View Full Version : Sandpaper in the UK

11-20-2015, 02:12 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am based in the UK and I am new to pastel and art in general. I have managed to bag some bargains with regard sets of pastels and have started experimenting. I have discovered that the paper used makes the difference between me enjoying using them and wondering why on earth I ever thought pastels would be a good idea.

While my ability to produce a good painting is practically non-existent I want to keep costs down. With this in mind, and having a sample of Sennelier card in a box of Sennelier pastels for comparison, I set out trying to find a cheap sandpaper and discovered this from Screwfix: http://www.screwfix.com/search?search=wet+and+dry+paper#_=p The 320 grit is nearest to Sennelier in texture.

I also discovered a wet and dry paper at Wilko that is a 400 grit fine, though I could only get in in sheets 140mm x 230mm.

I wondered if anyone else in the UK has found any good reasonably priced sandpapers for newbies like me to experiment with? If so what brands were they?


11-20-2015, 10:35 PM
One of the least expensive ways to do sanded paper is to get clear acrylic gesso and add grit, priming watercolor paper that's at least 140lb. Or the clear Art Spectrum Multimedia (Colourfix) primer, or Golden Pumice Gel (comes in three grits). Primers on watercolor paper you can do practice paper on cheap mouldmade watercolor pads as long as its 140lb and get same good surface on top quality all rag watercolor paper.

Fisher 400 is a great sanded paper recommended by Colorix, I got to try it once and it's fantastic. Similar to Uart but can't remember exact grit of the Uart. Uart may actually be avalable. Try Jacksons online for sanded papers, they may have some.

Other than that keep an eye out in the shops. Actual folks in the UK may have more detailed answers, but this is stuff I've picked up on the forums for years. Colourfix is good paper and the primer has the exact same texture if you lay on 2 or 3 thin coats. Be sure to shake it first.

11-21-2015, 06:19 AM
Thanks for your input Robert. :)

11-24-2015, 07:33 AM
Kerry although it might seem harder to work on regular pastel paper than on sandpaper, in fact there are a few things to bear in mind.

DIY sandpapers are NOT archival. No problem in some respects, but the glue will be "fugitive" and your painting may well degrade.

Sandpaper will eat your pastels at a rate of knots. A serious consideration.

Sandpaper is difficult with certain techniques, techniques which are basic to pastels and useful to learn. It is MUCH hard to blend, for example, with sandpaper surfaces. You have to build up a LOT of layers before blending happens nicely.

Pastel paper is cheaper. Good quality papers, like Canson Mi Teinte, are worth working with because you can learn all the techniques on them...blending, stippling, linear work, layers, blocking, varying the weight of your strokes, etc and can work as you would with sandpapers if you learn how to properly use fixative between layers. All of my students worked with neutral colours, like pearl grey, Canson. And most of the images in the row at the bottom of this post were painting on Canson. If you paint something you don't like, REMEMBER you can brush off with a stiff bristle brush (paintbrush, toothbrush etc), spray with fix to reclaim a surface, and paint again - it is very forgiving, more than you perhaps imagine.

I recommend all beginners to spend some time just practicing techniques without necessarily trying a full scale painting. It's fun, relaxing, and you will build up info in your memory bank.


11-24-2015, 08:05 AM
Thanks for your input Jackie. The paper that I was originally using was Winsor and Newton Lana Tints paper. I didn't enjoy using it at all. I then went on to using the sandpaper which I really enjoyed using. Last week I purchased some Pastelmat and I am just getting used to that.

By the way there are no images in a row at the bottom of your post?

11-24-2015, 08:38 AM
because I tried to edit my signature just now, and managed to delete the banner! I tried to put it back, but as you can see, I just got the text. I have asked for help.

I tried to put it in as an image, but it would not offer me the option to do that.

Could be my computer. It is playing up right now. I cannot even put an image into this post. If not, it is WC. I will try on my laptop.

and herei a bigger image for you to see, or if you want to see much bigger images, just go to my website.

11-24-2015, 08:41 AM
I have opened the banner url in a separate window. Unfortunately, I don't have great eyesight and can barely see details with the images being so small. :(

11-24-2015, 12:31 PM
Thanks Jackie. I will take a look at your website.

11-27-2015, 01:31 PM
by the way....I once tried WN Lana Tints and found it had a rather horrid mechanical texture to it. I recommend the smooth side of Canson Mi Teinte, it is quite different.

Pastelmat is nice but again, you cannot blend easily with it. It is good to try all sorts, but you cannot beat Canson for economy. You can create your own sanded surfaces using a mixture of acrylic gesso (say a paper cup full) with a tablespoon of MARBLE DUST in it. This is something like talc...but it will give you a lovely sanded surface for a fraction of the price. Several layers on some mount board will work well, laying it on in different directions and also add a layer on the back then the board won't warp. You can take some fine sandpaper and go over the surface before you use it, that will make it even nicer.

Do try Canson tho, for cheapness and good surface, but try both sides, the smooth side is the best imho.

11-27-2015, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the extra input Jackie. :)