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Basic Color Sanding 2

Posted by Jay Schneider. Filed under Paint.
January 19, 2012

It is no secret that automotive refinishing is our number one source of revenue. Being equipped with the proper tools and understanding the differences between the different kinds of sandpapers and what they will do to satisfy your needs will help you make better decisions on how to get to the end of you project more efficiently.

I remember reading in an industry standard magazine, in our trade, that almost one third of all body shop paint department personnel spent one-third of their time at work sanding something! It can be said that sandpaper is in fact “a multi-point cutting tool designed to penetrate the substrate and pull the chipped material out of the scratch, leveling the old finish and providing increased surface area to improve the adhesion of the new coatings”.

Understanding the way sandpaper is made may help you make your decision on what type of sandpaper to use. Sandpaper is made essentially manufactured from the back or bottom side up. Onto the backing is applied the first layer of adhesive to which the type of abrasive is applied. Another layer of glue is then applied to keep the abrasive particle oriented to the way it is laid onto the backing so it cuts the way it was intended to. Providing the proper cut is only part of the process – minimizing the sanding “swarf” is another.

Sanding swarf is a term used to describe the residue pulled off from the surface while sanding. One way to reduce swarf clogging is to use water. Wet sanding provides the truest cut from sandpaper by rinsing and flushing the swarf out and away from the next pass or cut thus allowing the sandpaper to last longer. Sand paper used for wet sanding is also manufactured using different parameters to prevent the paper from disintegrating. Now that we know what happens during the sanding process, I will cover how the paper is made in my next installment.

Keep the blue skies up and Happy Motoring!


Scott S. Mc Lain

Vice President

Lake Country Mfg.


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