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How to wet sand a car – All you need to know

  • Car Care Tips
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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We all love when our car sports a shiny and spotless look. By wet sanding your car, you can add a shine to your automobile and give it a glossy finish. But if you don’t do it properly, you could damage your car. In this post, we’re breaking down all you need to know about how to wet sand a car.   

What is wet sanding a car?

Wet sanding is the process of removing paint scratches from your vehicle, and it helps restore the paint’s sheen. In a new car, wet sanding can help remove the orange peel effect (i.e. pebbled, uneven painted surface- kind of like an orange skin). However, remember that wet sanding cannot get rid of deep scratches. It can only repair scratches on the top layer of your car’s paint and clear coat. Also, if you don’t follow the right techniques while wet sanding your car, you could be causing some serious damage.  

wet sanding a car


How to wet sand a car  

Step 1   

Have a look at the damage and assess it. The type of damage you’re trying to repair will decide the sandpaper you’ll be using. If it’s a minor scratch you’re looking to repair or wet sanding a new car, use 2000 or 3000 grit sandpaper. To resolve deep scratches, use the 1200 or 15000 grit sandpaper.  

Step 2 

Now in lengthwise, cut the sandpaper in half. You will be wrapping the paper around a sandpaper squeegee or pad, so cut accordingly. Next, fill a bucket with water and add automotive soap to it. Dip half of each sandpaper into the water and place it along the edges for five minutes. After it’s saturated with soap water, wrap it on the applicator of your choice.  

Step 3  

Before you start wet sanding the car, remove any dirt or debris from the area you’ll be working on by washing it. Use a washing mitt and car wash solution and clean the spot. Dry it with microfiber towels.   

Step 4  

Use the sandpaper wrapped on the applicator to wet sand the spot. You should not use just your hands because it can cause an inconsistent finish. Now use the applicator gently in a circular motion on the spot you’ve chosen. Increase the pressure accordingly, but don’t apply too much pressure.   

Step 5   

Use the sandpaper in multiple directions to create an even surface. Make sure you don’t change the pressure while changing the direction. Also, don’t let the sandpaper dry. Dip it into the soapy water regularly. If the sheets become soggy, switch to a new one. If you notice the water in the spot becoming dark, it means you are applying too much pressure.   

Step 6  

After you’re done wet sanding the car, rinse the area with water to remove any debris. Park your car in a shaded area and allow the spot to dry. Do not park the car directly under sunlight to dry it. Once the spot is dry, wax and polish it to give it an extra shine.  

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Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.

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