Color Sanding


Start with the #2000 Take several of the sheets and cut them to fit the sanding block. Use the paper cutter at the office - works great for this! Soak them in clean water in your bucket. Add a few drops of dish soap to the water. Now, down to bidnez: Go wash your hands. Put on clean, cotton, non-scratching clothes. Wash the areas to be sanded. Get anal-retentive. Ok, *now* down to bidnez. Take a piece of paper and wrap it around the block. Using the "holey" block, and the holey side of the paper, start sanding. There are different schools of thought here, but some body guys suggest using straight, with sucessive passes at 90 degrees. This breaks down any ridges built up. Then the polisher would break those down. Sand until the orange peel appears to be gone. To check, wipe it clean with a CLEAN terry towel that I should have said to buy above. As it dries, look against the light; orange peel will appear as "shiny" divots in the surface. You gotta get real close. You won't see the orange peel until the surface dries. Keep sanding until the surface is entirely flat, and you have no dots/divots. If it's *really*, *really* bad, you can start with #1500. I've started with heavier than that and regretted it! Keep the sanding sludge rinsed off. Eastwood sells a cool suction-cup watering thing, but if this is a one-time deal, it's prolly not worth it. Once you have all the orange peel out with #2000, go over it will #2500. Now you're trying to get any scratches from the #2000 out with the #2500. Sending the spider to catch the fly. You're done when you have a dull shine from the sandpaper alone. Keep stroking, you *will* get there. Start with a small area, say 1' square. Don't wander about the car picking at spots, it will bite you later. Don't get stingy with the sandpaper - it's false economy. It takes more effort to try and eek mor elife out of worn paper, than it does to use new paper. Paper is cheep - your labor isn't. You can get 3 "sides" out of a sheet of paper - it will be obvious once you see how to wrap the paper on the block. Keep everything really wet. Really, really wet. Every time you get some sanding effluent built up, rinse it off. Dunk the block and paper in the bucket every now and then and "swish" the slurry off. Every hour or so, change the water in the bucket. * Polishing. Now the fun part. Wash all the sanding debris off, and let dry. Hook up the polisher with the polishing pad, and a swirl of polishing compound on the pad. Set the pad on the surface - don't fire it up yet! - and squish the compound over a 2' square area or so. If you don't, you'll sling it all over the place. Start the polisher slow - get an adjustable-speed one, and choke down the speed at first. Your greatest danger here is "burning" the surface by catching an edge or pressing too hard. Slowly work the compound around, using light pressure and low speed. As the compund starts to "sink in" (it's not really), you can up the speed. As it dries, you'll start seeing the shine come thru. Be patient! Don't trade pressure for time, it don't work like that! You will probably need to repeat this step two or three times, depending on the condition of the starting finish, and how well you sanded it. You're done when you have a kick-ass gloss with just the compound. When the entire car was been worked up thru compounding, then you can use the glaze. The car should be awful bright by that time, and some people are so happy by this point, they skip the glaze. I know I have. The glaze is the icing on the cake. For a p-car, I wouldn't skip it. "What if I'm afraid to do this on my car?" Then either practice on the minivan, or go to the junkyard and get an old fender with good paint. Older VW paint is *excellent* for this as the paint was really thick and durable. Get a solid-colored piece, similar in color (light or dark) to your subject car.


Here's the materials you'll need for color sanding - #2000 and #25003M sandpaper and Perfect-It rubbing compound.