Incorporating Sems Sand Free in your repairs can be a life saver. I will say this though, in moderation. Just like most things, more isn’t always better.

I use Sems Sand Free for a couple of things and thats to break the edge of water-borne dyes that have been painted on various trim pieces throughout the inside of vehicles. What I mean by this is when the finish on most of the trim pieces begins to peel off ( like on the Chevy truck dashes ) the only way I have found, to make the paint feather out when you sand the edges of the peeled area to get it smooth is to use a little bit of Sand Free sprayed on sandpaper. If the edges aren’t smooth when the dye is sprayed onto the repair you see a ring where the area is that your trying to cover up. So heres what you do.

  • Clean the area thoroughly with a degreaser to remove any silicone that will damage your adhesion of the dye.
  • Using 400 grit sandpaper or even an 600 depending on whether it is a smooth or textured plastic, 400 for textured and 600 for smooth, tear off a strip of about 2.5 ” wide and fold it into 3rds.
  • Now here’s the tricky part, spray the tip of the sandpaper with the Sand Free, now not to much, now quickly start to sand the area very lightly and you will see the dye start to kinda melt together, now lighten up as you sand. When the Sand Free begins to evaporate the dye will start to ball up a little and you will begin to dry sand the area. Stop and look at the repair. Are the edges starting to smooth out. Now keep in mind the temperature your working in will matter on the evaporation time, so be carefull not to go to far with the sanding. Keep applying the Sand Free to the paper and sanding gently, you will see the dye melting more and start to smooth out. Try never to spray the product directly onto the peeled area unless your looking for a larger repair area. I use Sand Free to remove dye sometimes from small pieces, but if you spray it onto a dash or a trim piece it will bubble the dye around it.

So, now the area should be smooth if you did it right. Just remember not to use to much chemical, and to sand say a half dollar size spot on a Chevy dash shouldn’t take but a few seconds. Not a lot of product and sand gently.

Now the area might be a little too smooth and when the dye is applied you see the area. Well sometimes you will if the area is too big or the dye your dyeing over was just too thick from the beginning. Some water based fillers have worked if the area needs to be really smooth. Or you can blow a little bit of texture onto the area with a mouth atomizer for textured surfaces like dashes, or in some instances I’ve just turned the air down on my spray gun to where just little droplets come out and textured that way. Apply a primer before you dye, I usually use a mixture of 50/50 of flex additive and sticky primer to give me good adhesion of the dye. Apply a coat or two of dye to see if the area will disappear, if not apply your texture, then dye again.

At this point you should be close to done. If your area that you dyed looks good, apply your final coat.

This technique has been used by myself many of times with a lot of success, but I have had some bad times with it too, and most of the time it’s been because I got to much chemical on the area I was sanding. There are limitations to a repair. The larger the area that has peeled the harder it will be to hide the repair. If you think the areas to big, then replacement is your only option. You will spend more time and money trying to fix something that probably would have cost you less if you bought a new piece. So you be the judge and don’t be afraid to just say you can’t do it.

So I hope this article helps you in your dash or plastic painted trim piece that is peeling. Leave me a comment or two about your experiences trying Sems Sand Free for Repairs I’m curious to see if it worked for you.

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