View Full Version : Wet Sanding Results

05-13-2012, 11:26 AM
Here's a before and after shot of the Outback. Cell phone pics don't really do it justice. It had heavy oxidation, and bad ghosting behind the factory decals when I pulled them off.

This is after wet sanding from 600-800-1000-1500-2000 grit, then Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound, then Meguiars Ultimate Compound; Both applied with a Rotary Polisher from 1000-2000rpm. Still have a final wax coat to apply after I get all the new decals on. Turned out pretty nice, my first turn at using a rotary polisher, realized orbitals have no place in my garage now!



05-13-2012, 11:54 AM
Impressive man, so i assume you started with the lower number paper and went up to the 2000? Did you wet sand it by hand?

05-13-2012, 12:01 PM
I saw that shine in the motor install pic and meant to comment on it. Looks fantastic!

05-13-2012, 12:16 PM
Thanks, I'm looking forward to getting the actual wax on and seeing the final results. I have those chrome decals still, transom went on great, I'm going to try the side ones and see if I can't get a decent result.

Yep, started at 600 and finished with 2000. Each grit went one direction, so once I moved on to the next grit I'd sand until I could no longer see the perpendicular scratches. The wet sanding was done by hand with a #20 foam sanding pad.

05-13-2012, 09:33 PM
Was able to get the decals on today. The sides were a pain, I ended up with a couple bubbles underneath. All in all I think it turned out well, doesn't look like a 2000 anymore!



05-13-2012, 09:58 PM
Ha! My 4yr old son is sitting next to me and when I pulled up the pics he said, "Whoa! That's a cool, black Moomba!"

Really looks great Brandon. Keep us posted on the motor install.

05-14-2012, 01:30 AM
looks nice where did you get the decals..i want to upgrade my 04 decals to newer ones

KG's Supra24
05-14-2012, 12:00 PM
That's a big difference! Nice work.

05-14-2012, 12:01 PM
Looking good. Wetsanding is a b!tch! Nothing like that sinking feeling you get after doing a small area and feeling awesome about it..then looking up to see the entire rest of the boat needing the same treatment!

05-14-2012, 03:45 PM
Those decals came from a group buy, of sorts, I would recommend going thru the dealer for the OEM decals though.

Yeah, wet sanding took forever...at one point I accidently bought an "assorted grit" pack of sandpaper, top sheet was 800, so I sanded the entire side, then realized I had progressively gone down to 320 grit without knowing it. 320 and gel-coat sucks, took a long while to straighten those scratches out!

05-14-2012, 03:48 PM
Drew - That's awesome, 4 years old and knows the difference in an I/O and an Inboard, damn fine parenting!

05-14-2012, 04:10 PM
All in all I think it turned out well, doesn't look like a 2000 anymore!

Brandon - That's a super looking Outback. Nice work! - Deerfield

05-14-2012, 04:11 PM
It's amazing what a little elbow grease will do!

14356 14357

05-14-2012, 04:25 PM
outback98 - You, too! Nice work restoring the luster and shine to that Outback. - Deerfield

05-14-2012, 04:30 PM
i would love to do this to my outback but that looks like it took forever haha..

05-14-2012, 04:41 PM
motosno963, all you need is a Saturday and a 12 pack. I was up your way not too long ago on business. Irondequoit Bay is beautiful! We went to a cool pub right over the bridge.

05-14-2012, 05:25 PM
its not bad..its just the only good spot around me to wakeboard..half the time the like is choppy and the bays is the only "good" area haha..but yeaa i want to bring back the shine in my boat

05-14-2012, 05:34 PM
Wow guys, nice job!

05-14-2012, 05:50 PM
looks nice where did you get the decals..i want to upgrade my 04 decals to newer ones

Since Brandon mentioned it, I set up a group buy on the decals at Atlanta Marine. Call Cynde & she will hook you up.

05-14-2012, 07:07 PM
sorry for jacking your thread ha..but idk..its eather just the decals or doing a wrap(if i get the money)

Elite Marine
05-24-2012, 09:57 PM

Boat looks awesome. Im wet sanding my blue Outback and it sucks!!! I started with 800 and then 1000 but cant seem to cut enough to get rid of ghosting where decals were. Werent you afraid to go through the gel layer?

Any guidence would be appreciated.


05-24-2012, 10:25 PM
How many hours do you guys have in these projects?

Elite Marine
05-28-2012, 10:42 AM
Too many!!!

Im going to finish one side today, it was really faded and I probably have 16 - 20 hrs into it seriously.

My fault as I started with 1000 and did it twice before going down to 800 and then finally 600 for areas around decals that were removed. Its almost done and once I rub it out then buff, it will be worth it.

It all depends on how deep the fadding is. Whoever owned boat didnt wax which is a simple process to avoid this. It will be beautiful when Im done. And waxed weekly!!

05-28-2012, 11:14 PM
I wasn't afraid, the gel coat is extremely thick and wet sanding deliberately by hand doesn't remove material nearly as quickly as power sanding. I went down to 600 around the decal ghosting until it was unnoticeable from 2-3 feet back, I called it good at that. Once you work your way up and get to the polishing steps the color will get a lot more depth, and you'll hardly see the ghosting at all. I can spot it if the sun is at just the right angle, but I have to point it out to my wife.

05-28-2012, 11:15 PM
Time invested...probably 5 hours of wet sanding, and another 3 polishing. I still have another 2 hours of final polishing and waxing to go.

09-05-2013, 08:14 AM
Very nice! I have the same boat, '98 Outback. I'm just starting a restoration and was working the gelcoat. In my case, the original decals were removed by the previous owner, similar to what you show in the first picture. Only when I started working the oxidation off with a polisher, I quickly had to drop down to wet sanding. Problem I'm facing is that the area where the decals were are lighter than the others. Almost looks dirty.

Any advice on how to even out the color. I'm using a Festool Rotex 150 with some Platin 2 360grit abrasives and some Granat 320 paper for wet sanding. Is it just a question of time and elbow grease?

Here's some of the pics:
18388 18389 18390 18391



It's amazing what a little elbow grease will do!

14356 14357

09-05-2013, 10:41 AM
Time and elbow grease is right. You can see that outback 98 started with one worse than yours and got there. Use the 320 (carefully) to cut through it and then start going up to 1500, then rubbing compound. It'll shine up. If you want a set of decals from the group buy like Brandon put on in post #5, I have a set for each of the two sides. $110 shipped does both sides. They are hard to install but if you are careful and patient (which I am not) and use the right technique you can get a nice result like he did.

09-05-2013, 10:47 AM
Thanks, Kaneboats. And if I end up with scratch marks like this? :( (yeah, I tried a coarser paper ...)



09-05-2013, 12:10 PM
Just have to rub them out with a finer paper. If you have any left in the end when you buff they will be as shiny as the rest of the hull and barely noticeable unless the light hits them just right. Try taking some 600 and getting them down a little first though.

09-05-2013, 01:40 PM
Looks great! I just finished wet sanding, buffing and waxing my boat. Installed all new decals as well using the wet install process. Worked out great! Let me know if you have any questions on decal install.

09-05-2013, 02:37 PM
Let's see your pics.

Nevermind. Already saw them: