How to Wet Sand A Car? Crack the Secrets!

After all the work of scrubbing and waxing your car, you want to make sure that it stays looking good for as long as possible. But sometimes we just don’t have time to do a full detail job. If this is the case, then we recommend wet sanding your car every few months. Wet sanding removes any deep scratches or major blemishes without removing the color coat like traditional polishing does. We are going to give you step by step instructions on how to wet sand a car in this post!

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Table of Contents

  • Wet Sanding vs Dry Sanding Car
  • When is Wet Sanding Necessary?
  • What You’ll Need for Wet Sanding A Car?
  • Wet Sanding a Car: 3 Steps 
        • Is it appropriate for your car?
        • Prepare the lubricant:
        • Prepare the sandpaper:
        • Clean the area:
        • Wrap the sandpaper around a squeegee:
        • Wet sand with fiber-grit sandpaper:
        • Polish the surface:
  • 3 Benefits of Wet Sanding A Car
  • Is Wet Sanding Dangerous or Bad Practice?
  • How Much Paint Gets Removed at Wet Sanding A Car?

Wet Sanding vs Dry Sanding Car

When we immerse the sandpaper into a vessel of water, it is called wet sanding. When the sandpaper is wet, we can start sanding. The advantage of damp sanding is that the indisputable point that it yields less dust, a lengthier lifetime of that sanding paper, which allows an even apparent associated with dry sanding.

Dry sanding is smeared right on the outside part, this sort of sanding bases extreme dust ensuing abrasive movement of that grain on the exterior, dust is ecstatic through the midair and lifted in the adjacent spot where it’s working. Hence, it’s necessary to detach the work zone to evade some grime that’s accumulated on newly painted work, dodging expensive rework. Read about sanding drywall to get a clear idea of dry sanding.

The opposite side is essentially the utilization of defensive apparatus like mask and safety glasses to stop the access of dirt inside our physiques.

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When is Wet Sanding Necessary?

If you’ve got shallow scratches on the surface of the car’s coat, then wet sanding may be a great idea. It’ll help to get rid of the blemishes. For instance, if your vehicle features a scrape, so you are doing not wish to feature a replacement coat of shade to hide the defect, wet-sand gives you a choice to get rid of the scratch.

However, if you’ve got deep scratches on the surface, then wet sanding will likely do more harm than good. Use wet sanding just for the highest layer and clear coat of your car.

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What You’ll Need for Wet Sanding A Car?

Following tools and materials, you will have to collect before wet sanding your vehicle.


Use 1200 grit sandpaper on a vehicle’s paint. If the harm is light-weight, finer sandpaper-like 2000 or 3000 grit can do the task at once. For shallower scrapes, you’ll begin with a 1200 or 1500 grit papers. Repeat that method with improved sandpaper.

Lubricant, Water and soap

You don’t need expensive oils. You need a bucket of water and dishwashing soap.


Scissors to cut sandpapers in shreds.

Sponges and Microfiber Towel

Space must be excellently clean before you start the process. So you need sponges and microfiber towel.


The uses of pad or squeegee will give you a proper way. If you use your hand, it will cause and rough sanding job. Sanding squeegee has a different grip. Take that one, which will make your work easier on the various measures of the vehicle.

Garden Hose or Tube

There is a need for the garden hose as you are going to wash it rigorously. A tube will be more useful when you are going to wet-sand the whole car.

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Power Buffer

When you finished wet-sanding your car, polishing is necessary. Power buffer created to make that.

Car Wax

Waxing the vehicle will give you a brand new shiny finish look that we want. If you are sanding just a small area of a car, waxing the car will make accurate the flaws.  Once you have finished, car wax will shield the car polish.

Wet Sanding a Car: 3 Steps 

Wet sanding is a stunning procedure that, when done appropriately, can bring about a surface that is as smooth as glass. Regardless of whether you are discussing paint, groundwork, exposed metal, or wet sanding can smooth anything in the middle of your vehicle’s body. Wet sanding is also known as shade sanding, provides shine to a finished paint job. In the first place, we’ll talk about what you have to take care of business, at that point I’ll reveal to you the better purposes of the sanding procedure. At long last, we can get into the recondite side of body completing and sanding.

Step-1: Preparation

What if it is a small part of a car body or the whole car you will need appropriate sandpaper, good washing soap, sponges, buckets, scissor and microfiber towel for cleaning and drying.

Is it appropriate for your car?

If you did not paint your vehicle recently, wet sanding also could be accustomed to correct scratches left and the other imperfections. It works ok, on condition that the scratches aren’t too deep. If the metal is showing throughout the paint, wet sanding the vehicle won’t be applicable.

Prepare the lubricant:

Take a container of water and add some soap. You can use detergent powder too if dishwashing soap is not available. Do not make soapy water. Just mix as much as needed for the waxing.

