The mere thought of repainting an old car can be overwhelming, if not scary. You may be among the many who think that only professional car painters can do the job. With the right guide, anyone can handle those blemishes and rust on the body of a car.
If you are concerned about how much to paint a car, this is the ideal way to follow. The idea behind doing it yourself is to save money and still watch your car shine with beauty like never before. With the proper tools and enough workspace, how to paint a car won’t be that scary any longer.
How to Paint a Car
Step 1: Get a Secure and Well-ventilated Space
Painting a car will require proper facilities and adequate planning. Although you don’t need a fully-equipped workshop, some tools and materials are essential. For instance, you need an enclosed space, good lightings, and proper ventilation for a start.
If you already have a garage, that would be the best place to use. Ensure there are no potential hazards, such as water heaters or things that can cause an explosion. Also, find out whether it is legal to paint cars in a garage in the city where you live.
Step 2: Get the Right Materials and Tools
If you don’t have the materials for painting a car, get them from the nearby auto shop. Some of the essential items needed are paint, sprayer, primer, and sandpaper. While making these preparations, remember to observe maximum safety by providing body gear.
With adequate preparations and tools, how to paint a car at home is easy and fun. Respiratory masks are live-saving but get one specially made to paint a car. Also, get safety goggles, overall with a hood and gloves.
Step 3: Find Similar Paint Color
Color code will help in choosing the color that matches with the old paint on the car. Look under the hood or inside the door frame for this information. It usually also contains the tire pressure gage, the VIN, and other relevant details.
Next, show the color to the retailer in an auto shop for the right match. Contact the manufacturer if the information on the color code is not available. Unless you’re thinking of how to paint a car a different color, some car shops can assist in choosing a matching color.
Step 4: Detach Trims and Repair Damaged Spots
Many parts of a car are detachable and easy to pull off. Gently remove them and do not apply pressure if they don’t come off quickly. In cases like this, study the car manual for the best way to handle the challenge.
If there are rough surfaces, repair them before sanding and painting. With gloves, goggles, and a respirator on, apply sandpaper on the surface thoroughly.
It is possible to have small holes after scraping the body of the car. Apply body filler to the holes and smoothen the surface after that. If the holes are more extensive than usual, it is time to use all creative abilities to fix the problem.
Find empty soda or beer cans, flatten some parts, and use body filler to attach them to the holes. Sand away the extra thickness until the new piece is equal to the surrounding surface.
Step 5: Scrape the Paint off the Body of the Car
New paint cannot stay long unless the old paint is completely removed. Rub sandpaper on the paint until it gets down until the metal under is seen. Apply sanding in a circular motion and work around the entire body of the car.
Avoid scratching the body with sanding more than necessary, or you end up doing a poor job. The sandpaper of about 600-grit may slow down the work but is the best when it comes to the proper level of sanding. Put on all safety gear and especially your goggles, while sanding to keep off the dust from your eyes.
Step 6: Dust Off
When sanding is over, use a cloth dampened with paint thinner to wipe off the dust from the surface. This is to ensure that no particles are on the body, which can make the new painting unable to stick. Don’t add a surface cleaning agent to the paint thinner and allow 5 or 10 minutes after cleaning.
Step 7: Cover Areas That Don’t Need Painting
Once dusting is over, decide which areas you don’t want the paint to touch. Some of these areas include window glass, windshields, and mirrors.
Cover them in painter’s tape, so they don’t get stained when you start painting. Remember to cover the interior of the space you use with plastic to make it easy to tidy up after the work.
Step 8: Apply Primer to the Entire Surface
To ensure maximum safety, wear a face mask, overall with a hood and goggles before going into the next activities. Test your ability to paint well by spraying on a scrap metal. Hold the spray gun steady and press the trigger as you move your hand continuously from side to side.
Avoid spraying too much paint on one spot to avoid making one area look thicker than the surrounding surface area. Check if the spray has the right thickness and that you are comfortable with the outcome.
Once you are sure of the trial spray, get ahead to mix the prime with paint thinner. Check the instructions on how to paint a car video and follow the directions. The quantity to apply will depend on the paint type.
Start priming from the roof down to other parts of the car. Proper priming takes about three even coats of primer over the entire surface to work well. Each panel will take about 10 minutes to coat and curing takes around 20 minutes or a maximum of an hour.
After priming, allow the car to dry completely before rubbing 2000-grit sandpaper on the surface once again. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth dipped in paint thinner, making sure you don’t apply too much of it. Too much paint thinner can affect the primer and ruin your best effort so far.
Check your spray gun properly to see that nothing is wrong with it. Also, ensure that you have adequately covered all the areas you don’t want to paint. You don’t want to realize too late that paint somehow sneaked into gaps between tapes.
Step 9: Giving the Car a New Painting
First, apply some quantity of thinner on the surface of the vehicle. The recommended ratio is found on the body paint can. Most manufacturers will provide information about how to paint a car.
With the method used for priming, apply topcoat, and observe the same number of minutes or hours for painting and curing. Give the paint enough time to dry completely as with the priming session.
Apply between 3-4 paint coatings to the surface, as indicated by the supplier. If the quantity isn’t enough, extra paint should be made available as soon as possible. Before applying the last coating, use 2000-grit sandpaper and a clean rag to wipe off any particles left during priming.
Step 10: Shine the Surface
After painting the entire surface, it is time to add lacquer over the paint. While the paint is still wet, carefully remove the tape wrapped over the areas that weren’t painted. Ensure that you don’t destroy the beautiful coat in the process.
Apply between 1-3 layers of coating on the vehicle and allow it to cure for the recommended amount of time. Once the lacquer is dry, check for blemishes or anything abnormal on the surface. Make sure the car isn’t at one spot throughout as this could cause affect the paint.
Planning how to paint a car isn’t going to be a difficult task for you as this article explains how to paint a car step by step. All you need are the right paint and tools, and you already good at how to paint a car at home yourself.
You don’t have to be a professional to have a beautifully painted car for private use. Check out our site for essential tips or watch how to paint a car YouTube and you are good to go. It’s always a pleasant experience learning how to paint a car at home outside.