Color sanding and buffing may just be the most important skill that you learn aside from painting to achieve maximum gloss and pro finishes.
In this post we will cover the best sand paper grits to use when getting your paint job ready for the buffing stage.
When starting to color sand your freshly painted panel you want to be sure to use a fine sand paper. Not 400, 600 or even 800 grit!
The Most Common Sand Paper Grits for Color Sanding
The most common sand paper grits for this part of the body work process is 1000 grit, 1200 grit, 1500 grit and you have your 2000 grit papers.
I personally don’t use 1000 that much.
If I have sags and runs I’ll start with 1200 but not for long. As soon as I start to see that I’m getting a flat surface I’ll move to 1500, then on to 2000 to get it nice and smooth and ready for my compound.
When sanding you basically have a few techniques. You can wet sand or you can dry sand.
If you’re a beginner (even advanced in some cases) wet sanding is preferred.
Mostly because it saves on paper and you can cut slower and nice and easy.
You will also always have more control when sanding by hand.
When I dry sand I like to use the DA (dual action sander).
This is only recommended for experienced auto body guys because when sanding a panel like this you can cut down though the clear coat very quickly and make a mistake if you’re not paying attention.
So why use the DA? Read more below the video to find out.
Also please watch the video below as I cover a few other important tips that I may have missed here. Besides, video is cooler 🙂
Speed Up The Sanding Process by Dry Sanding With a DA
The cool thing about dry sanding when using a DA is that you can really fast track your sanding stage.
You can sand an entire car within a few hours compared to taking 1-2 days wet sanding by hand.
And I’ve dont it MANY times.
I remember in my younger days, I was a brute. I would completely sand an entire classic car down by hand in 6-8 hours and by night be ready to start buffing for a few hours.
15-17 hour days at the shop was not uncommon.
When dry sanding you’ll end up using more sand paper because dry paper will cake up and go bad much faster than wet sand paper; but if your looking for speed, this is the way to go.
How Many Sanding Discs Will You Use?
From my experience, you’ll use about 3-5 sanding discs to sand a hood of a car down flat. 2-4 for a trunk, and 2-3 per door and quarter panel. Of course this depends on the size of the car, but you get the idea.
In total you’ll probably use up 20-30 discs to completely sand out a mid size car or truck.
Each disc can range anywhere from .60 – $1. depending on how many you purchase. A small pack or a box of sand paper.
After cutting with the DA, I like to finish up with washing the panels down with 2000 grit wet sand by hand.
This is how you’ll always get the BEST results. Finish it by hand like you’re caressing your girlfriend down with a bottle of lavender lotion.
Then after buffing with the machine with your 2 step process, wool pad with compound, then foam pad with glaze. Now you’re ready for hand waxing.
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I hope that you’ve learnt a lot from this post and if you liked it then I think you’ll love what we have in store for you within VIP so be sure to check it out when you have a chance.
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