Friday, December 8, 2023

How To Sand A Car

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Finding Out The Right Sandpaper

Auto Painting : How to Sand a Car for Paint

You will need some heavy sandpapers to sand down all dry paints and dirt on the surface of your car. Why have to be heavy sandpapers? Well, because this type of sandpaper often has high grit and nothing is more suitable to get rid of the stickiest dirt out of your vehicle than this type, I bet.

Remember that you have to sand until you see the metal on the surface. So we advise you to choose sandpaper with 80 grits. That will help you to sand your car with ease. In case the dry paint is too hard to remove, you may need the help of the 120 400 grit sandpaper.

Big notice: never use sandpapers with low grit. They will scratch and ruin the metal of your auto.

Do You Have To Remove A Car Paint To Bare Metal

You might wonder, what great travesty will happen if I repaint my car without sanding anyway? Its not like people will be able to look underneath the new coating.

Then we will say that you have some lacking in understanding the real purpose behind the paint-stripping of the car.

People shave off the old paint and rust of the car and downgrade it to bare metal, not to make the painting preparation look tiring, but to ensure that the paint will stick for a long time.

Without proper prior sanding, the new painting will lack a solid foothold to establish itself. As a result, it will peel off the old paints glossy surface in a short time.

Whats more, you never know whether your cars body has begun to rust underneath the old paint full of tiny cracks. Better to be sure than to be sorry!

As we all heard in at least once in our life, prior preparation is essential for success. So, you better not skip sanding your car to bare metal out of laziness unless you want to get a poor result.

Therefore, for better understanding, lets have a look at some of the grits you can use:

Use A Long Sanding Block

Some people complain that they use a sanding block, yet they still end up with a wavy finishing, well the problem is with the block they use, a small block tends to ride over the waves and not remove them so you will still have that effect. The long sanding block, however, is able to bridge the highs and lows on the surface which will effectively remove the waves. The long sanding block does this by bringing down the highs so that they are the same level as the lows which will remove the waves.

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Removing Paint From Your Car

Sanding away the old paint is a perfect paint-removal method for vehicles that don’t have multiple paint layers. This method also works well for removing rust or small blemishes as it doesn’t require a massive amount of equipment or paint to complete the job. Always remember when removing rust spots that after sanding away the rust, you’ll need to treat the area to prevent it from spreading.

Sanding Process

Make sure you have a dust mask and gloves before beginning, and are working in a well-ventilated area. Using 220-grit sandpaper, sand the area you wish to repaint until all the paint has been removed. Wipe the surface clean, and finish sanding with 400-grit until the area is completely smooth. Wipe the surface clean again to ensure no residue is left behind, and wash and allow your vehicle to dry before continuing with any painting or sealing.

Tip: Sanding by hand will work well, but having a dual-action sander will be more time-efficient. There are multiple types of sanders available that will also get the job done, but dual-action sanders tend to be the best. To prevent dents or gouging the surface, keep the DA sander flat against the surface at all times. Don’t use heavy-duty grinders, as these are powerful enough to actually strip away the sheet metal and damage the vehicle further.

Do Not Use Your Hands Directly

The Right Way to Sand a Car Properly

Not using your hands does not mean use your feet. A common mistake first timers make is to sand the surface without a sanding block but this is actually the reason you are going to end up with that wavy paint job. Your hands are uneven. There is the space between your fingers that will provide less pressure than where your fingers are so the intensity of the sanding will vary and that causes the wavy effect. A sanding block, on the other hand, is even and designed particularly to create a smooth surface. I usually recommend the use of a belt sander since it gets the job done quickly and better.

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The Right Way To Sand A Car Properly

I have noticed a common trend with a number of car owners who decide to sand their car by themselves. Quite often you will see the reflection on the car body looks wavy, a lot like fun mirrors that give distorted images. You may think the problem is with the paint job but it all starts from the way you sand the vehicle. The sanding process is almost like the foundation of a house, if you get that part wrong, you probably will see the effects in the rest of the work you do on top of it. It may also come down to the tools you choose. To get the perfect finish, here are a few things you need to get right.

How To Sand A Car For Paint

Recently, we wrote a post on how to paint your car with auto body supplies. In it, we shared how important it is to prepare before your paint. We dont want you to buy auto paint supplies just to waste it, so today were going deeper into the sanding phase of preparation.

Heres what you need to do if you want to properly sand a car.

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How To Sand A Car To Bare Metal

Mr. Roger had bought an amazing car a few years ago. This car is close to his heart as he visited a lot of memorable places with it. Now even though the car works perfectly, he doesnt like the look of it.

He is unable to purchase a new vehicle due to a lack of funds, and so he got upset. One day his niece visited him and saw that Mr. Roger was upset.

When Mr. Rozer explained what was bothering him, his niece immediately told him an idea for sanding his car to bare metal.

