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Frosting acrylic display stands

Hi there

I have a load of clear acrylic display stands and they are getting a
tad scratched - so I am thinking of getting them sandblasted to give
them a heavy frosted finish. Somebody else suggested that it would be
better to spray them with a frosting spray but in the past I have
found acrylic display stands with the spray on them get a bit dirty
over time and you can’t clean them. So I thought that sandblasting
would be better. Anybody got any experience of this?

And can anybody recommend anybody who can sandblast them in the UK
for me?

Or is it worth investing in a machine - they look expensive. Any
advice would be much appreciated!

Harriet (UK)

Harriet,it would be easier to use 600 grit sandpaper if you use it
wet you will have an easier time of getting a matte finish.


I have only sandblasted glass, not acrylic.

Another alternative is to use the spray paint put out by Krylon that
is specifically for plastic. I purchased some acrylic stands from a
store that was closing and sprayed them as they were scratched. They
look great and can be re-sprayed if needed. There are a variety of
colors to choose from.

My solution was to use 1000/1200 grit sandpaper to create a fairly
fine matte frosted finish. (Luckily, I only had a few display stands

  • ti took a fair amount of time!)

Two years on, the stands still look good, fingermarks don’t show as
badly as on the clear stands, and wiping with a slightly damp cloth
restores an even finish. For a large number of stands, sand blasting
seems like a good option to me.

Jane Walker

Hi Harriet,

My husband has a sand blasting cabinet and would be happy to do them
for you.


I would be careful here. Sand blasting will make the plastic look
dirty. I dont know what media they use to frost acrylic but I was
very disappointed in my experiments with both aluminum oxide and
glass beads the stands just looked dirty and dingy.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


Sand blasting will make the plastic look dirty. 

But perhaps a mild acid like muriatic. Try on a piece of scrap

You might try dipping in or spraying with acetone.

They have pencil sized sandblasters but you’ll need an air
compressor or bottled (safe) gas. CO2 or nitrogen. These blasters are
pretty cheap sometimes, like $50 or so. My impression is however they
will be too coarse.

Or if you’d like a nice random satin pattern. toothbrush with pumice
or some other fine grit.

You could also just buff them on a polishing lathe if its just the
scratches that bother you.

I’ve had good results sanding by hand with wet/dry sandpaper about
200 grit. But it’s not fast or very much fun. And I sand wet because
I think acrylic dust is probably unfriendly to lungs.

Janet Alix

Dear Harriet

May I suggest just dipping the stands in acetone. Even a very short
dip will make the stands look frosted. I found out by incidense :wink:
but have since used the method with success. Do it in open air or in
very well ventilated environments.

Kind regards

Niels Lovschal


I guess that I can step forward on this and say that I am an expert
at this. I use to work for helping make prototypes
displays or repairing customers displays. Our Scandya collection was
frosted acrylic and wood. Someone got it right. It is done with 600
grit sandpaper. It is sort of hit and miss on the sanding until you
get the hang of it. You can also use a green scratch pad. The key is
to sand in tight circles. I agree that the true frost (blasting
method) looks great but as soon as you touch it the look goes bad
from your body oils. Do not dip in any solvent to get the look. It
will craze the plastic after it finally dries out. You cannot fix
that. Feel free to contact me off line if you need more info.