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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 05-07-2005, 04:38 PM
pisces328i pisces328i is offline
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Wet Sanding your BMW

Has anyone wet sanded there bmw. I am thinking of doing this and would like some input. I want that orange peel of the car aswell and have that mirror finish.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2005, 06:06 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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This technique is known as "color sanding", and is NOT a job for an amateur.... BMWs have a two-stage paint job, with a color coat, topped by a clear coat. You don`t know if the orange peel is in the bottom layer, top layer, or both. As they say on TV, "Don`t attempt this at home!". The most effective place to start is to get a can of white rubbing compound, and apply it with a piece of *wet* terry-cloth towel, rubbing it to a haze, then removing any residual compound with a clean towel. Don`t use too much pressure on the high spots, or you`ll rub right thru the paint....it`s the thinnest here. Wax immediately, or the unprotected paint will quickly begin to oxidize. A good compound & wax job will improve any paint job.

Regards,
Bob
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2005, 07:01 PM
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You want advice? Ok, DON'T do that.
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2005, 06:35 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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I would not recommend you try to color sand your BMW.

Unless you know exactly what you're doing, I can virtually guarantee you'll burn right through the clear coat - even with 2000 grit paper. Better to live with a bit of orange peel, it's a fact of life in the loc VOC water-based paint. Color sanding the clear will be useless if the peel is in the primer or the base coat.

To give you some idea of color-sanding and the gloss it produces, here is a picture of my MGB hood. It has about 6 coats of wet sanded PRIMER and 4 coats of color sanded Glasurit acrylic urethane topcoat (no clear). A paint job like this starts somewhere around $3000.

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  #5  
Old 05-08-2005, 07:14 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Stunning MGB!


.
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2005, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP
I would not recommend you try to color sand your BMW.

Unless you know exactly what you're doing, I can virtually guarantee you'll burn right through the clear coat - even with 2000 grit paper. Better to live with a bit of orange peel, it's a fact of life in the loc VOC water-based paint. Color sanding the clear will be useless if the peel is in the primer or the base coat.

To give you some idea of color-sanding and the gloss it produces, here is a picture of my MGB hood. It has about 6 coats of wet sanded PRIMER and 4 coats of color sanded Glasurit acrylic urethane topcoat (no clear). A paint job like this starts somewhere around $3000.

Beautiful job, Scott....that`s a real labor of love. You`re absolutely right....a first-class paint job starts with carefully prepping the bare metal, and working your way up....there`s no quick & easy way....just a *lot* of hours.
P.S.: I`ll bet you know a thing or three about Lucas electrics.... :-)

Regards,
Bob
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2005, 07:27 AM
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Jalli Jalli is offline
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Color sanding should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing.
Its not very hard, but you have to know exactly when to stop. My advice would be to watch someone who knows how and have them supervise while you try it out.
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  #8  
Old 05-08-2005, 08:23 AM
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mppaz mppaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pisces328i
Has anyone wet sanded there bmw. I am thinking of doing this and would like some input. I want that orange peel of the car aswell and have that mirror finish.
Thanks
Bad idea.
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2005, 10:58 AM
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There is probably not enough material everywhere to take from to get the desired results. Definitely not for the novice or faint of heart.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2005, 11:03 AM
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tierfreund tierfreund is offline
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might be a good preparation and motivation for a full respray though
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2005, 12:17 PM
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I did it in spots but would never attempt it on entire car. You need knowledge, paint thickness gauge (few hundred bucks for a good one), rotary buffer and lot's of compound and polish. DON'T DO IT!
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2005, 01:09 PM
slimwest1 slimwest1 is offline
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I tried and failed!

I tried to "fix up" a small spot on the rear bumper of my car (2002 330xi). The spot was about the size of a quarter. After about three days of wet sanding, compounding, polishing and using clear coat....the spot is just as bad and is about 2 inches by 3 inches. Needless to say, it's going to the body shop tomorrow!

That was a $400.00 lesson I'll never forget!!
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2005, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Stunning MGB!


.

Tell us more about it!
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2005, 02:08 PM
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RSPDiver RSPDiver is offline
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Just a wild stab, but me thinks the safest way to do this (with professional assistance or not) would be to apply an additional clear coat, and then begin the color sanding, just to make sure there is enough material to level out before getting to the paint. This, to me, seems prohibitively expensive for the gains attained, unless the car is to become a professional show car.

As others have said, you don't know what level the texture is in, so making all the higher spots level may remove all the clearcoat, leaving you with clearcoat only in the untouched valleys.
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2005, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSPDiver
Just a wild stab, but me thinks the safest way to do this (with professional assistance or not) would be to apply an additional clear coat, and then begin the color sanding, just to make sure there is enough material to level out before getting to the paint. This, to me, seems prohibitively expensive for the gains attained, unless the car is to become a professional show car.

As others have said, you don't know what level the texture is in, so making all the higher spots level may remove all the clearcoat, leaving you with clearcoat only in the untouched valleys.
Nice thought, but it would only serve to showcase every bit of orange peel that remains below that smooth new clear coat.

Regards,
Bob
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  #16  
Old 05-09-2005, 03:13 AM
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Scott ZHP Scott ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Fester

Tell us more about it!
I bought it in 1992 to play around with for the summer - it was pretty much a basket case. I got a bit carried away and spent the next 8 years restoring it - nut/bolt restoration. Everything was rebuilt, replated, repainted, reupholstered, etc. I did all of the mechanical and trim and body work - except the final prep/respray/finishing.

These are not for the faint of heart... here are some before photos and an after of the enginebay:
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2005, 03:28 AM
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tierfreund tierfreund is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP
I bought it in 1992 to play around with for the summer - it was pretty much a basket case. I got a bit carried away and spent the next 8 years restoring it - nut/bolt restoration. Everything was rebuilt, replated, repainted, reupholstered, etc. I did all of the mechanical and trim and body work - except the final prep/respray/finishing.

These are not for the faint of heart... here are some before photos and an after of the enginebay:
Thank you for sharing. Really.

I love old cars. Not for driving, not for fiddling around with, just for looking. I owe a debt of gratitude to fanatics like you for providing me with free eye candy...
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2005, 05:46 AM
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Artslinger Artslinger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott ZHP
I bought it in 1992 to play around with for the summer - it was pretty much a basket case. I got a bit carried away and spent the next 8 years restoring it - nut/bolt restoration. Everything was rebuilt, replated, repainted, reupholstered, etc. I did all of the mechanical and trim and body work - except the final prep/respray/finishing.

These are not for the faint of heart... here are some before photos and an after of the enginebay:

Impressive restoration and one beautiful car.
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  #19  
Old 05-09-2005, 08:46 PM
Superior Shine Superior Shine is offline
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Can be done and is done.

I have color/wet sanded many factory finishes. It can be done safely if you know what you’re doing.

I won't recommend it for a vehicle that will be used for a daily driver because if you get a defect in the paint you will not have any clear left to "play” with. But doing it for a show car or a vehicle that will be used for demos it is fine.


You will be better off having a pro do it. Expect to pay for 12 to 14 hours of labor for the average size car.
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