covered with smudges from fingerprints and dust.

A Detailed Discussion on Should You Sand Walls Between Coats of Paint:

Several different painting techniques can be used to paint your walls, including rolling paint onto walls and using a paintbrush. If you consider changing the color of the walls in your living area, you may want to consider using one or more of these techniques. You will likely need to use an oil-based primer before you begin painting.

Different paints can be used on walls, some being better than others depending on where they are applied. For example, an oil-based primer is best for covering up dirt on freshly painted surfaces. These types of primers allow the new coat of paint to adhere more readily to the surface below it, which makes cleaning easier when compared with other types of primers that create a smooth surface.

Different types of sandpaper can be used on walls to help the paint stick better and dry evenly and other helpful accessories such as rollers, brushes, and rags.

When you first begin painting an area, you should use sandpaper if you want the paint to adhere properly, and nothing else will do the trick. Sanding helps to roughen up the wall so that it is easier for your first coat of paint to stick, and it also keeps the new coat from peeling off later on if you retain some roughness in your wall’s surface.

Can Be Used on Walls  to Help the Paint Stick

Be careful not to sand too hard, though, because doing so will make shallow grooves in your walls’ surfaces and even cause them to be uneven. You should sand with a circular motion and not be afraid to apply extra pressure, especially when trying to get rid of dirt.

Sanding the walls before painting is recommended for two main reasons: it creates a surface to which your paint can adhere and ensures an even coat of paint on the wall when done correctly.

There are different ways to use sandpaper when trying to gain access to rid your walls of smudges or other imperfections leftover from old coats of paint. For example, one way in which you can do this is by adding some water onto the paper after applying some elbow grease during the process.

Persistence will pay off if you do not give up easily but also avoid being too forceful with your sanding because this will create unevenness in the wall’s surface. Instead, you should rub any parts still resisting to remove whatever dirt or oil they happen to be stuck on.

If you want to spread the streaks of dirt across the entire wall’s surface instead of leaving them behind in one area, then use a circular or back-and-forth motion while performing this step in your painting routine.

When choosing sandpaper to use on walls, you must take into account whether it is an oil-based primer that you are applying when trying to paint these surfaces or not. For example, if oil-based primers are too much for you to handle, consider using water-based ones instead since they are easier to use and do not leave behind a smoky odor.

choosing sandpaper to use on walls

If you use sandpaper on a wall that is already painted up, you should ensure that the surface remains wet for at least twenty minutes before using it. This prevents dust from getting into your paint’s finish.

Some people do choose to sand walls between coats of paint regardless of the type they are supposed to be used, but this can lead to uneven surfaces as well as other problems such as needing multiple coats, which means that you will have spent more time and money on your project than you really needed to spend regardless of whether or not the finished product comes out looking good.

How to Sand Latex Paint Between Coats?

Firstly, it is important to know that there are two types of latex paint. One of these paints can be sanded while the other cannot. Latex paint is easily discernible by checking for a layer of oil on its surface. If you cannot wipe this away with your fingers, the paint will require priming before being painted over.

This type of latex paint should not be sanded between coats because it has yet to bond properly with the wall and may peel off or cause damage if sanded in-between applications.

Step 1:

Clean the Wall Thoroughly To avoid dust contaminating new coats of paint, clean off any dirt or debris using a wet sponge mop. Allow this first coat to dry completely before moving on to the second.

Step 2:

Sand and Re-Prime At this point, you will need a sanding sponge or fine sandpaper. You can begin sanding if it is safe, meaning that the paint has dried completely. After sanding your wall, use primer over any areas where latex paint exists.

Step 3:

Clean the Wall Thoroughly  to Avoid Dust Contaminating

Apply Second Coat of Latex Paint Wait for this coat to dry before proceeding with additional coats (if necessary). Since you had previously used a wet mop to clean the wall after priming, dirt or debris should not accumulate on your newly painted wall throughout this process.

Like before, allow these coats to dry between applications, and remember that if your first coat of paint were oil-based (not water-based), you would need to apply a latex primer before continuing with additional coats.


I hope this article has helped discuss all the relevant information regarding “should you sand walls between coats of paint.” Make sure to use proper considerations while sanding walls. Thank you and have a nice day!

Check out our article – How to Remove Hair Oil Stains From Wall Paint

Jennifer Branett
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