Prepare the sandpaper:

First of all, cut the sandpaper into half. It will be easy if the strips are longer for wrapping around a squeegee. Then soak the pieces in the soapy water for a minimum of five to ten minutes. Remember, you keep a dry portion of the sandpaper to wrap it around the squeegee.

Step-2: Start Wet Sanding

Clean the area:

When you are going to wax the whole car, clean it with water and soap to remove dust and grime from the surface. You can apply it to a small or specific part of the vehicle. After cleaning the car, use a microfiber towel to dry it thoroughly.

Wrap the sandpaper around a squeegee:

Do not wet sand the car using your hands as it will make it lumpy. Instead of that, Wrap the sandpaper around the squeegee.

Depending on the area where you are wet sanding, you can pick between smooth, curved, and bendable handles. Please read the directions on the product that you purchased and see how to attach the document to it.

Get on with it:

Confirm the sanding paper is damp. It is best to start by picking a small part of the body. Continue to gently sand, utilizing a round motion. Do not apply undue pressure.

If the sandpaper shows excessive paint rolling down, it is a strong indication that you are working too hard. That way, you are harming the shade.

Stay slower and stable, with that similar volume of pressure still applied.

Add lubricant suitably:

Don’t allow the sandpaper to get dry during wet sanding. Keep the area densely filled with soapy water during the process by continually dipping the sandpaper into the tank, and even pouring some of the vehicle’s soapy water.

Step-3: Treat The Area

Wet sand with fiber-grit sandpaper:

You’ll need coarser paper, like 1200 – 1500 grit, to get free of shallower grazes.

Sanding stains the paint, that is the reason the shallower scraped regions need to wash again. Using a more exceptional sandpaper, like 2000 – 3000 grit, this will wash out any imperfections.

Rinse the area and dry:

Use a tube to clean off any soap or residue left on the car after you’ve done the wet sanding. Be sure to rinse it thoroughly, because once it dries, you will need to add a glaze or wax to the place. Check the region with your hand and make sure the soapy substance is not left behind. Use microfiber towels, let dry them. Don’t let the sun dry up the house! Bright sunlight will carry watermark stains.

Polish the surface:

The best way to get a decent work is by the use of turning buffers (also called rotary polisher).

For this mission, be sure only to use medium velocity and short-force settings. High pressure hurts the paint job of the vehicle, so be calm on polishing. Rotate it in circles as it turns, with the buffer going.

It is possible to burn the paint by applying too much pressure, so start light and add more weight if the compound needs to rub.

Wax the car:

It will look like the finished product once the area is polished. To provide an additional layer of protection, utilize the best-quality automotive wax on the surface. Wet sanding will make the paint area slightly shallower than the rest of the body, and a coat of wax will help keep it from fading at a rate different from the rest of the paint. You may want the entire vehicle cleaned and waxed to ensure no dust or dirt from the remains of wet sanding on the car when you’re finished. Waxing the vehicle preserves the paint and gives it a brighter shine.

Check out the video below to learn more about wet sanding a car:

3 Benefits of Wet Sanding A Car

1. Remove Deep Scratches

One of the most benefits of wet-sanding your vehicle is that it’s an excellent thanks to removing deep scratches and take away any debris which will have fallen on a fresh paint job.

2. Even-Out New Paint

Sometimes, new paint needs a couple of touchups, and therefore the wet-sanding technique is efficient. This process will make your vehicle appear to be in pristine condition and usually used with professional automotive detailers.

3. Level Touchups for Easy Polishing

Wet-sanding is additionally won’t to level touchups on your vehicle, which makes the polishing process much more manageable. Of course, it always necessary to use the knowledge that focuses on wet-sanding, as trying to try to do this on your own may be a risky process that will permanently damage the paint job on your vehicle.

Editor’s Tips

Is Wet Sanding Dangerous or Bad Practice?

It is hard work to do, and you cannot make any kind of mistakes, though; you need to track all those phases, as mentioned. It’s crucial, simply take little time and stay cautious.

Remember that if you aren’t at ease doing by yourself, hire knowledgeable about wet sanding your vehicle. It’s getting to charge you some bucks, but you’ll find yourself paying even extra cash if you are doing it all by yourself and do harms to the vehicle’s exterior.

We gave you all kinds of ideas and information to followup for getting it to sort of a professional, if you would feel about undertaking to try it by yourself or want the assistance of knowledgeable, we’ve made you concealed.

Pro Tips

How Much Paint Gets Removed at Wet Sanding A Car?

It depends on how aggressive you accompany your wet sanding technique, what grits you employ, if you’re working by hand or machine, etc. There is no standard order of thumb that can tell you exactly, during wet sanding, how much paint will get removed because you ought only to be sanding deep enough to remove the defects you’re chasing barely. Efficiently removing 7-10 microns if chasing a deep scratch then polishing out sanding marks.

Final Words

So there you’ve got it the way to wet sanding a car. Utilize the ideas and knowledge contained during this info to effectively eliminate any scrapes from that exterior of your vehicle and make it look new!

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