Assembly line of metro transit buses with metallic surfaces prepped for painting and polishing.

Surface Preparation

The perfect finish starts with a flawless surface.

  • One of the most Important parts of the manufacturing process, we've got everything you need to ensure you're panels and parts are prepped for paint or polish. 3M has developed one of the broadest offerings of surface preparation solutions. From abrasives and powertools for metal, plastic and composite sanding to fillers, glazes, and compounds to help in surface leveling - our industry solutions are tried and true so you can focus on productivity.

Surface Preparation Applications

  • Man in a mask applying surface leveling compound to the side of a yellow vehicle.
    Surface Leveling

    Sometimes work surfaces need a little love before paint. We’ve got a broad line of fillers, compounds, glazes and application tools to smooth any substrate.

  • Man in a protective respirator sanding the body of a vehicle.
    Sanding and Stressing

    Sanding surfaces helps promote optimal paint adhesion. We have a full line of solutions for sanding and stressing virtually any surface.

  • Woman in a protective mask lightly sanding unwanted compounds from the side of a vehicle panel.
    Plastic and Composite Deflashing

    Remove excess or unwanted mold compound, flash or resin from body panels – leaving a more uniform surface with our light sanding solutions.

  • Man in his workshop sanding off unwanted compounds from a piece of handmade furniture.
    Furniture Veneer Sanding

    Even inside the vehicle, 3M’s complete line of sanding products can help create the perfect finish.

Featured Products for Leveling and Surface Restoration

  • 3M™ Platinum™ Select Filler features a super creamy formula that greatly reduces pinholes, and reduces primer usage up to 30% vs. traditional lightweight body fillers. It delivers extreme adhesion to properly prepared steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, e coat, SMC, FRP and more. Filler is stain free and tack-free, ideal for nearly all base coat/clear coat and waterborne paint systems.

  • 3M™ Platinum Plus Glaze is two-part premium selfleveling finishing glaze that can repair minor imperfections on properly prepared substrates such as galvanized steel, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, SMC, E-coat, OEM topcoats, cured/sanded epoxy and urethane primers. This finishing glaze cuts the sanding time to as little as 15 minutes.

  • 3M™ Dry Guide Coat is used to identify surface imperfections such as pinholes in body filler and deep scratches in primer. Unlike liquid and aerosol guide coats, Dry Guide Coat requires no masking before use, and there is no dry time after application. The dry formula contains no intentionally added solvents and doesn't clog sandpaper while delivering easier cleanup.

Featured Products for Sanding

  • For a cleaner work environment and more efficient sanding, look no further than the 3M Xtract™ Pneumatic Random Orbital Sander. Engineered for dust extraction as part of the 3M Xtract™ Sanding Solution, these sanders easily connect to our 3M Xtract™ Portable Dust Extractor, 3M™ Clean Sanding Filter Bags or your existing central vacuum system. Available in multiple sizes, orbits, and vacuum configurations.

  • Dust extraction meets industry-leading cut-rate in 3M Xtract™ Cubitron™ II Net Disc 710W. This premium sanding disc features a unique abrasive pattern on a net backing that allows for virtually dust-free sanding, with legendary 3M Precision-Shaped Grain technology. You’ll finish more parts per disc with less dust in the environment, boosting productivity without sacrificing dust extraction.

  • 3M Xtract™ Cubitron™ II Disc 775L features a 3M proprietary multi-hole pattern for improved dust extraction in finishing applications. Part of the 3M Xtract™ Series, designed for optimal dust removal. An innovative multi-hole pattern extracts dust better than 5- or 6-hole products — increasing cut and dramatically increasing disc life. The design does not need to align with the disc pad holes, making switching the discs fast, easy and convenient.

  • Strike the balance of dust extraction and abrasive performance with 3M Xtract™ Net Disc 310W. This Advanced Series sanding disc features a net backing that enables virtually dust-free sanding, with fast-cutting, long-lasting 3M Precision-Shaped Grain technology. These technologies allow you to boost productivity without sacrificing dust extraction.

  • Our high-performing disc contains a grinding aid, making it ideal for medium to high pressure applications on stainless steel and other exotic alloys, along with carbon steel, cobalt chrome, and nickel alloys.

  • Scotch-Brite™ 7447 PRO Disc combines flexible fibers with outstanding cut to help you accomplish tough cleaning jobs or produce fine finishing results, use after use. It is a superior alternative to steel wool, wire brushes, sandpaper, and other non-woven products for cleaning or finishing tasks.

Surface Preparation Resources

Industrial paint technician painting the back of a semi-trailer inside a paint room for trucks.

Connect with a surface preparation expert.