It is important to know how to sand a car, especially when you are going to repaint it. While sanding a car, you can get rid of all dirt as well as the dry old paint that sticks to it, giving it a smooth and clean surface.

But how to sand your car thoroughly is not a simple question to answer. But stay relaxed, we will learn and do it together in this topic and you will be able to sand your car without breaking a sweat soon

How To Sand A Car- Preparation

Before you learn how to sand a car, you have to prepare a few tools and some materials for sanding. Scroll down to see what they are!

See Also: What Do I Need To Paint A Car

Finding Out the Right Sandpaper

Finding Out the Right SandpaperYou will need some heavy sandpapers to sand down all dry paints and dirt on the surface of your car. Why have to be heavy sandpapers? Well, because this type of sandpaper often has high grit and nothing is more suitable to get rid of the stickiest dirt out of your vehicle than this type, I bet.

Remember that you have to sand until you see the metal on the surface. So we advise you to choose sandpaper with 80 grits. That will help you to sand your car with ease. In case the dry paint is too hard to remove, you may need the help of the 120 – 400 grit sandpaper.

Big notice: never use sandpapers with low grit. They will scratch and ruin the metal of your auto.

Having a Sanding Block

Having a Sanding BlockOf course, a good sanding block is really necessary to sand down your vehicle. How can we know if a sanding block is good or not? In fact, it is not hard to check the quality of it. Typically, a good sanding block often has about 11 – 14 inches tall. It must be easy to hold and use. And lastly, it requires a side that has to be covered with sandpaper.

Using heavy sandpapers seems to be easy, but doing the same with a sanding block is not simple at all. Therefore, we will show you some steps by step on how to do it.

  • Step 1: Hold two sides of the sanding block tightly with your both hands.
  • Step 2: Put the surface which has sandpaper on your auto
  • Step 3: Sand up and down slowly all flat surfaces of your car
  • Step 4: Speed up your sanding
  • Step 5: Use your muscles to push high pressure on the block. So that all dirt and paint can fall out.

Using Wet Sand to Have the Best Effect

Using Wet Sand to Have the Best EffectMany professionals recommend that we should wet sand the vehicle again after we paint it. Wet sanding after painting can make the paint color shinier and brighter. As a sequence, the car will look as if it were newly bought.

To wet sand your auto, you will need a 1500 grit sandpaper. Make sure that you put it into the water before sanding. You can even place a bucket of water next to you for convenience.

6 Steps to Sand a Car

Have you done preparing those necessary tools? If yes, then let’s continue to learn 6 steps on how to sand a car.

Step 1: Wash the Car with Soap and Water

Wash the Car with Soap and WaterAlthough it may not be important to wash the car before sanding, we still recommend you do this if you have time. Cleaning the vehicle can help you remove all dust and small obstacles so that you can save your energy when sanding the car.

So how to do this? Well, as easy as one-two-three. You just need to put a towel in water with soap and clean the entire auto. After that, wash it with water. If you have a water hose, don’t be afraid to open it. The high pressure from the water hose can clean the soap faster. Moreover, it can loosen the old dry paint on your car surface.

Step 2: Remove Old Dry Paint

Remove Old Dry PaintYou will need 80 grit sandpapers to do this job. Sand the vehicle down till you see only bare metal left. During the process, you have to be careful or else you may dig into the metal surface and scratch your car.

If the dry paint is too hard to get rid of, you can think about trying the sandpapers with 100 grit range. As a rule of thumb, the more grit the sandpaper has, the more efficient you can do the job.

Read More: How to Protect Car Paint by Paint Sealant

Step 3: Sand Down All Body Fillers on Your Vehicle’s Surface

Sand Down All Body FillersPut a 120 grit sandpaper on a sanding block and begin to sand down your car. Remember to hold 2 short sides of the block, not the long sides. If you use the short ends of the sanding block to sand your car, it may create a hole in the filler.

Why is this hole so serious? Because you can not notice it until you have done repainting the vehicle. And for sure, that hole will leave an ugly spot.

Step 4: Sand the Primer Cover

Sand the Primer CoverIn this step, you will need to use sandpapers with 220 grit range. Similar to sanding the old dry paint, you only have to move the sandpaper up and down, left and right to take out the primer cover.

But there is one thing that you should notice while sanding. The 220 grit sandpapers have very high roughness. Thus, you should sand the primer slowly and gently, just enough to get rid of the very top layer. If you put too much pressure, you may create a low spot in the primer of the car.

Step 5: Sand the Entire Car

Sand the Entire CarKeep up the good work! You are almost done sanding your car. Now, you need to sand the entire car one more time with 380 grit sandpapers. The reason for this step is to make your car’s surface smooth. When you are done, you can paint your car with ease.

Step 6: Paint and Sand the Vehicle Again with Water

Sand the Vehicle Again with WaterCongratulations! You have done the job really well. Now you can begin to repaint your lovely vehicle. Don’t forget to wet sand it again with water in order to make the paint color brighter and shinier.

Surely the car will have a new look!


Now you have known how to sand a car. As you can see, this job is not so difficult, right? We would not say that our tips are the best on the world though. If you have other ways to sand a car, don’t hesitate to share it with us. We would love to be enlightened with new knowledge!