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I wanted to take some of the touch up paint I got from the VW dealer off of my car. It made the scratches look even worse than w/o it. How should I go about doing this? What grade sand paper should i use and technique? Or is there a better way other than my last resort - a body shop!
 

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On Horsepower TV that guy wet sanded a truck today. He used 2000 grit paper. He also said to have a very light touch and have plenty of water. He then buffed it out and it looked incredible!
 

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Wet sanding is a pro technique and not for the faint of heart. If you are uncomfortable with the thought of possibly ruining your paint then go to a detailer or body shop to have it fixed.

That being said, depending on how bad and in what location your damage is will determine how you go about wet sanding. You'll need to get some 1800 and 2000 grit sandpaper a bucket of water, a shop towel, and a rubber sanding block to do the actual sanding, then some medium cut and some fine cut rubbing compound, and swirl mark remover with separate pads for each.

Work 1800 (if you are trying to level touch up blobs) then 2000 grit paper, for general wetsanding you can start with 2000 grit. then proceed to the compounds to bring the shine back. Work pregressively finer cut materials untill you finish with the swirl mark remover. Then glaze and wax the area to finish.

I use all 3M materials for polishing, they are available at any paint/body supply store.

Start by soaking the sand paper in the water for few minutes to get it soft, and clean the area you'l be working on. If it's a flat area use the sanding block, if a curved area (like a bumper) use your hand to back the sand paper. Go slowly and keep the area well flooded with water while your working, and try to work in straight lines, not circles.

Stop frequently to dry the area and check your progress, DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS! You only want to level the paint, if you go to far you'll remove all the clearcoat and expose the basecoat this is very bad and your finich will dull and fade within a year. Worse, you could go all the way through to primer. Either way it'll take a body shop to fix it.

DO NOT WEST SAND IF the scratch/damage in question already goes through to the base coat/primer. There's no way to fix that other than sanding and painting the area.
 

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It takes a 'touch' in order to do it without f'ing it up... and you only get the touch by practicing and f'ing stuff up. :lol:
 

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In the 12 years I have toyed with paints and finishing, I have never run across someone wetsanding and polishing a clearcoat finish.

Wet sanding an enamel or laquer finish used to be standard practice to removed the 'orange peel' effect. Always done with 2000 grit paper and lots of water. Afterward, you needed to buff the surface with 3M's 0000 polishing compound to bring up the gloss.

Might serve you good to talk to a local auto paint shop or a auto paint supply shop to see about the standard practice with clear coat.

Joe
 
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