Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Three Pitfalls to Avoid When You're Sanding Your Car's Body with Sandpaper

by Max Day

If you have any substantial rust extrusions on your aging car, grinding them all down will take quite a lot of work with sandpaper. Additionally, if you make a careless mistake while you're using your sandpaper, you could end up having to replace a much larger section of your car body's paint layer than you intended. Whenever you're sanding your car's body with sandpaper, be sure to avoid these three pitfalls.

Not Gradually Decreasing the Coarseness of the Sandpaper You Use

While your car body's paint job isn't the most fragile thing on the vehicle, it still can't take very coarse sandpaper for an extended amount of time. While sandpaper with a very coarse grain is necessary if you want to grind down a particularly egregious rust formation, it should be quickly changed out for something more mild once the formation is a more typical size.

Never hold a piece of sandpaper over your car for longer than a minute or so. This is to ensure that you always have an opportunity to check up on how the rust formation is doing and change to a new sandpaper piece when necessary.

Pushing Your Sandpaper onto Your Car at a High Angle

When you're preparing to sand the rust formation, always approach your car's body from as low an angle as possible. As long as you neither move your arm too fast nor suddenly press too hard on a part of the car body that's right next to the rust, you'll minimize your chances of damaging your car's coat of paint during your work.

If you go in at a high angle, it's much harder to intuitively find a good position and rhythm for sanding down a rust protrusion without touching the rest of your car. Even if you do find a good position, it'll almost always first involve moving the sandpaper horizontally, getting your bearings, and moving the sandpaper back again, defeating the purpose of going in from above.

Not Regularly Alternating Sandpaper with a Damp Towel

Whenever you grind down rust with sandpaper for a significant amount of time, all sorts of rust chunks of various sizes will be created. If you don't remove these chunks from your car with a damp towel as soon as possible, they'll start grinding against your car body's paint whenever you create tremors in the body through your sandpaper work.

Your car's body is an important thing to protect. Since the paint coat on your car's body is its first line of defense from the elements, you shouldn't get so carried away by your work on rust extrusions that you forget to look after the paint. For assistance, talk to a professional like Westside Fender/Body & Refinishing.


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Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Making sure that your ride looks good is almost as important it is to ensure that it drives well. After all, the way your car looks says something about how well you take care of it. If there are dings in the body or chips in the paint, chances are that your vehicle's eye appeal leaves something to be desired. Luckily, there are some things you can do at home to make your car look better so that you don't have to pay an auto shop to do everything for you. Sure, you can let your service technician take care of all the heavy lifting for you, but consider using the tips and tricks found on this blog to take care of some of the minor stuff yourself.

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