When it comes to sanding vehicles, the most common question has to do with sandpaper grit. Since there are several types of sanding applications in the automotive industry, there is not just one type of grit needed for the job. So, if you want to avoid paint and surface damage on your vehicle, be sure you choose the proper sandpaper grit for your project.
Continue reading to learn sandpaper grit sizes and their recommended automotive sanding applications.
Sandpaper Grit for Automotive Applications
Sandpaper grit refers to the number of abrasive particles per square inch of a sheet of sandpaper. The lower the number, the fewer abrasives present, making it courser sandpaper. The higher the number, the more abrasives present, making sandpaper finer.
40 to 80 Grit – This sandpaper grit is very course and will leave behind visible marks, so it is not recommended for small clear coat scratches and other similar applications. Instead, it is recommended for any rough sanding that needs to be done prior to body work, as well as, shaping body filler.
120 to 180 Grit – Use this grit range for flattening out scratches, feathering edges of body filler, spot putty sanding, and light rust removal.
320 to 400 – This grit range is much finer than the previous ones mentioned. It can be used for pre-primer sanding, rough primer sanding, fine sanding spot putty, and final body filler sanding. It is recommended to use a sanding block too.
600 to 800 Grit – This sandpaper grit range is perfect for sanding surface imperfections in the primer, prior to paint application. It is recommended to start at the low grit end and work your way up to 800 grit.
1000 to 1200 Grit – When you need to remove base coat imperfections, this grit range will do the job. Be sure to use the wet sanding technique for best results.
1500 to 2000 Grit – When you need to smooth out surface imperfections and scratches before and after applying the clear coat, this is the grit range to use. This will also require the wet sanding technique to prevent clogging the sandpaper.
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