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Old 05-02-2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Smile To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

Hey guys & girls,

You know - although it's more time and product consuming in the end than anything else... I was wondering if wet-sanding my car would be the answer. I hope not, although 11 years old (97), it's actually quite vibrant. Maybe I should simply compound.

Aside from just my personal car, what is everyone's opinions here on wet-sanding, either site-specific or entire vehicle?
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:40 PM   #2
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

Oh - here is a supplement article to what I said above:

http://www.mobileworks.com/auto_paint_wet_sanding.html


It's a pretty good read - details, lol, no pun intended
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

Unless you are trying to get rid of lots of scratches, I'd not recommend wet sanding without seeing the vehicle. I just finished a pretty major wetsand operation on a Black BMW and it is definitely time consuming:

1. Paint gauge the car and know there is sufficient paint to work with.
2. I NEVER drop below 2000 grit paper. Most often, I stay with 2500 and finish with 3M Trizact 3000. Dropping to a heavy grit paper is an invitation to disaster!
3. After completing your sanding, you will need to compound with wool or a foam cutting pad and check your work A LOT. The BMW I did required several re-do's of compounding that I missed on the other passes (very frustrating).

After many hours, you will have a flawless vehicle like this: (sorry for the Ultrafina splatter, but I'll be washing and waxing tomorrow)





Good luck with your decision

Toto
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:59 AM   #4
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

Thanks a lot Totoland. That really helps... I think I'll end up spot sanding at most, but 90% I'll only use a heavy cut compound, and go through that process... I don't feel like spending another 10 hour day in my garage, both my wife and I work 2 jobs
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:48 AM   #5
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

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... but 90% I'll only use a heavy cut compound, and go through that process...
At the expense of asking wrong question (as I haven't checked all of your posts to see whether you have posted pictures of what you want to address) may I ask what about your car makes you conclude it is heavy cut compound that you should be doing?
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

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Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
At the expense of asking wrong question (as I haven't checked all of your posts to see whether you have posted pictures of what you want to address) may I ask what about your car makes you conclude it is heavy cut compound that you should be doing?
Well, there are heavy (overt in the light at right angle) horizontal scratches on the clear coat door panels, from someone taking their fingers and a dirty terry cloth towel, and buffing off wax last week from side to side at a less-than-prestigious detail shop.

I still haven't taken pictures, recent ones at least since then, because both my wife and I work two jobs. From 10 feet away after the clay, polish, and wax - the paint looks stunning, but get closer in a flourescent light, and you can see tiny 4-6 inch scratches on the clear coat surface on almost every panel of the vehicle.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

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Originally Posted by AaronRaySmith View Post
Well, there are heavy (overt in the light at right angle) horizontal scratches on the clear coat door panels, from someone taking their fingers and a dirty terry cloth towel, and buffing off wax last week from side to side at a less-than-prestigious detail shop.

I still haven't taken pictures, recent ones at least since then, because both my wife and I work two jobs. From 10 feet away after the clay, polish, and wax - the paint looks stunning, but get closer in a flourescent light, and you can see tiny 4-6 inch scratches on the clear coat surface on almost every panel of the vehicle.
Good description! And, you made your case for just compounding. Usually, wet sanding is reserved for deeper scratches (ones you can feel with your fingernail). Putting wetsanding in perspective: Wetsanding is an abrasive method of leveling the area surrounding the scratch. Compounding does the same thing only slower. With wetsanding you lower the chance of rotary paint burning because you have abraded the surface before using the rotary and the rotary will only need to remove the sanding dullness. Therein is the challenge of wetsanding! Removing the sanding marks and dullness is definitely a challenge! I inspected a Black BMW 4 different times and thought I finished out the car. After glazing (which amplifies the surface), I found a few areas I missed...that's 4 separate inspections in proper indoor lighting as well as 2 times in bright sunlight. Talk about frustration!

Wetsanding is appropriate for isolated scratches and in the case of the BMW, the sanding was extensive: i.e. entire door panels, etc. I really got an education on this car. Wetsand, compound, remove dust with ONR, glaze, inspect and make corrections BEFORE moving on to the next panel. This was a 4 day paint correction!

Toto
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:40 AM   #8
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

WOW... ok, I am never going to utter the words 'wet sanding' again - EVER. Haaaa!

Hey bro, thanks a lot for your help.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

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WOW... ok, I am never going to utter the words 'wet sanding' again - EVER. Haaaa!

Hey bro, thanks a lot for your help.
Not a problem at all Aaron! BTW, I hope I have 1/10th the energy of Jack LaLane as I get older....what a discipline!

Take care and have a great day.

Toto
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:58 PM   #10
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Re: To Wet Sand... or Not to Wet Sand

I know that subconcious reaction to hearing word "scratches" is "compound". But let's first make sure scratches are really scratches and not something lesser. Starting with least aggressive method first (at least sight unseen) might be erring with advice on side of caution, but it is safe.
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