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Wet sanding a car to fix scratches

Cleaning Car Tires – The Do’s and Dont’s

Have you ever heard of wet sanding? In fact, the essence of the process is clear from its name: it is applying sand with water. When it concerns your car, the procedure might sound rather risky (which it is). However, there are cases when it turns out to be the best solution to remove paint scratches at a very low price. In this blog, we will give you the most necessary information about wet sanding and its correct application.

So, what should you know about wet sanding? The first thing you need to keep in mind is that this process is subtractive, which means it literally takes away paint. Thus, you should not use this method if the scratch is deeper than the paint level because it is absolutely useless under the scratch. The purpose of wet sanding is to cope with a shallow scratch. 

The second thing to know is that the main danger with wet sanding is that you can go too far, especially when the scratch is so deep that there was no paint left under it to smooth out. In such cases you can sand too much and remove what was left of the paint layer, or you can make the scratch wider. Beware of such mistakes.

Try to wet the scratch to know if it is shallow enough for wet sanding. If it disappears for a couple of seconds when it gets wet, that usually means it’s just in the very top layer. If the scratch remains when it is wet, but looks white, it is a bit deeper than the paint layer. Yet, if you cannot see metal, wet sanding can still be an option but you should be very careful when you try it, because you never know how deep it is. If you can see metal, wet sanding is excluded. In such cases, you will certainly need a paint job. 

Now, that you decided to wet sand, you should know the steps, which run as follows:

  • First, wet the scratch and the sandpaper with a big amount of water.
  • Carefully begin to sand the scratch, bearing in mind to only sand the scratch itself, rather than the surrounding paint.
  • Start applying it with a light pressure and only sand for about several seconds. Remember that you will need to buff for about several minutes for every 30 seconds of sanding.
  • After you’ve sanded for 10 seconds, use water to buff out the scratch for a minute. Slowly move the buffer back and forth across the scratch.
  • Wipe the scratch clean with a cloth to see how much progress has been achieved.
  • Continue to work in 10-second pauses, keeping the area wet, and then buff for about 1 minute.
  • Once you already feel more confident, you can try sanding for a little longer at a time if necessary. If you don’t feel sure, or suspect that you are burning the paint, stop immediately! Buff it out and find a professional to help you.
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