Can I sand a cranial band?

As part of the decorating process for both paint and decal application we recommend you lightly sand the band.  Sometimes this advice conflicts with the recommendation by a clinic that you never sand the band.  Let us explain why they say that, and why you should be able to follow our recommendations.

Clearly, they would be correct if we advised you to use power tools or we expected you to go crazy on your band.  We only send a small square of sandpaper, enough to use with your fingers.  And that is what we intend for you to use – finger power only!

The clinic is rightly concerned that if you sanded off a large amount of plastic, the shape of the band could change.   We just want you to roughen the surface!  For decals, we recommend sanding with 400 grit as a few bands come with a slick coating that can’t be washed off.

For those who are painting painting, most bands come glossy smooth and paint needs something to grab or it is easily nicked, dinged, or even peeled off.  220 grit sandpaper gives microscopically sized hills and valleys for your paint to latch onto.

In both cases, while your fingers should be able to feel the texture difference, it will still feel very, very smooth.  If you sand the band over say a plastic sheet so you can collect the dust, you will find there isn’t enough plastic dust to notice.

These fine grits of sandpaper, along with your finger pressure, are not going to remove plastic.  They will just roughen the surface.  Sanding the band can make a big difference in the results, and we want the decorated band to be a source of joy for you.  Dealing with peeling decals or paint is a drag.

If you are painting your band, sanding the band before painting is the most important step to get durable finish.  You can sand your cranial band and if you follow the process your clinic would not be able to tell.

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