How to properly wet sand your truck and where is the best place to get supplies?

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by PantheraUncia, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I am thinking about wet sanding the truck, just enough to get the orange peel out of the clear coat, I would be using 2000 or 2500 grit sand paper and a light clay bar soap while sanding.

    Are there any guides online that show you the best best way to do this and if I am doing the whole truck panel by panel, what is the best place to get the supplies (sand paper, etc).

    And any suggestions from people that have done this before.
  2. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I know my body man uses 2000 grit. He uses very small amounts of some kind of 3M paste (squirtable from a bottle) as a lubricant. I didn't catch what it was while watching...
  3. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This is quite a process. I don't have 2 days to work on the truck........ I guess I can do a panel a day or something like that. It looks like they likes the hand sanding better than the air sander, and they also started with a 1500 git paper.
  4. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    My body man hand sands exclusively. It took him 1.5 solid hours to do my hood -- I watched while yapping with him. He only used 2000 grit and the 3M stuff I mentioned (which may or may not have been some kind of fine abrasive; I didn't pay enough attention). That'll give you some idea of how long a certain sized panel might take...
  5. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    Unless you have an aftermarket clear coat I'd highly advise against doing a full sanding of the factory clear coat. They spray all vehicles as thin as they can get away with leaving you with only so much material to work on. After a full sanding your clear will be thinned to a degree that would make correction of scratches or swirl marks in the future a risky proposition.

    Just my 2 pennies worth, but personally I'd never sand an OEM paint job. Not worth it.
  6. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Maybe it would be good to soak the truck in Coca Cola to eat away all the clear coat and paint to the bare metal and then have a shop re-paint it from the bare metal?

    Apparently Coca Cola can eat away everything to the bare metal in about 30 minutes +/-
  7. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    The main acids in Coca-Cola are citric acid (less acidic than orange juice), phosphoric acid (also found in milk and fish), and carbonic acid (found in normal rain water ... at pH's from 5.6 to as low as 4.3). Coca-Cola products supposedly (per the Internet, so question it) have a pH from 4.2 to 2.5, with Coke Classic having the lowest pH in that range. Anything that would be dissolved by an acid with a pH of less than 3 would, in theory, be dissolved by Coke Classic IF it remained covered in the stuff for a long enough period of time.

    You could get the same effect throwing eggs on the car and leaving them there for a while ... or by leaving acid rain on the car for a hyper extended period. Like Coke, such things will muck up the clear coat but not STRIP it, as suggested. Evaporation on a vehicle's surface won't permit the kind of duration needed to 'strip' a vehicle's clear coat unless you were to immerse a towl in the stuff, put it on the vehicle, and keep it there ... and then continually add more Coca-Cola to compensate for the environment's evaporation of water content from the initially-poured Coca-Cola.

    Thus, I can easily see Coca-Cola MARRING a clear coat (just as acid rain will, given enough time), but dissolving/stripping it a la mineral spirits or , MEK's dissolution of paint? No. There's a huge world of difference...

    Also, if a clear coat is marred in this way, wet-sanding and/or rubbing compounds are the traditional fixes ... unless the problem has impacted the paint, itself (remember, the clear coat is bonded to it!), in which case it's a new paint job.

    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  8. sstoner911

    sstoner911 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    X2 If you burn through to the base coat you have just committed yourself to repainting. If its your hood you will have to redo the entire hood because yo wont be able to spot in the clear and have it look good over time.

    In fact most factory paint jobs will have orange peel if you look close enough. Even if this is a aftermarket paint job I dont recommend you learn how to cut and buff on your daily driver.
  9. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    100% agreed. I've worked on everything from Hyundia's to Lamborghini's and they all have orange peel. Not sure where people got the idea in their head that an OEM paint job was supposed to be perfect, but they never are. They're sprayed by robots utilizing as little material as possible. No sanding takes place, they're not blocked, they're not buffed, they're just sprayed and sent down the line. Truth be told the last Ferrari 599GTB I worked on had just as much, if not more, orange peel than my Avalanche did and thats comparing a 6 figure Italian supercar to a $40k truck.

    Fact is, if you want a perfectly smooth paint job you need to have the vehicle stripped, reshot with plenty of clear, blocked, reshot, blocked again, and buffed. Theres a reason a show car paint job can run upwards of $20-$30k... theres a lot of labor, time, and material involved in making it perfectly smooth paint job.

    I've been up close and personal with OEM paint on $400k+ cars... trust me when I say the paint is no better with no less orange peel and defects than what you'd see on your truck...

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