Paint Color Sanding

Paint color sanding is a confusing term to many people. I will do my best to offer the insight to the following:

  • What this process is
  • Why would you use this process
  • Pictures showing the actual process

What is Paint Color Sanding?

This is called color sanding because you are sanding and working on the top surface of the paint itself. When it comes to traditional paint and body, the sanding and prep work is done on what is called the base coat, or primer coat.

When painting a car, you prepare the surface of the car first, through multiple layers of primer. These layers are sprayed on, then sanded to cover up every flaw in the paint.

When a car has already been painted, then you can't go under the paint and try to fix any problems. So this process is not used to correct poor body work or blemishes underneath the color, or top coat.

What is this Process Used For

There are many problems that a painted surface may have that can be corrected through the process of color sanding:
  • Scratches
  • Spider webbing
  • Orange peel texture
Paint color sanding is a process for paint correction that is the most aggressive form of paint correction; aside from simply repainting a car.

Simply put, the flatter, and less scratches in the paint, the better it will look when it is waxed. The goal is to create the flattest and smoothest surface, to create a surface that will reflect the light without interference of blemishes.

The Magic of Paint Color Sanding

So, through the process of color sanding, we can literally sand the surface of the paint to create a completely flat, and scratch free surface.

The actual sandpaper, also referred to as wet and dry paper-notice the grit

The shot above is the sandpaper that can be used and is also called wet and dry because typically the sanding process is done while wet. Also note that we are talking a very fine grit of 2000 here. Typically you can start with 800 grit, move up and through the different grits to finish with 1500 to 2000.

This all depends on just how aggressive you need to go to fix whatever problem you are trying to fix.

Here I am color sanding our family hauler the GMC Denali

If you look at the shot above you will see how I use the hose to keep a steady flow of water while sanding. This keeps the paper from getting clogged up and washes the material away as it is being sanded off.

The Prep work

Let me take you through some of the prep work steps:
  • Sand paint to level 1500 or 2000 grit paper
  • Tape off areas that need protection from the high speed buffer
  • Polish the sanded areas graduating from heavy polish to fine polish

Above I show how I tape the plastic and rubber moldings, and cover the wheels for protection, and easier clean-up

After the paint has been sanded, I cover all areas that require protection from overspray from polish, or from the buffer pads themselves.

The shot below shows the B-pillar of the Denali after I did the initial sanding. If you look, you will notice that there still remains some "shiny" areas of the original paint that still need to be sanded more to completely flatten the area.

Above is B-pillar that has been taped and sanded...still not perfectly flat if you look closely

Let me go to a shot that will show you the scary look of sanded paint. Look below and study the shot to see the sanding marks.

Above is the door showing how paint looks after sanding, and before the polishing

Above shows the process of polishing one panel at a time, and taping accordingly

The above shot also shows how I tape off the sensitive areas of the car, like the edges that will create much more heat and friction, than that of the flat panels. To do it correct, extreme caution needs to be taken to protect all edges. This requires extreme patience.

The Before and After Pictures

Let me take you through specific before and after shots that will demonstrate the amazing effects of this paint color sanding process.

The rear panel before showing plenty of that "spider-webbing" effect

The above shot shows what is very common, and that is called "spider-webbing", which is nothing more than a pattern of scratches that looks as though there are million of actual spider webs across your paint.

The rear panel after the color sanding process showing true perfection

Another shot of rear panel showing deeper scratches and more spider-webbing

Same panel showing after effects

Above is the close-up of the front door showing the Denali emblem with unsightly spiderwebbing

Above is the same area after I had taken off the Denali emblem and did the color sanding

Look above and see how perfect the paint now looks. Having removed the Denali emblem really "cleans" the area up also. You cna click the following link to see and read more regarding car emblem removal.

One Last Before and After Picture

Before I show you the finished product, let me show one more before and after.

Above is the C-pillar showing spider webbing and some serious deep scratches

The amazing results of lots of work and effort

The Final Paint Color Sanding Project

The results are nothing less than spectacular!

Serving Orange County, CA and the people for over twenty years!

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What People are Saying

You did an amazing job with our RV. I honestly cannot believe how great it looks. Seriously; it just looks so good!
Thank you!

Eddie L.
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Darren took my 9 year old Acura MDX and made it spectacular! I believe his knowledge and attention to "detail" goes above and beyond!
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Craig Leitch
Foothill Ranch, CA

I'm somewhat of a car nut. Always have been and I don't mind it a bit. I also thought I had the very best detailer out there but boy did I blow that one. My son insisted I try Darren at Auto Fetish and I succumbed to the pressure and did. I did not realize what perfection looked like until Darren announced my car was completed. The depth of the shine, the attention to detail and the thoroughness of the work were well beyond any past experience. No question Darren really takes his work seriously and the customer reaps an enormous benefit. If you take pride in your wheels, Darren's the man!!
Larry T.
Huntington Beach, CA

Darren - Thank you for an honest quote over the phone, early arrival, and most importantly an outstanding detail job which restored my car back to excellent condition. The paint touch up looks great and my leather seats are super clean and sport a "new" conditioned look. Keep up the good work!
Bill C.
Fullerton, CA

Darren - I just got a call from my mom and she is really, really happy with her car! This is the reason I referred you as you are professional in all you do, so thank you. That car means more to her than her children; you have a customer for life!
Thank you again!

Placentia, CA

Darren - the scratch you fixed on my Mustang Cobra looks really, really good! Unless you are a professional car buyer you would not even notice it. It looks so much better than before; thank you!
Dennis A.
Anaheim Hills, CA

I spent considerable time looking for the right person to detail my 2007 Porsche Cayman-S (Black). I was impressed with the recommendations and accolades Darren received on his website including the samples of cars he had detailed. I was even more delighted after he finished detailing my car. It looked amazing; inside, outside, the wheels, everything. I will be using Darren for my detailing needs and will recommend him to the folks in my Porsche club.
J. Adorante
Irvine, CA

I have been using Darren’s professional detail services, Auto Fetish Detail, for close to 15 years now and continue to do so. Darren has taught me and my staff just what real detailing is. Darren is incredibly meticulous and attentive to details. Whenever I have a customer who demands the best, I tell them to call Darren at Auto Fetish. I can always tell when Darren has detailed a car because the level of quality is like no other! He is not the cheapest guy in town, but you can’t beat the quality!
Ron Erickson
President, Exclusive Motors
Placentia, CA

I have known and used Darren's services for 20+ years. I own Xlnt Tint of Anaheim inc. and see many cars every day. When we have a particular customer that needs top notch service, there is nobody else I would trust but Darren! He is very meticulous, and knowledgeable. If you are in need of someone who will take their time but most importantly bring over 20 years of hands on knowledge, this is the company for you.
Mike Schuch
President, Xlnt Tint
Anaheim, CA

"Wow! Now that is what my car paint is supposed to look like; I can't believe what a difference you made! This is exactly what needed to be done, thank you!"
Mike N.
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

"I took a leap of faith by picking someone on the Internet to detail my bosses boat! I wasn't disappointed! Darren was professional, punctual, and very easy to deal with, and best of all, he did a FANTASTIC JOB! I couldn't have been happier. We will definitely be a repeat customer!!"
Maxim Security Systems
Corona, CA

"We have seen the work of other detailers in removing various forms of vinyl car decals and vehicle wraps. Often we have to spend additional hours due to the incomplete removal of old graphics, before we can apply new graphics. Save yourself time and aggravation by calling Darren first and have it done right the first time around; this is the way it should be done!"
Tim Cecil
President, Sign Pros
Brea, CA

"Good job, good service, good follow-up!"
H. Barstow
Anaheim Hills, CA

"I just wanted to let you know that it was a pleasure meeting you on Saturday. You are a true professional and I find it very comforting to know that there are still people out there that take pride in what they do. "
M. Poris
Playa Del Rey, CA

My initial conversation with Darren at Auto Fetish Detail consisted of what his services would provide. Darren did exactly what he described to me and more. Darren detailed parts of the car that never crossed my mind to clean. Darren was promptly at the time, place and date we had agreed upon. Darren’s professional service and meticulous efforts made my car look better than the day I took delivery from the dealer. It was a great experience to deal with Darren and his professional service and work ethics.
Ron Marquez
President, Aquarian Drumheads
Anaheim Hills, CA

"Darren-you have and do continue to produce AMAZING results time and time again, over the last 17 years or so that you have been doing our cars we have never once been disappointed in the least bit. Thank you for always being consistent and reliable!"
Chandler E.
Yorba Linda, CA

"Darren- just wanted to let you know how great my Escalade looks each time you service it. Of course I love the convenience of your services, but what I really love is the quality of work! My husband and I have used other detail services in the past, but none of them spent the time you do on our cars. My husband has a critical eye and has remarked on numerous occasions regarding the quality of your work. With two teenagers and a regular carpool schedule, it is amazing how great the Escalade keeps on looking thanks to you!"
M. Goerlitz
Laguna Beach, CA

"Darren-you treat my cars as though they were yours; thank you!"
Tanya B.
Yorba Linda, CA

"Detail day is my favorite day of the month-I just love the way you make my cars look Darren!"
Theresa D.
Newport Coast, CA

I have generally used other mobile detail services in the past and continue to do so for what I call a normal detail job. But I met Darren through Exclusive Motors as we share the same building. My wife uses the Suburban to run our 3 kids around and it gets very dirty in the process. The carpeting and seating was extremely bad and I thought I was going to have to replace both the carpeting and seating. I told Darren the other detailers in the past were not able to get the carpet and leather very clean. I was floored when I saw the results Darren was able to get! I tell people all the time that I have never paid so much for a detail, but that I have never had such an amazing job either! I send Darren to all my customers who simply demand the best, as Darren is the best!
Craig Haller
President, Exclusive SUV
Placentia, CA

"Darren-your service makes this one area of my life stress free; you do what you say and do so consistently!"
Mike B.
Anaheim Hills, CA

"Darren- whether I send you to my
house or business, I know I can trust
you to take care of business-
thank you!"

David K.
San Clemente, CA

"I swear my Ferrari has never look better; you do amazing work!"
Brian S.
Corona Del Mar, CA

"I wish I could afford you
every week; the cars look so good
when you have done them!"

Griffin W.
Placentia, CA

"My house cleaners don't do
as good a job as you Darren-
will you teach them what clean really is."

Maurice O.
Anaheim Hills, CA

My Mustang has never looked better; you did a fabulous job!
My daughter noticed how much time you spent detailing the Mustang today (something she normally would never be aware of) and asked how much it costs, I told her it is expensive and said I use Darren because he is the best detailer I have ever used.
Darren you do exactly what you say you are going to do, and do so every time!
I use you Darren because you conduct business exactly as I do!
Thanks again! "

D. Reilly
President - CSBA
Orange, CA

"Thank you Darren....
you saved me a "bucket" of money by removing and not replacing
those deteriorated side moldings on my 2005 Chevy truck
and my truck looks new again!"

Steve G.
Anaheim, CA

Darren- I just wanted to call and let you know what a terrific job you did on my motorhome. I really appreciate the effort you put into all the many details of the job! It looks better than the day I picked it up brand new!
J.R. Maurer
Vice Chairman, Thompson National Properties, LLC
Irvine, CA

"I asked Darren to detail my boat like it was his own, and he definitely did! Fantastic job Darren, the boat looks great! I would recommend you to anyone! Thanks for the fast and great service."
Yale Smith
President-Maxim Security Systems
Corona, CA

"The Teton looks fabulous. Thanks for being so responsive and for the great job! Looking forward to seeing you when it's detail time on the cars."
D. Dukes
CEO-Simon Foundation for Education and Housing
Newport Beach, CA

Darren - Thanks again for the beautiful detailing... we appreciate your service
V. Minamyer
Irvine, CA

I used Darren to take off a vehicle wrap on a Ford Econoline van of ours. Darren showed up on time and did a great job removing not only the decals but all the residue that was left from the glue. If you need a vehicle wrap taken off, give Darren a call.
Jake Duehring
Marketing/Product Development
Felt Bicycles
Irvine, CA