What Grit Sandpaper for Wet Sanding Clear Coat

We are often very excited about the new polish that we get on our car or any piece of furniture. We have so many paint options to choose from and the kind of finish we want eventually. As the work requires such perfection, handing it over to a professional is the best option in most cases.

Applying paints and then applying a finish polish requires a lot of concentration so that equal layers sustain throughout the surface of the car or furniture. However, have you ever considered buffing out the clear finish all by yourself?


Buffing Out

You may not have thought about it at first, but if given a serious thought, buffing out may not be that big of a deal. Sure, the process would be time taking and require your full attention for a few hours, but the results are worth it.

Buffing out the finish is usually done for recent paint jobs. In case you have gotten your furniture or even your car painted recently, you probably want to buff out the clear coat. The clear coat, after a while, starts to shine way too much and almost looks artificial, which is not a good impact on the visitors.

A thorough buff would do away with all the extra shine that you don’t need. However, make sure to leave the clear coat applied on the furniture to stay for at least a day or two. As the coat takes time to dry and settle on the surface, it is important to let it dry.

After a clear coat dries off, it should also be allowed to harden. Trying to buff out the clear coat before it hardens will ruin the quality of the pain, and you may have to get it redone if spoiled.

It is important to be very careful when buffing out for the very first time. You may also have to remove some peels from the surface. These peels usually occur due to some uneven paint jobs. And they important to remove too, otherwise the surface of the furniture would start to look bumpy.


How to Buff Clear Coat

If you want to buff out a clear coat like a professional, there are some steps that you need to follow. Read below to know these steps.

Step 1 — Soak Your Sandpaper Properly

For starters, you need to ensure that the sandpaper you are going to use is perfectly fine for your use. Therefore, start by putting all the sandpaper that you have in a bowl of clear water. Leave the sandpaper in the water for about half an hour or even more.

Step 2 — Wash the Surface

Before you start using the sandpaper on any surface, be it the car or even the furniture, you need to clean it first. Using sandpaper on a surface that is full of dust and dirt will make the situation even worse, and the results would not be satisfying.

Step 3 — Wet-Sand the Finish Coat

Before you start with wet-sanding, you should know that this process is time-consuming and requires a good amount of patience. This is even trickier when it is your first time in the process.

Once you have the clean surface and soaked up sandpaper, you can start the process of wet-sanding on it. The sandpaper that you will use to wet-sand on the surface should be 400 grit. Sandpaper of this grit proves to be perfect for buffing out a clear finish.

This is done so that, when removing the peel of the clear coat, it will fill all the scratches left behind with polish. Therefore, the scratches would be gone in no time. The sandpaper of this sort will clear away the entire coat of the finish and bring in a smooth surface for the entire car or furniture.

Step 4 — Upgrade the Sandpaper Grit

Once you start wet-sanding a surface, you start to notice how the scratches begin to clear out or get filled in. After you use 400 grit sandpaper, you can start increasing the grit to get an even better result. You could get 800 grit sandpaper after a 400.

Continue using the circular motion to get the best results. When you keep increasing the grit of sandpaper, you start to notice the quality of sanding improving by the minute. However, make sure not to spend a lot of time on just one grit.

You could divide the entire process into 3 to 4 grits of sandpapers. Apart from 400 and 800 grit, you can go for sandpapers of 1000 and 1200 grits. Do remember that the sandpaper would start to have a more prominent cross-hatched pattern once you change the grit of the paper.

Make sure to not be very harsh with the sandpaper on the surface of the car or furniture. Otherwise, the surface would start to erode.

The key to getting the best results by using sandpaper is to start with a courser grit. And gradually move to a smoother grit. This will give you an amazing finish, just like professionals provide.

Step 5 — Use a Proper Technique

It is very important to use the sandpaper in the right way. To make an even movement throughout the surface will give you better results. Place your hand and the sandpaper at a 45-degree angle concerning the surface of the car or the furniture.

Do this more accurately when rubbing over some deep or big scratches. You may not always sand to fill the scratches. In case you don’t have any scratches to fill in, you can sand in straight lines instead of circular motions.

If you want to be more specific and detailed about the movement of sandpaper on the surface, you could go by the direction in which the wind would flow over the car or the furniture.

Step 6 — Use Tape to Protect Delicate Surfaces

Now there would be some surfaces you would not want to scratch with sandpaper. To protect them, you can use masking tape and cover up these surfaces. You could also use the tape to cover up the edges of some panels, moldings, headlights, etc.

Once you start to notice a milky texture over the sanded area, you could stop sanding. Make sure to clean the area once and check if you have not scratched the entire clear coat and reached the painted surface.

Step 7 — Buffing

Once you have sanded the surface properly, it is time to buff it up. You could either use an electric buffer or even a wood pad for even polishing. Make sure to buff using a pad that is soft, and then apply a layer of polish to finish the process.

Buff at the end of the process will give the required natural shine to the surface.


Final Words

Once you are through with the entire process, you could give the entire surface a good inspection. Before applying the final polish, checking for any remaining scratches would keep you in a safer spot.

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