Perhaps you’re a car owner interested in adding that fresh coat of paint to their car, but either live far away from a garage or don’t have the financials needed to engage a professional car painting service? In that case, you’ve landed on just the right article because our primary goal is to give you the right set of instructions to help you know how to repaint your car on your own.
The truth is that painting your car can be a meticulous and time-consuming task. And in order to be successful in your undertaking, you need to make appropriate arrangements and gather all the tools-of-trade ready and by your side. You also need to prepare the location where you want to paint your car and protect yourself from the potential dangers by having the appropriate protective gear. Below, we’ve broken down the steps and requirements so that you can spray paint your car like a professional.
Equipment And Materials That You’ll Need For The Process
In order to decently spray paint your car, you will need to put your hands around a few essential tools and materials before you even pick your location for the painting. These tools and materials include old newspapers, a sander, a high-performing specialized automotive pay spray gun, painter’s tape, gas mask, safety goggles, and of course, the spray paint for automotive application.
If you want to go a step further and do the job like a true professional, you might also need a power sander, sanding pads, an air compressor, a cleaning solvent, paint thinner, a clear coat lacquer, a rag, and a rubbing compound.
Choose The Location
Once you have the needed equipment and materials, you should first consider selecting the right location for the spray paint job. Since paints are often carcinogenic and possess sharp, unpleasant smells, the perfect place for spray painting your car should be as far as possible from areas that people inhabit.
Also, the location must be detached from living places so that you can minimize any eventual interferences from passersby and third parties. After finding the right spot for this process, go ahead and cordon it off by marking it as “out of bounds” to any unauthorized persons.
Sanding, Cleaning, And Taping The Surfaces
Once you find the perfect location for spray painting your car, you can begin the actual operation. Begin by giving your paint a smooth and even surface onto which the paint can adhere. You should sand the entire vehicle using circular motions, either to the bare metal, to the initial primer, or at least enough for your fresh paint to adhere to. If you want to do the job as quickly as possible, the third option will suffice. Nevertheless, you’ll get the best results from sanding down your car to the bare metal.
Use an old rag and denatured alcohol to wipe down all surfaces of your car thoroughly and remove any oil residue. Afterward, use masking tape and newspaper to cover the areas of your vehicle that you don’t want to be repainted, including grills, mirrors, window trim, and door handles.
If you’ve decided to sand down your car to the bare metal, you’ll need to use a corrosion-resistant and self-etching primer to prime the surface of your vehicle. If you’ve just removed any rust, ensure to prime the surfaces by feathering them until they are smooth. Afterward, apply enough primer to the feathered surfaces. Allow the primer to cure thoroughly, then sand the newly primed surfaces once more. Finally, wipe the primed surfaces with a rag slightly dampened with thinner.
Once you’re ready for painting, ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions and carefully prepare the paint for spraying. Hold the spray gun about six inches away from your car’s surface, and using a side-to-side sweeping motion, apply the paint in even and thin coats. Usually, it will take two to three coats to completely cover your car’s surface. Read the manufacturer’s label to understand the paint’s drying time as this can vary from 15 minutes to a full hour.
Right before you apply your last coat of paint, sand the surfaces once again to remove any powdery residue and afterward wipe with a clean rug. Finally, apply a clear coat lacquer using the same painting side-to-side technique and remove the masking tape while the clear coat is still wet.
In the end, using perfectly round circular motions, complete your car’s new paint job by buffing out all painted surfaces. Furthermore, you can use a rubbing compound to bring out a glossy finish and successfully round up your first spray painting like a professional.