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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I got in a car that had the remains of bird droppings on the hood. Problem was it was left on too long and "etched" into the clear coat. I seldom like to wet sand due to the fact it removes so much paint. However I had no choice. I started with 3,000 grit, which didn't smooth it out, so I went up to 2500 grit and it finally took 2000 grit to get it to the point where it was improved enough to start the next step. Whenever you wet sand you dull the area you were working to the degree you need several other steps to bring life back. So I used the rotary with a cutting pad and a light compound (Meguiars fine cut) The went to a cutting glaze (car-brite) then to a polish and finally sealed it. You can save lots of blood sweat and tears by watching for these hazardous contaminents and removing them quickly when you see them. Gary
 

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Gary,

This info is great info and I think you could emphasize a little more what wet sanding can do to a street driven vehicle. I had a 1998 WS6 that I heavily mod'd and it was black. It was shown at local shows, but I drove it on the street a lot. I had a local detailer, came highly recommended, color sand this vehicle to remove the orange peel in the clear. He did an incredible job, however, it left me with a vehicle that was a nightmare to maintain. Color sanding removed a good amount of that clear coat we all enjoy so much and it really does protect your finish from a tremendous amount of everyday hazards. When you cut into this layer, every little thing becomes a major problem. That bird doo Gary speaks of would now be a major issue for a vehicle. If it etched the paint enough to require some sanding, but you have already sanded it, you may hit the real color coat and then you are in it deep. The clear is going to peel back and life is going to see a nice bill coming to repair it......

The moral of the story, don't loose your clear coat and take bird doo and other enviromental problems seriously. Quick detailer and a good cotton or microfiber towel are a nice trunk buddy.

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Todd, you mention all the good and bad points of wet sanding. Whenever I do it, it is only in EXTREME situations. Example, today I had a 500 SL Black. Paint was in decent condition, only flaw was a scratch about 2 inches long which went through the base coat. It was an eye soar. I used 3,000 grit (very fine) , always sand in the opposite direction of the scratch, using light pressure. Once I leveled the area a little, it will be dull. Then I need to use the high speed with a med cut compound. This will remove the sanding marks. I followed with a polishing pad and a light cut cleaner. Then a polish, and seal. The area was improved by about 70% from what it was. By using 3,000 grit, opposed to say 2,000 or 1500, you don't remove that much clear. Buffing is the secret in the steps after sanding. Hope that helps a little. Gary
 

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Gary,

I totally agree with you and the guy who did my WS6 was a true pro. It just became a issue once I started to realize all the harm a finish is subjected to in the real world of driving. It forced me to continually keep this vehicle clean, as there was only so much clear coat left to work out any additional real problems.

todd
 
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