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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, im ready to tear down my front so i can restore it. I will need to prep the hood, front fenders, and stock plastic (or whatever) bumper cover.

I need to know the right steps on sanding it down. I wont be actually painting it, just the prep, but i want it to be prepped well. I dont exactly want to go as far as stripping the paint, just a good prep.

So...what # grit paper do i start out with..then move to...then finish, and so on.

Thanks a lot for the help i really appreciate it.

-Dylan
 

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thats it? 400 seems a little gritty for finishing? wouldn't you want something higher for a real smooth finish?
 

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I've prepped w/400 before and it turned out fine. Usually I do 500 or 600 grit. Make sure you use a soft sanding block and not just your hands for wet sanding.
 

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Applies pressure over the area of the block. If you just use your hands, you can press with fingers/palms of your hands etc. and only apply pressure at those areas. With the block, it makes it much easier.
 

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i do this day in and day out your gonna need to sand the whole area with 320 grit paper there is no need to go higher you are just wasting your time here the sealer and paint will fill these small sand scratches for you and i mean they are small. and if you have a DA sander that would be ideal. but if you don't get a soft sanding block and sand the pieces is small 8"X8" sections and get all of the shine off of it. you do it to make sure you have an even flat surface so that it doesn't become wavy and look like poo. now if you have small dings or dents you wanna hit the ding/dent with 180 about 3-4 inches past the ding/dent then take a little putty or filler and use it over the ding/dent don't be afraid to put it on somewhat thick not overly so use judgement cause you will sand most of it off anyway. now sand that down with 80 to quickly eat the filler away then after you have gotten it say 70% switch back to 180 and sand till you have it smooth and you can't feel any bumps or dips cause if you can feel them the clear in the end will show it and bother you till no end then after take 320 and go over the surface with 320 not going to crazy just enough to get a lot of the 80 and 180 grit sand paper marks out. then prime the area if you have bare metal give proper drying time 10-12 hours then sand smooth you do this to aviod rust. in the shop we use a heat lamp so in about 45-1 the primer is hard enough to sand but in the avg joe world of body work you need 10-12. well i hope this helps you out at all
 

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mr2ouch is right... Another compelling reason to block sand is that the flat, level surface of the block helps straighten the surface of the panel by sanding more evenly. After bodyworking, I usually alternate black and gray primer over the surface, then block sand over the fix... Irregularities in the surface will come out in the different color layers so you know where to concentrate your glazing/sanding/priming efforts.

I'm not quite sure I understand the reasoning behind sanding smoother than 400. Go too smooth and the primer wont have as good a surface to "bond" to. At 400, a good coat of primer will fill any scratches the sandpaper will make anyway. After the final wet/clear coat is when you want to wet sand w/high # grit.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, when the paint is layed on, all spraying in done, and its dried for a little bit and whatnoe. Then you wetsand again? I am a detailer, so i kind of know paint..but only as far as waxing it or "restoring it" with certain stuff we have at the shop. But i have no bodywork experiance like prepping and painting really...

How would you wetsand when the paint is done? Like 1000-1400 grit, with water, then buff afterwards?

Thank you all for you help, i really appreciate it.

Luckily, i dont have any dents or dings to worry about, its all straight bodywork. :)

Thanks again!

-Dylan
 

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On the bumper cover i just used 150 grit to get the clear coat, paint, primer, paint, primer off. i discovered that my bumper cover got paint layered over it so thats why i took it down to nothing. I was then told to just finish up with 220 grit and then primer, paint, clearcoat. (my color is Nautical Blue Metallic so mine has a clear coat to be applied). Does that sound right??
-Terry
 
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