Sanding and smoothing with sandpaper abrasive paper
Have you run out of sandpaper or looking for an alternative?
For smoothing down plaster walls after stripping wall-coverings, use a nylon scouring pad or unwoven fabric pad of the type used for cleaning kitchen utensils.
A pumice stone, of the kind used on the skin, can be used dry to smooth wood, or dampened with water to smooth hard plastics.
Metal-cleaning wadding is ideal for smoothing and polishing acrylic plastics.
For fine-finishing decorative wood surfaces prior to varnishing, use fine steel wool. It is more effective than the finest abrasive paper. Always work with the grain of the wood to avoid scratches across the grain.
Emery cloth is ideal for awkward spots, as it can be used in strips and pulled back and forth across the surface to be smoothed.
Don't be tempted to keep old abrasive paper 'because it feels smoother'. The irregular surface of worn materials leads to serious scratching. Always use new paper.
With a rough surface, start with coarse abrasive paper and gradually work down to the finer grades as the surface improves.
When working with wood, wear a simple dust mask to keep the dust from your lungs. Some hardwood dusts are dangerous if inhaled.