Both of them then started working on It worked out well, and the end product was pleasing. If you are wondering what those ideas were, keep on reading!

How To Wet Sand Car Paint How To Wet Sand With An Orbital Sander

How Can I Sand A Car For Paint Really FAST? Paint And Body Tech Tips

Your Orbital Sander requires a different type of sand paper. In fact its not necessarily called sand paper, its actually called a sanding disk.

Your sanding disk will be either a 3 inch or 6 inch, I personally prefer the 6 inch sander with a 6 inch disk.

Make sure your sanding disk is mounted flat and evenly onto the sander. If you do not mount it evenly you risk scuffing the paint and nobody likes scuffed paint!

Now its time to sand. Sanding with the Orbital sander is similar to the way you would sand free hand except you need to watch out for the edges of the painted surfaces a lot more.

Once you turn on the orbital sander it takes a second for it to stop! Make sure you are using water and a sanding pad with the proper grit level.

I usually free hand sand with 1500 grit and then use my orbital with a 3000 grit sanding pad to go over it. You generally want to free hand with a more coarse grit and then use a more soft and fine grit on the orbital.

Step 5:

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Guide On How To Sand A Car For Primer

Now that you have removed the old paint from the metal body and cleaned it well, your new paint will surely get a more comfortable hold over the metal.

But that does not mean that you should apply the paint directly over the sanded bare metal. NEVER do that!

a) Apply a Primer:

Before you apply a fresh coat of paint, you should apply primer over the metal first. First, you should lightly sand over the metal carefully to let the primer get the best possible hold over the metal surface.

b. No Need to Finish Too Smoothly

Use a less coarse sanding paper for the sanding. Dont try to make the finishing too smooth, though. A slightly rough finish will help your primer to get the best hold over the metal possible.

c. Sand The Primer Coat After Making It Dry.

Now it is time to add a suitable primer. After you carefully add a coat of appropriate metal primer, give it time to dry out. Then lightly sand over the primer coating again.

This step is significant. Why? Because this exact sanding will let your paint coats to get some stable holding over the metal body. So, now your car is in tip-top shape for some serious painting.

d.Dont Use Epoxy

Final words:

Best Ways To Sand A Car To Bare Metal :

Now that you have understood, we better move on to more critical parts of the article.

Now, before we begin talking on how to sand a car to bare metal, let us take some moments to familiarize ourselves with the popular methods of removing car paint down to the bare metal. Here are the 7 Best Ways to Remove Car Paint to Bare Metal:

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Wet Sanding Or Dry Sanding

Wet sanding is generally done not just to shape a surface. It is done to remove the large scratches and glossy finish. Wet sanding levels out the surface slowly, and makes the scratches smaller and smaller until no scratch is visible. Whereas dry sanding is mostly done to get an even finished fine surface.

So if you want to give your car a mirror-smooth look you better choose wet sanding instead of dry sanding.

The wetness of wet sandpaper mixed with water or some other liquid as lubrication helps to carry away grit particles. Generally, the best liquid to use for cars is water mixed with a little bit of detergent or dish soap. The detergent lowers the surface tension of the water helping wet sandpaper move more thoroughly and cover up the blemishes on the car surface.

Which Grid Paper Should You Use To Sand A Car To Bare Metal

How To Sand A Car Effectively

Sanding your car needs sandpaper. But a lot of you must not know that grit size is very necessary for proper sanding.

The grit size required for sanding is entirely dependent on the material being sanded and the desired outcome.

Also, keep in mind that this sort of harsh substance was used to make this paper. Sandpapers are available in a wide variety of grit numbers ranging from 12 to 2500 grit.

An alternative would be Silicon carbide paper. This is considered the best for having the most durable and heat-generated features that make it perfect for bulk sanding too.

Since a lot of things have already been discussed regarding sandpaper, lets just jump into the ranges of it a bit:

Different Sandpaper Grit Ranges

  • These grits can create huge scratches on bare metal.
  • ii) Intermediate grit :
    • Utilized to erase and smooth markings made by coarse grit sandpaper.
    • Preferable for sanding bare metal initially.
    • Used to remove any layer of paint from bare metal effectively.

    iii) Fine-grain grit :

    • Recommended for most metal finishing sanding.
    • Grit numbers above 300 can smooth rough areas better.
  • iv) Extra fine grit :
    • It should be used after painting as the last touch.
    • Not appropriate for removing scratches.
    • Can clean the dirt, hair, or other problems found beneath the painted area.

