How to Sand a Car Using a DA Sander

Updated February 21, 2017

A dual action (DA) sander is used to remove paint from your car in preparation for repainting. It also is helpful in revealing the previous bodywork history and paint layers of your vehicle. Unlike chemical strippers, which remove all of the paint from your car, DA sanders allow you to retain old paint, which can make a good primer.

Thoroughly wash the parts of your car that will be sanded.

Put on a respirator or dust mask to protect yourself from sanding debris.

Use masking tape and newspaper to protect areas of the car, such as fenders and windows, from the DA sander and sanding debris.

Peel off the adhesive on the back of a sanding disc and attach it to your DA sander.

Set your DA sander to a medium speed. You want the sander to be fast enough to cut through the paint evenly, but not so fast that it cuts through your paint too quickly.

Keeping the sander flat on the surface of your car, turn it on and begin sanding in a circular motion. Change sanding discs every few minutes to prevent debris from accumulating in the paper and scratching your car.

Periodically turn off the sander and check your work by running your hand over the surface of the car. Make sure the sanded surface is smooth and even.

Finish sanding when you have removed all the paint you want to remove, and the sanding surface is smooth. Wash your car thoroughly before applying primer or paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Respirator or dust mask
  • 220 grit sanding discs
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
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About the Author

Christina Sloane has been writing since 1992. Her work has appeared in several national literary magazines.