Painting walls and painting cars are two different projects. When painting walls, you’ll only need some paint rollers and a can of paint. But, when you want how to paint cars like a pro, you will need primers, sprayers, and clear coats among other products. That’s why professional car paint jobs are so pricey. Alternatively, you can learn how to paint cars through expensive school courses or cheap alternative like online learning through Auto And Body Paint course.
Apart from expensive products, the process is also complex and needs some expertise. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give your car a new look by yourself. Continue reading this guide to learn how to paint a car.
What You’ll Need To Paint Cars
Time is needed in any paint job. Note that painting can take several days or weeks. Also, one should work in a place shielded from elements. Apart from time and location, here are other things you’ll need:
- 1200 2000 grit-wet-and-dry sandpaper
- Electric sander
- Air compressor
- Masking tape
- Spray gun
- Face masks
- Newspapers for masking off
- Safety glasses
- Paint thinners
Once you have your tools ready, follow these steps to paint the car:
Preparation Before Painting The Auto Body
Begin by cleaning your working area. Sweep floors, de clutter and remove any obstacles to create enough space when working. Then properly wash your vehicle and make sure that you remove all surface contaminants like dirt, road grime, grease, etc.
For a car that is not in good shape, that is, it’s covered with dents and scratches, you should clear them before you start sanding. One can use hot glue and suction tool for this. Also, for cars with depressions, dings or gouges, individuals should apply body filler over these uneven areas using a buffing pad. Then use a hand dryer to dry the body filler.
You should sand your car to remove bumps on edges. Begin by sanding in circular motions removing clear, top and base coats. For a good finish, sand your entire car bar down to the bar material. This will give the new primer a smooth surface to stick on.
Once you’ve stripped it perfectly, wipe down its exterior using paint thinners and a clean rug to get rid of dust. Then allow some time for thinners to evaporate.
Priming The Car Body
Cover areas you don’t want to paint using a mask. Then mix your primer with thinners (check the instructions for exact ratios). Now, we advise that you practice first with a cheap car panel before moving any further. Once you’ve mastered your painting technique, begin to apply primer on your car. Hold your spare gun about 6 inches from the panel then spray side-side in a sweeping motion. Only apply the trigger when moving your spray gun. Work from the roof down. Apply it in thin even coats.
When it’s done, the primer will have a powdery finish. Then you can smooth it using a 2000-grit-wet-and-dry sandpaper. Now, clean your spray gun then wipe the surfaces you’ve primed using a clean rag dampened with thinners slightly.
Painting The Cars
Mix your paint with thinners (check paint instructions for exact ratios). Use the same spray technique you used when priming to apply the topcoat. Each panel should take approximately 10 minutes. The paint takes about 20 minutes to cure between applications.
Apply 3-4 coats allowing the recommended drying time. Then use a 2000 grit-wet-and-dry sandpaper and a clean rug to remove powdery residue. Once that’s done, one can then apply their last clear coat. After, remove masking tape which you’d placed on areas you didn’t want to apply paint before this coat dries. Then allow some ‘curing’ time.
Final Thoughts On The Best Ways To Paint Your Auto Body
Painting your vehicle can be an exciting project. But, before you begin painting, you should determine what results you can expect. Bear in mind that repair painting or painting a new car is best achieved with the right materials. Therefore, it’s an illusion for one to believe that they’ll achieve similar results as in a professional auto garage with a handful of household products in their home garage.
We advise that you don’t tackle this DIY project if you wish to sell your car, if you don’t own the car, or if the vehicle is used for luxury or representative purposes. DIY paintwork always shows up and if it’s not perfected it might cause a significant drop in a car’s value.