How to Sand a Car for Paint

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In order to sand a car to be painted, it's important to use coarse grits to make the panels flat. Find out how to sand out the scratches left in panel from the coarse grit paper with help from an auto restoration specialist in this free video on sanding cars for paint.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Painting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joel Jones from Jonesy's Auto Restoration in Ridgefield, Washington. I'm going to show you how to sand a car for paint. So this truck bed right here has already been sanded with a lot of really coarse grits. You can kind of see where we've already done a little bit of body filler showing through and it's been sprayed with primer. So when you're prepping a car for paint, you want to use your coarser grits like your 80, 120 grits to make the panels flat; using blocking techniques and stuff like that which you can see information on those in different videos. But what I'm going to show you is how to actually sand when you're right at the point of the panels flat and you're ready to now to transition into paint. And the goal here is to continuously make the panels flatter; but to sand out all the scratches that were left in the panels from the coarser grit paper. So generally speaking, if you're going to do a solid color, you need to sand all the way through the grits to 400; which means like 120, 220, 320 and then 400 and anything over 320 I recommend using a wet sand. It doesn't clog the paper; produces a little bit a better sanding environment and then also it makes the panel shiny when it gets wet so you can actually see whether or not it's flat. So when you're sanding this; I'm going to be sanding with 320 with a block. You always use a block, you never use your hands for reasons that I, you can see in other videos. But you want to sand in a criss cross pattern using even pressure. Always exing back and forth, going across the panel and normally I'd be wearing a dust mask; but because this video is so short, I'm not going to be sanding very much. We're just going to view it. So you can see, the sand scratches produced even by the 320 are noticeable and if you're going to be spraying with a metallic, you need to go a little bit finer. I'd say about a 500 wet is what you need to sand. And then it's also a really good idea to let your primer sit for a week or so to allow them to shrink and allow the fillers to shrink because if you don't do that, then the primers will shrink down into the sand scratches and you'll get actual sand scratches that start to show through later on. And that's how you sand the car right before paint.

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