DIY: Wet Sanding (3M Kit)

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DIY: Wet Sanding (3M Kit)

Postby bigbadberry3 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:42 am

This is my first write up so please bear with me.

(***Disclaimer***. This is only a story from my perspective. Any repairs or actions you take to your car is at your own rick. Neither NICO nor I am responsible for any repercussions that you perform while following this story.)

So my Civic just passed the 8 year old mark and I thought it was time to put some elbow grease into her. Went about resurfacing the headlights and shampooing the interior as there was no real risk to damaging her. And then I started to look at the paint. Over 8 years, she has picked up her fair dings, dents, and scratches. I have never done any type of paint or body work so I looked for the easiest thing for a novice to do to spruce up the exterior and landed on wet sanding.

My basic understanding of wet sanding is that using a high grit sand paper, you sand a scratch to smooth out the clear cloat and remove the appearance of the scratch. If that isn't it, it's just magic!

So I read about DA's and orbital sanders and just had nightmares of burning through the paint, the metal, and creating a gaping hole. However, I then found a DIY 3M kit. No DA ror orbital sander required, just a basic hand held drill. Here is a link to the same kit I used: ... w={keyword}

I picked mine up from the local Pep Boy's for the same price. It is cheaper on amazon by about 7 dollars.

The kit comes with the following:
1"x1" 3000 grit sand paper
Drill velcro adapter
1 "course" pad
1" foam" pad
1 small bag of compound liquid
1 small bag of scratch removal liquid


You must provide:
Microfibre cloth
Hand held drill

So here are the steps I followed.

1) Wash and dry your car. It will look pretty.

2) Find a suitable scratch. To determine if the scratch is fixable, drag your finger nail across the scratch. If your finger nail doesn't get hung up on the scratch this kit is for you. If it does get hung up you will need to find a different solution.

Here is my section of scratches

3) So now, take some water to the area, I used a spray bottle. Take your very fine grit sand paper and spray it as well.


4) Applying light to medium pressure, rub the pad over the scratch for 10 seconds. You should start to produce milky water. That is a good sign, the clear coat is being removed and your scratch it being smoothed out.

5) Wipe the area with a microfibre towel. Observe the area to see if the scratch is there. If the scratch remains repeat step 4. If the scratch is gone, stop sanding. Your area will appear to be faded or hazy, again this is good.

6) Wipe the area dry.

7) Next put your "course" pad into the drill.

8) Put about a quarter sized drop of rubbing compound on the pad. It will be a gritty substance.

9)WITHOUT TURNING THE DRILL ON spread the coumpound out over the wet sanded area.

10) Now, turn the drill on apply light pressureas you go back and forth and up and down over the area. Avoid trying to use edges of the pad as that may tear through the paint.

11) After going over the area use a microfibre towel to remove any compound left. Look for splatter shots around the area as some compound will be spit out. Your area should now be significantly less hazy.

12) Remove the "course" pad and set it aside to be washed. It is reusable.
13) Insert the foad pad and put about a quarter sized spot of scratch removal liquid on it. This liquid should not be gritty.

14) WITHOUT TURNING THE DRILL ON spread the coumpound over the area.

15) Again, using light pressure, turn the drill on and use vertical and horizontal sweeping motions to spread the coumpound around. Be careful as this liquid dries much quicker than the compound so avoid putting to much heat into the paint.

16) Wipe the area dry using your microfibre cloth. Your scratch should be gone and the area should be as smooth as glass.

17) Perfect time to go ahead and clay bar the area and wax :)

Good luck!

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