De-Nibbing a Finish with Paper

Brown paper works well (newspaper is too inky). March 28, 2008

I remember sometime ago that if you take old newspaper and rub across the surface that this will remove any excess dust that may have been trapped when painting. Has anyone heard of this or is there some other method that works to remove the slight amount of dust that may have gotten trapped in the finish?

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
I have used a piece of cardboard to remove a little overspray on an edge or something. Never heard of using newspaper; doesn't sound too promising to me.

From contributor J:
Sometimes when I spray too close to a finished piece, I get a little overspray on it. To remedy this, I take the back of a piece of 320 scuffing paper and rub it. You can also use a dollar bill or any kind of crumpled up old piece of paper, but I would stay away from newspaper if it is a white job. My guys once wrapped an entire white kitchen with newspaper because we were out of foam and masking paper. By the time the kitchen got to the job, you were able to read the paper off the kitchen doors. The ink had transferred like silly putty does.

From contributor R:
You can use masking paper for overspray. No way would I crumple it up.

From contributor E:
Brown paper grocery bags will work also.

From contributor F:
I've used cardboard or masking paper for light overspray or lightly trapped lint for years. For heavier overspray, I keep a cup gun with a 2 to1 mix of lacquer thinner and retarder handy. If you get at it fast enough, a light spray of the thinner/retarder will re-melt the overspray and force it to flow back into the finish. This may not work with some pre-cats or post-cats if they dry too long... You have to be quick, and flow it back in before the catalyst kicks in.

From contributor C:
A brown paper bag (preferably the thin kind) will work to de-nib a surface and not show any scratches.

From contributor J:
My bad for not describing it correctly. I don't crumple the paper, then use it. I was suggesting using any paper that has been softened by repeated crumpling from excessive use, such as paper money, or because it is so readily available in my shop, a used up old slice of 320 grit sandpaper.

From contributor S:
I agree - stay away from newspaper. One day a couple stopped by and offered to clean our office windows. Being the nice guy that I am, I agreed. They used newspaper in the process. When they finished and left, the windows were clean, but they had smeared black ink all over the white-painted woodwork.