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Automotive Glass Sanding and Polishing

Hand sanding a vehicle windshield with a Mirka sander.

Do Not Replace Glass, Recondition It

Did you know that there is a possibility to restore and polish glass? Instead of replacing the damaged side or back window of a car with a new and expensive one, you can recondition the glass with Mirka glass sanding solution. This will save both time and money. Mirka has a unique total solution for the sanding of several types of glass. The clear step-by-step process how to sand glass invented by Mirka is easy to follow all the way from cleaning, to sanding, to polishing. 

With Mirka’s glass sanding and polishing solution you can:

  • Save time and costs
  • Be flexible
  • Get a high quality result

Mirka's sanding and polishing solution for refurbishing glass can be used within many industries, e.g., architectural, automotive and marine sectors. It is suitable for many different glass surfaces such as building facades, interior doors and stairs as well as windows on yachts, trains and other vehicle.

The smart solution for glass reconditioning

Recommendations How to Sand Glass

  • We do not recommend this process on front-facing vehicle windshields due to the risk of optical refraction that is a safety factor when driving, but side windows and back windscreen can be refurbished. This will remove any chalk marks, dirt, and micro scratches.
  • With this solution, most types of automotive glass can be reconditioned. It is important to remember to keep track of the temperature of the glass. It can not exceed 70 ˚C or 158 ˚F especially on non-hardened glass due to the risk of cracking.
  • Determining the correct grit can be challenging, as it depends how deep the scratch is, but start with a fine grit and go towards coarse until you the scratch is reduced, rather than starting with a too coarse grit and spending more time on the job. Sanding glass removes material and the coarse grits remove more.
  • The fewer steps necessary to get the job done, the better. Otherwise, there is a risk of optical refraction. The polishing step takes longer than the sanding steps.
  • When sanding and polishing, keep the polisher flat to surface, this will give a better and smoother finish.
  • Clean in between the steps to avoid dust from previous steps causing any scratches.
  • Throughout the entire process, do not touch the glass with bare fingers, as transferred grease will affect the result and in worst case fingerprints will be visible. Use gloves!
  • Always use a dust protection mask. Please check local legislation about concentrations known to be hazardous.
  • Take sufficient time over each sanding step, it is all about giving each step the time it needs.

Before you start

How to Refurbish Glass for a Perfect Finish

 Hand sanding a vehicle windshield with a Mirka polisher.
  • Always start the process by cleaning the surface using window cleaning liquid. Clean the window with e.g., IPA (Isopropanol) and glass cleaner. We recommend you to use both, since they remove different kind of dirt or grease.
  • Use foam tape to limit splashing.
  • Clean the surface in between every step to remove the dust from the previous step and avoid the dust creating any scratches.
  • When using the Mirka PS1437 polisher, set it to its lowest speed, 1100 rpm.
    • Using the RPS, the maximum speed is 3000 rpm, so set the speed adjuster halfway, for around 1500 rpm.
    • On the ARP, set the speed to the lowest, 1500 rpm.
    • Keeping the speed low helps to control surface temperature.

Start sanding with a fine grit, eg. 320 grit, or just polish out the scratch. If the fine grit does not sand enough, use the next coarser grit. This way you can avoid additional steps when removing the scratches. The following process starts with 180 grit, which is recommended for deep scratches.

For superficial scratches

Step by Step to the Perfect Finish

For deep scratches

Step by Step to the Perfect Finish

Recommended products

Glass Reconditioning on the Side or Back Windshield of a Vehicle

These products have been developed for glass sanding and polishing:

  • Abranet® Sic NS
  • Abralon®
  • Polarshine® E3
  • Felt pad
  • We also recommend: microfiber cloth, cloth tape, foam tape and gloves

Recommended tools for the process:

  • Polisher PS1437, RPS300CV or ARP-B 300NV       
  • Dust hood for polisher  
  • Backing pad
  • A dust extractor

How to choose between Abranet SIC NS® or Abralon®

Mirka Abrasives for Glass Sanding

Both Abranet Sic NS and Abralon use Silicon Carbide grains, which is the optimal grain when sanding glass. They contain no stearate coating, which is unnecessary for sanding glass.

If you have deep scratches or you are sanding a large area, start with Abranet. For superficial scratches, we recommend starting with Abralon. Abranet gives a closer feeling to sanding surface and a more aggressive sanding result.

Abralon®

Abralon® is a sanding material developed for tackling both smooth and profiled surfaces. Its patented, flexible construction allows it to create a smooth sanding pattern on angled surfaces and edges while minimising the risk of pressure marks. 

Learn more about Abralon®

Abranet® SIC NS

Abranet® SIC NS is a multifunctional net abrasive without stearate, developed mainly for glass sanding. A combination of high performance and a longer lifespan than traditional abrasives give a cost-effective solution.

Browse the Abranet® SIC NS range

Solvent-based polishes may be effective in the short run, but they are more damaging and harmful.

Kim Rönnholm

Portfolio Manager, Mirka

A better choice for you and the environment

Water-Based Polishes

All polishes that Mirka produces are water-based and produced in Finland. There are many benefits of choosing a water-based polishing compound.

  • Effective permanent removal of scratches - Water-based compounds remove scratches permanently. Solvent-based compounds can lose gloss after cleaning the surface with a degreaser and in some cases, they may only temporarily hide the scratches.
  • Safer for the operator - No hazardous chemicals  
  • Sustainable  - Water-based polishes are better for the environment and do not contain benzene or similar hazardous chemicals.

 

 

Learn more about our polishing products

Do you want to know more?

Contact Us

Please get in touch and our expert support team will answer your questions.

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Why Choose Mirka?

Save time and money – You can cut costs and reduce working hours

Why Choose Mirka?

Sand and polish safely without strain – Our tools and abrasives are ergonomic, efficient, and easy to use

Why Choose Mirka?

Improve the quality of work – The finish is excellent, with less effort

Toyota bodyshop, Finland

Mirka's Dust-Free Solutions

The world is different when you see it through the eyes of a true craftsman. Timo Korpiniemi works at Toyota's body shop, fixing dents and scratches, trying to find that elusive perfect finish.

"Customers wonder how we're able to make a piece of junk look brand new."