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Wet Sanding to remove bird droppings

DannyDanny Argent ~ 09/08/06

Bird droppings are one of the most serious threats to modern paintwork, the old cellulose paint was very chemical resistant and could hold out a while but the newer paints will mark unless you remove bird droppings very quickly. On a hot day this can be seconds. Bird droppings are not the only danger, egg can end up on cars more often than you might think and it's probably the worst thing for paintwork, even more so that brake fluid. Some berries are also corrosive to paintwork. Tree sap can be a problem, while it seldom seems corrosive in it's self, it often contains and traps other organic compounds that can cause stains. The same is also true of lime scale which can appear on your car's paintwork if your garage has a leaky roof (or if you transport a washing machine on your roof rack - be warned!).

Bird droppings have left an etched mark in this panel.

Bird's mess contains corrosive compounds which become all the more corrosive when hot, so I can imagine that a great deal of damage has been done in the recent heat wave as black cars like this one really cook when the sun is on them.

Luckily this car is one of our regulars and get's done often (and it has been paint sealed) and the bird mess wasn't on long enough to etch really deep.

Sanded Area.

We used a special piece of kit called a bobbin to wet sand this area. It's a rubber block the size of a cotton reel with a small self adhesive piece of 2000 grit paper stuck on it - it's not an amazingly complicated piece of equipment, but it is very important that you have the correct tools for the job.

The paper is lubricated with a small amount of soapy water, hence the name 'wet sanding'. The damaged area is sanded in straight lines little by little, Mark constantly stopped to check that he was sanding in the right place to the right depth. Virtually no pressure is applied to the bobbin.

Mark then buffs out the sanding marks.

Next the area is buffed to remove the sanding marks and to bring the clear coat back to a polished finish.

The finished result with the etching removed.

In this case the blemish was completely removed because it wasn't very deep, barely penetrating the sealant, but even in the worst cases this is the kind of damage we can usually make a large improvement.

To remove or improve (70% improvement) a mark similar to this would be £30.00. But you may wish to have the entire panel 'Paintwork corrected which would be £75 per panel, excluding bonnets and roofs which are £100 per panel. For a full list of prices please see our Paintwork correction service page.

This page was last updated on Fri, 27 September, 2013
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