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How to Wet Sand Aluminum

by Breann Kanobi

Wet sanding helps remove surface scratches and imperfections in both metal and painted surfaces. Use wet sanding techniques to turn dull surfaces into surfaces with shine and a nice finish. Wet sanding techniques work for metals and painted surfaces and can return shine to your aluminum car's paint job. Wet sanding involves adding water to regular sanding techniques and requires some understanding of traditional sanding techniques and aluminum surface maintenance.

Spray water on the aluminum surface and wipe clean with a lint-free towel. Then apply a degreaser solution to the surface. Allow the solution to sit for about one minute and spray water on the surface. Wipe off the degreaser with a clean towel.

Spray the aluminum surface with water. Keep the surface wet during the entire sanding process.

Sand the surface with 180-grit wet sandpaper. For easier sanding, use an orbital sander. Sand using a circular motion.

Repeat the cleaning process outlined previously. Continue the sanding with a 320-grit wet sandpaper, using the orbital sander.

Repeat the cleaning process. Use a 600-grit wet sandpaper to sand the surface a final time. Use careful, circular motions and a gentle touch with the 600-grit sandpaper. If desired, use the orbital sander. Use clean water to keep the surface wet.

Wipe the surface with a clean rag.


  • Don't reuse rags when wiping clean or you may contaminate the surface with sandpaper grit.

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About the Author

Breann Kanobi has worked as freelance writer since 2010. Kanobi regularly submits content online to Gamer DNA. Kanobi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and television from New York University in 2010.

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