Correct Sandpaper Grit You Should Sand Your Car With – Before Paint!

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Thank you for watching this video about the correct sandpaper grit you should sand your car with before paint.

This is a question that I get asked a lot on the blog and from my VIP members. So I’ll say it like I’ve said it before…You should paint over 400-grit.

That is an excellent grit to paint your base coat and clear coat over, including enamels or anything else that you’re doing.

You can actually go even more coarser if you’re doing a single stage enamel. Some people even paint over 280 grit-sanded surfaces.

Personally, I like to stay in the range of 320-360 which is a good grit to paint over. In this range, it’s completely safe to go painting single stage enamel. The reason is because enamels, acrylic enamels, synthetic enamels in general are thicker and they fill the tooth of the sandpaper a lot easier.

While on the other hand, with base coat and clear coat, you will have to sand a little bit more.

I hear of some people sanding down to 600, 800, or 1000, some even sand paint over 1500. The problem with that is, the paint has no tooth to stick on.

You know those fine line scratches you see when  you look at a sanded surface? That’s what the paint adheres to.

That’s why when you do anything, you have to sand it before you glue it together. You’re not just gluing or sticking shiny pieces together…because then there won’t be anything for adhesion, there’s no tooth for the material to grab so you can just snap it right off.

I was at a seminar not too long ago with House of Kolor. The founder, Jon Kosmoski was saying the exact same thing.

So I asked him, “What grit do you paint over?”

He said, “400-grit”.

I said, “I told them”.

See? That’s what I always say and even the PRO himself says the same.

I know some people are going to bag on me and say, “Hey, 400-grit is too rough.”

But listen…Don’t listen to all the other people out there who are saying all kinds of stuff. Listen to the ones who are doing it. Listen to the PRO’s!

I have been using 400-grit to paint over with my base coat and clear coat for many, many years. In fact, for over 15 years now and I’ve never had a problem.

As long as you lay your paint on well, it should be perfectly fine. You have a good tooth that’s going to grab that base coat that you’re laying on. Once the paint is laid on all nice, you put your clear coat on it and it’s going to look beautiful!

You will not have those sand scratches. Don’t worry about it. Even if you’re painting black base coat, it should be fine. There shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

A lot of my VIP members have been following me and listening to me, they ended up with excellent results.

For some people who think that 400-grit is too coarse, I tell them to go ahead and use 600-grit. Honestly, in my opinion, I like 400-grit but 400-600 is a great range to put your base coat and clear coat over. Anything smoother and finer than that like 800, 1000, 1200,1500-grit…is NOT good because your paint is just not going to stick.

At that seminar, Jon was telling me a story that he heard from someone…this guy painted his base coat/clear coat over 1500-grit. When the paint job was about a year old, he was driving at the freeway and when he got home, the paint was coming off of his car in sheets. There was nothing for the paint to adhere to.

I know there’s a lot of stuff out there. You see all these other guys with videos, maybe saying otherwise. But I’m telling you, you would do well to paint over 400-600 grit if you’re painting base coat/clear coat, wet or dry. It really doesn’t matter.

I like to wet sand for final painting so if you’re sanding a 2K primer, an epoxy or even a clear-coated surface or maybe if you have a car with an already-nice-paint-job on it (say, you have a red car with a nice paint job but you’d like to put a different red hue on it or some kind of metallic, maybe)…All you have to do really is, scuff down the clear coat with 400-grit then you can lay your base coat and clear coat right on top of that.

You don’t even have to put any primer on it. You can just put the new paint right on top of the clear coat.

I want to get everything over your head right now but that’s just the gist of it. I wanted to make you understand it well.

I hope you enjoyed the video…

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7 thoughts on “Correct Sandpaper Grit You Should Sand Your Car With – Before Paint!”

  1. Absolutely spot on. 400 grit is perfect for adhesion. If you doubt it sand and shoot a small piece or area and let it dry. Then try and get it off. It will show you that Tony knows his stuff.
    I painted my first car using his videos. I was confident enough to sand and shoot my matte white Nissan 350Z to a metallic gun metal gray. It turned out so much better than I could have hoped. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I actually have people wanting to pay me to shoot their cars and is becoming a quite lucrative business


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