What You Should Know Before Wetsanding a Boat

It’s not uncommon for boats to lose their shine over time. The wear and tear of the water they’re in, the transportation process used, as well as weather exposure and other variables can all cause a boat to become dull and worn. Wetsanding is a sanding technique that uses lubricated sandpaper to get rid of oxidation and bring life back to a vessel. There are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to wetsand a boat:

Understanding Wetsanding

If your boat is losing shine and a quick buffing job isn’t solving the problem, it may be time to introduce wetsanding into your process. While many people might think buffing is the route to take when a vessel gets dull, buffing will only cover up the problem, while wetsanding will fix it. Wetsanding uses a polisher with a polishing pad and proper lubricant to remove oxidation from a boat, leaving it shiny and new. 

Wetsanding vs. Drysanding

Both Drysanding and Wetsanding have their benefits, but drysanding is great to level out a surface and give it an initial smoothness, while wetsanding is going to give that polished, professional look you’ll want. Many people make the mistake of skipping the wetsanding step because it’s not something you have to do, but you can almost always tell in the end if wetsanding was not done.

When Should You Wetsand?

If there’s a boat with sever oxidation and scratches and you’re trying to revive the shine it had when it first hit the water, wetsanding is the perfect way to do so. Wetsanding can remove scratches and even out the surface of the vessel while providing a shiny finish.

Recommended Grit for Wetsanding

The grit you’ll use depends on the amount of scratches and oxidation that need to be taken care of. You can start with anywhere from 600 – 1,000 grit sandpaper. For most jobs, 1,000-grit does the trick, but if there’s a lot of buildup to remove, you may need to start with a 600-grit sandpaper and work up from there.

How Do I Avoid Inconsistent Patterns?

Unwanted patterns during the wetsanding process could happen for two reasons: your technique is wrong or your materials are not the best for this process. Make sure you’re using low speeds and applying a smooth and steady pressure during the wetsanding process – don’t rush it. If you’re using cheap materials, such as the wrong machine or cheap sandpaper, your results will give you away.

How Do I Guarantee a High-Gloss Shine?

After you finish wetsanding, you’ll want to use a wool pad, rotary buffer, and a heavy or medium-cut compound to remove the fine scratches left behind. After compounding, we recommend using a finishing polish like Ignition or Triple P for the ultimate shine.

Final Thoughts

While it may feel like more of a hassle than trying to buff out oxidation, the results from wetsanding will last longer and look better. You don’t have to overcomplicate the process; make sure you invest in high-quality materials and focus on mastering your technique, and soon, you’ll appreciate wetsanding just as much as we do!

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