Sanding a car with the use of 3M Abrasives pads and discs

Car Sanding: How to sand a car efficiently?

Optimise and achieve efficiency during car repairs. A complete car sanding guide for body shops. Get an excellent surface finish, every time.


Optimise car sanding processes

Use our helpful guides to get the most out of your 3M sanding products. They feature step-by-step advice for body filler sanding, fine sanding for painting and e-coat sanding.

  • 3M Abrasives and tools shown up close in image

    3M Abrasives for car sanding

    • 3M Abrasives, tools and accessories provide the perfect basis for the best painting results.

      Our portfolio includes grinding wheels and strips, hand abrasives and wet abrasives. The right abrasive plays a key role in ensuring a perfect result, every time.

      Whether in preparation, dry primer or fine sanding, our quality abrasives, and a further range of accessories, are designed to help you safely and efficiently complete your processes.

      Click the play button in the image to watch the video.

      Download 3M™ Sanding Process Brochure (PDF, 5MB)

      Contact a 3M expert

Sanding process products

Discover our range of sanding process products to help you achieve high quality and efficient repairs in your bodyshop.

Innovative Abrasives for Car Repairs

  • Reinvented abrasive discs with innovative net technology coupled with 3M™ Precision Shaped Grain. You no longer have to compromise between peak performance and dust extraction.

  • Get the job done sooner with 3M™ Net Abrasives, our fastest cutting and longest-lasting net abrasive sheets. All the while, letting dust extractors perform their best by leaving virtually no dust on the work surface and in the environment.

  • 3M™ Cubitron™ II Products give a more consistent finish in car scratch repair and paint removal. They cut quicker and last longer, enabling a cooler sanding process and helping you be more productive than ever – reducing cycle time and rework.

  • Thanks to their supporting foam backing, 3M™ Trizact™ Abrasive Discs 443SA or 3M™ Hookit™ Flexible Abrasive Foam Discs are high performing, versatile abrasives and in finer grades excellent for blending, paint rectification or preparation for car polishing.

Technical tips for sanding processes

Here are some valuable insights into specific sanding process challenges, including quick tips on preventing common issues such as applying the primer and the adhesion of the primer. For more in-depth information, click the link below to see each tip.

  • Customer Challenge:
    Particularly when using net abrasive discs, back-up pads seem to wear out faster, losing their ability to firmly hold discs.

    Technical Tip:
    You can protect a Festool back-up pad with the Festool Automotive Systems Protection Pad. This will protect the back-up pad hooks from wearing during the sanding operation.

  • Customer Challenge:
    Sometimes, seemingly well prepared areas can show an uneven and poor quality surface finish after paint and clear coat application.

    Technical Tip:

    The modern recommendation is to refine sanding scratches around the edge of the repair area (known as feather edging). This should be done with a fine grade abrasive (220+-240+) before applying body filler and with a 320+ grade abrasive before applying primer.

    This will stop solvents from the body filler, or primer penetrating deeply into the original paint construction.

    (Always follow the paint company recommendations).

  • Customer Challenge:
    Deeper sanding scratches in filler and primer sometimes appear to be fully removed, but when paint and clear coat are applied, they still are visible in the final surface.

    Technical Tip:
    By using 3M™ Dry Guide Coat, you can ensure that imperfections and sanding marks from previous steps have been fully refined. This will help to improve the quality and consistency of every repair.

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