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    How Much Do You Charge To Wetsand A Vehicle

    I have very little experience with wetsanding. I`ve probably done it 3 times to get some scratches out. I understand that wetsanding requires lots of training and practice, is very time consuming, and isnt something you pickup on overnight. At some point down the road I would definitly like to take a class or maybe have one of the DC members from my area teach me more before I would ever consider doing a full car. Just out of curiousity how much would you be charging to wetsand the average size sedan or the average sized SUV? About how much of a profit do you make for yourself after paying materials? Thanks,Erich


    Re: How Much Do You Charge To Wetsand A Vehicle

    Wet sanding is an extreme process that I have found very few times where its needed..To want and learn it that`s great but its reserved for extreme use IMO. How much you charge is dependent on the car in questions, its not something that you will do in a few hours, most are projects that take days in most cases and that can run 100`s of dollars

    Old Enough To Know Better, Too Stupid To Care….Dave`s Detailing


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    Using Hand Sanding Block With Sandpaper

    The oldest method for sanding is using sandpapers. Hand sanding is entirely manual, unlike the previous two procedures and the most labour and time-consuming method.

    But it is ideal for cleaning up small areas or removing single-layered painting.

    Here, you need sandpaper grits 220-400 along with a sanding block. The sanding block will provide a rigid and flat surface behind your sandpaper.

    You shouldnt go for sanding a flat surface without a sanding block as it would leave a chance to make a wave under the sandpaper without having no block. Need the best hand sanding tool? Check here: Top 8 Best Sanding Block for Auto Body sanding

    All you need is to keep the block horizontally and move it to X shaped pattern while you are sanding. And, make sure that you are leading each stroke only with the larger edge of the block.

    Buffing The Sanded Area

    How To Sand Primer Before Painting A Car

    Here are the steps you should follow when buffing the sanded area.

    1. Choosing a Buffing Compound

    Dewalt wool buffing pad is a rubbing compound highly recommended for beginners. Dewalt buffer is used in a vast range of applications since it gives a superior buffing outcome. It facilitates the excellent performance of your car and its durability.

    However, more experienced professionals can choose to use Buffmaster. It is an exceptional towel designed for wiping up surfaces and cutting up through polishes.

    2. Apply the Polish

    On the buffer pad, apply the polish uniformly. Make sure you buff at a low RPM of 1400 in the case of an electric buffer. Move the buffer more often to prevent one surface from overheating.

    Carefully buff through the surface and ensure uniform distribution of the polish. To prevent the paint from burning, regulate the amount of compound you put on the buffing pad. When done, wipe off all the buffing compounds remnants.

    3. Carry on Buffing with a Soft Pad

    At this stage, its evident that the surface is turning out positively. The scratches are wholly covered, and the bumps are no more.

    Using a finishing polish and a soft buffing pad, keep buffing until you attain a shiny surface. During this phase, the buffer can run at a higher speed with no possible damage. Still, move the pad frequently to avoid overheating. Also, ensure that the buffer stays wet by adding the polish regularly.

    4. Clean off the Buffed Spot

    Final Words

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    Remove Old Layers Of Paint

    For this step, you are gonna need to use the sander. Attach the coarse abrasive discs on the sander and start sanding. While sanding, you should move your hand in smooth motions, do not move or stop quickly.

    Make sure to dont add a lot of pressure while sanding, just press it enough to get rid of the paint. Before completing this step, you should always ensure that the car has been sanded down on similar levels. If you want you can sand the car until you see the bare metal

    After this is done, you should use a finer grit of sandpaper and sand the whole car again. Usually, sanding the car two times will do its job.

    But if theres still old paint left then you may have to re-do it again and again until all the paint vanishes. If you want to clear coat then you have to lightly use the sandpaper.

    How To Wet Sand Orange Peel In Car Paint

    One of the biggest obstacles to a perfect paint job is orange peel, bumps in the paint that give it the texture of the surface of an orange. In this video, Ammo NYC founder and car-detailing fanatic Larry Kosilla explains how to eliminate orange peel.

    The car used for this demonstration is a 1980 Porsche 911 from the Audrain Auto Museum in Newport, Rhode Island. Kosilla also teams up with Jason Rose of Rupes USA, a manufacturer of car-detailing products.

    Orange peel occurs when new paint settles on a surface. Rose explained. As the paint dries and the solvent carrier evaporates, the solid paint can settle unevenly, leaving a texture, rather than smooth, surface. To get the best finish, you need to get rid of the bumps left by that uneven settling process. That’s where sanding comes into play.

    First off, it’s worth noting that sanding requires skill, and is not for the faint of heart . If you mess up, you can seriously damage your car’s paint.

    Ammo NYC orange peel video screenshot

    Unless the car is a concours-quality restoration, it’s also a good idea to leave “thumbnail-size” areas around door and hood edges unsanded, which can save days of extra work, Kosilla says. You’ll need to follow up with foam-backed discs of a higher-grit, here 2,000 grit, to further even out the paint either way.

    Check out the full video for more detail on the process and to see the excellent results Kosilla and his crew achieve.

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