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Wetsanding between clear coats?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ooglay, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. ooglay


    Jan 27, 2006
    Ok, this is just a quick question..

    I'm refinishing a bass, and I used a solid color for painting.. and I'm in the process of clearcoating it.

    Is it a good idea to wetsand with 1000-2000 grit sandpaper between clear coats? Or should I do it all at the end?

    I'm using automotive professional-grade aerosol cans, mind you... so that might be a factor in this.
  2. kris pung

    kris pung

    Jul 25, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Subscribed. Question and I'd like to know the answer too.
  3. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Lineā„¢ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I did level between every other coat of clear on my first body finished in nitro ... but I found out on other bodies that I didn't need to level out the clear until it was time to level out the final application of clear.

    an exception to this would be in the case of getting a run - I let the clear cure for a day or so, then lightly leveled out the run, and then continued building layers of clear until I had achieved my final build up. another time to level would be if the finish became contaminated with dust - you gotta sand those out before going forward

    but don't use me as your absolute example ... I'm still under having 10 bodies finished in nitro to my experience.

    all the best,

  4. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    I would certainly judge the frequency of wetsandings depending on how clean your workshop is, and whether you're using a proper paint booth, whether it be a home-made or professional booth.

    If you want to do a preliminary wetsanding just to even out the levelness of the front and back, try to get at least three clearcoats before you start wetsanding. This minimizes the chance of sanding through the clearcoat.

    If you don't get any bubbles, runs, or dust/lint/hair stuck to it, hit it with another coat. So inspect each coat, to make sure there's no imperfections, and do the next coat. Do a good even wetsanding before the final coat, to assure that it'll be mirror smooth and no ripples.
  5. ooglay


    Jan 27, 2006
    Thanks for the responses.
  6. Wood Ascention

    Wood Ascention

    Nov 7, 2004
    Generally with most film finishes I, will spray 2-3 good coats of clear then level with 320-400 grit. Then lay 2 more lighter coats level as before then 1-2 more coats. Wetsand after all clear coats have been sprayed with 400 up to 1600-2000 grit. Then buff with automotive compounds (3M are excellent). This is all assuming you are trying to achieve a gloss finish. Wet sanding is not necessary between coats, just 320 or 400 lightly to remove any orange peel or runs, and achieve a uniform surface.
  7. ooglay


    Jan 27, 2006
    Excellent, thank you!

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