How to sand a car? – 5 EASY Steps To Make Your Car New Again!

If you are looking to save some money, but at the same time making your car look as good as possible then knowing how to sand a car on your own can be helpful. Clearly, it is not an easy process and it may take you a lot of time and energy to do it. But following the right guide and having the right tools will definitely help you complete this task faster and better.

In most cases, the hardest part about this is removing the old paint from your car and having high-quality tools that will help you archive better results faster and easier.  And that’s exactly what we will be talking in this blog post.

How to sand a car in 5 steps?

As I said before, in order to archive better results you need to have high-quality tools. If you are looking for a high-quality sander then make sure to check our post about the best electric sanders.  In summary, here are all the tools that you need to sand your own car.

  • Electric Sander
  • Different Sandpapers
  • Dust Mask
  • Eye Goggles

how to sand a car?


1. Clean Your Car

First things first, before sanding a car you need to clean it. Start by removing dust from your car or anything else that may make it harder for you to archive good results. In order to remove dust, I just wash the car with water. Most of the times that will do it, but if not then try to use some shampoo or anything else that may help you to get rid of dust.

Take your time to remove everything, make sure to remove any badges, stickers or anything else that you have attached to the car.  After you are done cleaning, make sure to protect your car. I always use a masking film to cover parts of my car that I don’t want to get damaged.

2. Repair any Damaged Parts

In most of the cases, if you want to sand your car that means that the car has been on the road for at least 2 years. Most of the cars nowadays have different scratches. Start to check your car if it has any damaged surfaces.  If your car has light scratches then you are lucky, you can just remove a layer of with sandpaper and the scratch will go away.

But if your car has deeper dents then it needs filling in order to fix it.  But, you need to fix/remove scratches before starting to sand your car.

3. Remove Old Layers Of Paint

For this step, you are gonna need to use the sander.  Attach the coarse abrasive discs on the sander and start sanding. While sanding, you should move your hand in smooth motions, do not move or stop quickly. Make sure to don’t add a lot of pressure while sanding, just press it enough to get the old paint away from your car. Before completing this step, you should always ensure that the car has been sanded down on similar levels.

After this is done, you should use a finer grit of sandpaper and sand the whole car again. Usually, sanding the car two times will do its job. But if there’s still old paint left then you may have to re-do it again and again until all the old paint goes away.

4. Get a Scratch-Free Look

After removing all the old paint and reaching to the primer then you should switch to the finest sandpaper that you own and remove any scratch that you may have missed or caused by the previous sandings.  After you are done with this step make sure to have no scratches on your car and have a smooth and even surface before adding fresh paint.

5. Make sure all the surface is ready for the new coat paint

This is the last step, I recommend you to try to go for a matte finish and not a high polish one. So, after you double-checked that there’s no scratches, dust or anything else that may interrupt you from getting good results then you should apply the coating paint.

And just like that, you are done, you have just sanded the paint from your car and added a new fresh coated paint.

Final Words

As you can see from the steps above, sanding your car isn’t easy. It surely will take you a lot of times, if you have never done anything similar then it will take you a whole day to complete all the steps. But I truly believe that sanding your car on your own is worth it.

This process will save you a lot of money, but I’m sure that if you do this by yourself and read all the steps slowly then you will get better results than a professional would. I’m sure you love your car and that’s the reason you are here. While a professional might miss a few scratches, I’m sure you wouldn’t. After all, that’s your car and it represents you. So, always try to do this type of work by yourself. Who knows maybe you will find your new hobby.

And once you are done sanding your car then comes the painting part. This is a harder thing to do, so if you are not good at spraying your car then I recommend you to send it to professionals. But if you insist on doing it by yourself, then we have a lot of blog posts about spray painting. Make sure to check our blog, read the posts and follow the guides we have written for that process.

Once you are done your car will look new again and it will make you feel better since you did that all by yourself. Keep in mind, you can choose to sand and re-paint a car even if your car is new. There can be different reasons, such as you got a big scratch, or you just bought a car and you don’t like the color. If that’s the point then doing all this will help you change the color. You can also use sanders for wood furniture.

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Michael is the Editor at He used to own a local shop where he sold different tools for 20+ years. He now enjoys researching DIY tools and writing guides about it.

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