Sanding is more commonly known as a step in preparing a surface for painting, prior to a brush or roller seeing the light of day. However, sanding also plays a role in finishing walls. Most often sanding is used when "distressing" or "antiquing" a wall or piece of furniture. In this case a base coat of solid paint is applied, allowed to dry, and then sanded, usually by hand, to add an aged look. In some cases, two layers of paint are applied (the second usually darker). The second coat is then sanded away at spots to reveal the base coat beneath.
Still, much more often sanding techniques are used to prepare a wall for painting. It is necessary to remove bumps and blemishes before applying paint, especially gloss paint, which is notorious for locking in and revealing any mistake in a wall's finish. Sanding may be done by hand or using power sanders, utilizing 120-180 grit sandpaper.
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