DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

How to manual wetsanding

Written by:

Wetsanding isn’t very difficult in the steps you need to take. It’s the technique that makes the difference. When mastered, wetsanding can give very good results, but it is also very risky and should be done with great care.

Contents

The steps for wetsanding

When wetsanding, you want to remember a few basic rules: don’t use to much pressure, don’t try to go as fast as possible, and keep the lube coming.
The steps themselves aren’t very difficult.

  • Put your wetsanding papers in a bowl with clean water. Leave them to soak for a few hours before using them
  • Wash, clay and decontaminate the surface before starting
  • Use your paint depth gauge to see how much paint you have to work with
  • Make sure the surface is clean enough for polishing
  • Tape of surrounding areas and edges that you don’t want to sand
  • Make sure you have plenty of water and/or lube to use as a lube
  • Take your least rough wetsanding paper (often 3000 grit or higher) out of the bowl with water
  • Wrap the wetsanding paper around a block of foam or similar
  • Wet the surface with plenty of water
  • Rub the wetsanding paper softly over the surface, with very little pressure
  • Make long strokes of at least 10 inches, if possible more
  • Look at how it affects the paintwork, and see if this is good enough
  • Is the wetsanding paper rough enough, continue using it. Not rough enough, go up 1 step
  • Rinse away the milky water/paint-mixture from the surface and wipe dry with a microfiber towel to check the result
  • Rinse the wetsanding paper clean, and continue wetsanding
  • It is totally dependent on the grit and the surface how many passes you have to make
  • Continue sanding, rinsing and adding water till you’re happy with the result
  • When done, use a cutting polish to bring back the shine. Work your way up from cutting to polishing and finally finishing

The technique

Wetsanding isn’t easy to master. You need to feel whats happening, and understand what you are feeling. Without this experience it is very difficult to judge what you need to do. Applying more pressure might be needed, but you need to know for sure. Although it is difficult to put this experience in words, this list might help you to know what things to start with.

  • Always start with as little pressure as possible, and see how that goes and feels
  • Always use enough water to rinse the sanding paper and the surface
  • Keep the wetsanding paper wet at all times
  • Start out with the least rough sanding paper
  • Always try to apply even pressure while sanding (a block of hard foam might help)
  • When judging the result, rinse with plenty of water and wipe dry
  • When wetsanding, the surface will show complete wetting and hardly any sheeting
  • It is important to keep your sanding papers wet
  • Try to prevent sanding to much on corners, the paint is often more thin here
  • When sanding headlights, look carefully at how evenly matte the surface is becoming
  • Don’t try to rush it, this job takes time but the results are worth it. Rushing it will not improve the result

Although you can read a lot on the subject, it is a job you need to get a feeling for. The feeling for sanding is difficult to master. Some go to a professional detailer for special courses on wet sanding.

Different related articles

  • The best Dual Action
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: "what is the best Dual Action". Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth....
  • 1 stage polish
    Correction
    When you polish a surface, the level of imperfection defines how much work it will be to achieve a perfect finish. This can either be a 1 stage polish, a 2 stage polish or even a 3 stage polish. Different types of stages needed define slightly what pads and/or polish you are going to need, and might give an indication of the time-frame needed....
  • What is overspray
    Correction
    Overspray is caused by the mist that is created when spray painting a surface. The tiny paint particles are light enough to float around in the air, when they land they slowly start to harden and become overspray. Overspray can be removed safely in many cases....
  • What are mineral deposits (waterspots)
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    Mineral deposits are spots of minerals that are left behind when the carrier evaporated. Although the liquid evaporates, the minerals in that liquid don't. They are left behind....
  • Mothers Wax
    Manufacturers
    Mothers Wax is a California, America based manufacturer of detailing products. They offer a wide variety of products that include shampoo, wax, sealants and tools. They have been busy in the world of detailing for several years....
  • What is Frogtape
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    Frogtape has made a name in the branch of painters by making it easier to create sharp lines between 2 colors by simply using masking tape. Frogtape is a brand by Shurtape Technologies, which also create Duck, Painter's Mate, T-Rex tape and ShurTape....

Links to this article

There are no external links to this article. Yet.
Sidebar



Stay up to date with our free newsletter
Always be the first to know about new updates, articles and other informative content.
Don't miss out, opt in!
We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!