How to Paint a Car

The best way to change the appearance of the car is to paint it. While the auto painters charge usually an amount of $300 to several thousand dollars depending on the quality and paint job, there is always an option to pain your car in DIY style. This will help you save a good amount of money. Make sure that you are 100% committed when you are going to paint your car. The job would have to be finished because if not, the car will give a ridiculous look. As painting your car will be a challenging task and will require precision, for those who are doing it for the first time, it is an achievable task. Follow the directions:

Things Needed

  • Car washing detergent and brush
  • Wax/ Grease remover
  • Masking Tape
  • Tarp, paper or other covering

Paint  Car

  • Primer (amount will depend on the size of the vehicle)
  • Paint Urethane-based (amount will depend on the size of the vehicle)
  • Paint Sprayer (regular spray paint can be used as well)
  • Sandpaper (fine and thick grit)
  • Putty and knife
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Car Wash Sponge
  • Car Wash Mitt
  • Mr. Clean Car Wash
  • Car Painting Clear Coat
  • Acrylic Lacquer Clearcoat
  • Urethane Clearcoat Kit
  • Dust mask, goggles, and clothing to cover your exposed skin


Step 1: Wash the Car properly

Before starting the work, washing the car is extremely important. No matter how clean every car is, it is has lots of grime, dust and debris. It must be cleaned for the paint to properly adhere. Wash the car with normal soap and water, wax/grease remover can be used for cleaning the dirt that is still on the vehicle that is not water soluble.

Step 2: Sand Down the Car

When the car has been cleaned nicely, any area that is rough would have to be sanded down using sandpaper. Loose grit sandpaper can be used for tough jobs and use fine grit for small areas that only need some smoothing. It is important to note that if the car has some small holes or dips, then they have to be fixed before painting. Putty can be used to smooth out any dips or holes. When these imperfections have been removed, sand it down to make sure that the area about to be painted is level and smooth.

Step 3: Prep the Car

The first thing that needs to be done before painting is dry it completely. Wait for few hours after washing it. To keep the dust away after it has been washed, ground a wire from the chassis frame to any object that is grounded near the car. When the car has been grounded, any part of the vehicle can be covered that you do not want to get paint on. This includes mirrors, windows, chrome, etc. Masking tape can be used to attach a cloth or tarp to the vehicle.

Step 4: Apply Primer

When the car has been completely prepped, the painting work can finally start. Before applying any colored paint, an even amount of primer should be applied to the whole area to be painted. This step is very important because primer will make the paint adhere extremely well to your vehicle. Make sure there is adequate ventilation if priming or painting of the vehicle is done indoors, it is important. In addition, wearing eye and lung protection are important safety measures for avoiding exposure of skin to paint or primer. When the primer dries, it has to be sanded down for getting a smooth look.

Step 5: Paint the Vehicle

Now, the car can be painted using urethane based paint and preferably a spray gun. The base coat of paint over the entire surface has to be sprayed smoothly. When it has been sprayed, give at least 15 minutes to let it dry completely. Now a second coat of paint can be applied. Most of the paint jobs consist of one coat to up to a maximum of twenty coats. However two coats are usually enough. If this is the final coat, then give 90 minutes for the paint to dry.

Step 6: Apply the Clear Coat

When the paint has been dried completely, a clear coat of paint can now be applied to it. Let the area dry for about 15 minutes after applying each coat. Three coats of clear coat will generally do the trick. When all the three coats have been applied, give 90 minutes for the vehicle to dry. The paint job will now be complete.

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