Surface preparation is the key to the best paint finish. We have collected different fillers for any surface, such as super filler, wood filler from Nordsjo, only the best scrapers, and filling blades from world-leading brands. Dustless equipment is the best creation from Mirka to protect your health.
Why is surface preparation important?
Removing intermediate surfaces
When considering surface preparation, first think about the materials you want to bond together. Do you want to bond paint to an oxide layer, or do you really want to bond the steel that is under the paint to the aluminium that is under that aluminium oxide layer? Do you want to bond that mold release agent to mold release agent or bond the pieces of polycarbonate under that mold release agent? In summary, use the surface treatment necessary to remove what is covering the material to be bonded.
Even when it appears easy to just apply adhesive epoxy directly on top of the paint, it is important to bear in mind that the strength of the joint is only going to be as good as the strength of the paint – i.e., if the paint peels off, then the bond will fail. For this reason, it is a very good idea to remove the paint and bond directly to the material underneath.
Rust/oxide layer removal
Removing rust mainly requires a good rust cleaner with oxalic acid. Try out a few brands and see what you like best. Make sure to use rubber gloves and goggles, as this stuff can be pretty abrasive.
Use a wire brush and the cleaner to scrub away the rust.
Depending on the extent of the damage caused by the rust and the adhesive you’re using, you may have to sand (or preferably abrade) the area down to a smooth surface before applying the adhesive.
It’s a good idea after all this sanding and brushing to give your metal surface a good clean off with a clean cloth and some acetone or isopropanol. These act as a good degreaser and evaporate to leave a clean, dry, contamination-free surface to bond to.
Many metals form an invisible oxide layer which can on occasion be quite weak. It is a good idea to abrade and degrease all metals before bonding, if possible. Use carborundum paper to abrade metal (similar to sand paper but more robust and less messy). If you have a lot to abrade, using a grit blaster is a good idea, so as not to end up with arms like an Olympic shot-putter.
There are a few tricks you can apply to improve your sanding skills…
Some general tips for sanding:
Use high-quality paper. It tends to last longer and be more effective.
Always start with the big, chunky, coarse papers, and work your way down to the finer grain papers. The coarser papers will even out the surface while the finer papers will smooth it down.
Tap the dust off of your sanding paper now and then to keep the grit from building up and scratching the surface or impeding the paper’s progress.
Some tips for abrading metal:
Before abrading, remove grease from metal surfaces with acetone or isopropanol. This prevents you from embedding the grime any further.
Use carborundum paper rather than sandpaper, starting with a rough grade to remove the bulk of the oxide layer and then a fine grade to get a good finish.
When dry abrading, don’t push down on the paper. Apply a light touch and let the paper do the work.
For a more consistent surface, don’t just sand in one direction, use an even, circular motion to give the adhesive a good surface to “key” into.
When wet abrading, apply a little bit of pressure and short strokes. Use plenty of water and don’t let the surface dry while sanding. It is important to dry the metal straightaway afterward to prevent rusting.
Of course, you need a clean surface. If you’ve got a layer of dirt on both surfaces, all you’re doing is sticking dirt to dirt.
Why is dust harmful to your health?
You may be wondering why Mirka has taken such a focus on dustless tools. What’s the harm in a bit of dust? Well - there are quite a few harmful side effects that come along with dust exposure! Sanding paint creates a lot of fine dust which can be easily inhaled and irritate your eyes and breathing tubes. Even worse, the dust may contain harmful substances such as lead, chromium, and abrasives from sanding disks. Definitely not something you want to inhale!
Types of dust
- Silica dust
Silica dust is particularly harmful. It is released as fine dust, 100 times smaller than a grain of sand. These fine grains can remain dust-born for hours and penetrate deep into the lungs. Unfortunately, there is no treatment to reverse this damage, so it is vital to minimize exposure to this dust to avoid long-term health implications.
- Lead dust
Lead-based paint is often found in older buildings. Exposure to its dust over time can lead to lead-poisoning, which is a particular risk for young children. Lead poisoning can involve serious symptoms such as developmental delays and neurological changes. To avoid such harmful side effects, it’s particularly important to minimize exposure to this dust.
- Timber dust
- Asbestos dust
What makes Mirka stand out among its competitors?
One of the features that make Mirka’s sanders particularly unique is the sanding paper they use. In general, sanding paper has up to 15 holes - whilst Mirka has a whopping 1000! This means that you can achieve a much more consistent scratch pattern and not have to worry about constantly replacing the sandpaper.
Sanders are notoriously noisy but Mirka’s expert design means it is very quiet. It also has low vibration, meaning that it is comfortable to use. This is particularly important for painters or plasterers who will be sanding for long periods of time. It is also very lightweight and compact, meaning that it can be easily transported in vans and around the worksite.
Mirka’s Leros Sander is the first sander in the world to feature a pivoting head. This means that you can reach up to great heights and sand straight down the wall without having to adjust your body. Using this sander also allows you to achieve Level 5 surface preparation - leaving you with no scratch pattern and an ultra-smooth finish.
How does a dustless sander work?
Did you know that you can use a sander without being exposed to harmful dust? Mirka’s dustless sander makes this easy. It all starts with Mirka’s Abranet. It is a net abrasive containing thousands of holes, providing unmatched dust extraction. There is also a wide range of options to choose from depending on your needs, such as aluminum oxide, ceramic or silicon carbide grains - ranging from very coarse to fine grits. They also offer sandpaper and sanding films, Iridium and Novastar with hole patterns designed specifically for ultimate dust extraction.
Why is Mirka so popular?
Mirka's sanders are specifically designed for the comfort of its users. They are the lightest tools on the market, allowing them to be easily transported in vans or around the worksite. They are also significantly quieter than their competitors, with less vibration so that they can be used comfortably for long periods of time.
Mirka's Leros sander is the first wall sander on the market with a pivoting head. This allows you to reach great heights and sand right down to the floor without having to adjust your body. Pretty convenient, right? Using this sander leaves you with a Level 5 surface preparation, no visible scratch pattern, and an ultra-smooth finish.
Mirka's sanding paper also allows it to stand out from its competitors. In general, sanding paper has up to 15 holes - but Mirka has a whopping 1000! This means you can achieve a much more consistent scratch pattern without having to constantly change the sandpaper. Buy a Mirka sander today and see the difference for yourself