How to Paint a Car

Changing the color of your car is a great way to make it look better, but new paint is also a way to protect the car surface. Small damage (a scratch, for example), when exposed to rain or snow, can result in rust that spreads fast and creates more damage. If painted properly, your car will be well protected and it will look good – for relatively small money. Professional car painters may even take several thousand dollars to do this job for you. If you learn how to paint a car, you will save money, and you will learn another useful skill.

Painting a car requires you to be focused and precise. If you skip just one step, the result won’t be satisfying, so make sure you prepare yourself for this.

Car Painting: What You Will Need

 Paper or other material to cover the parts that won’t be painted;

• Sandpaper (you will probably use at least two different types of sandpaper, but none of those should be too rough! If you use the wrong type of sandpaper, you will damage the car surface and create bad scratches!) You can also use a sander. This will make the sanding process faster and easier, but you have to learn how to use this machine! Don’t press it too hard against the car surface. Before you start sanding your car, you should practice a little, using the sander on some other object;

• Car body filler (*you will need this in case your car has deep scratches or other damage. There are different types of car body fillers. Fiberglass filler and lightweight filler are commonly used in repairing old cars. If this is the case with your car, make sure to remove the rust (use the sandpaper), and then apply fiberglass filler (in case of bigger damage). Wait until it is dry, and then use fine sandpaper to remove the excessive amount of fiberglass filler. After that, apply some lightweight filler, wait until it’s dry and sand again, until the spot is perfectly smooth;

• Primer (we can’t tell you how much primer you’ll need – that depends on the size of your car);

Car paint (you can use urethane-based or acrylic paint. Most car painters will recommend urethane-based car paint because it is durable and easy to apply. Urethane-based paints have almost replaced acrylic car paints);

• Car painting clear coat;

• Paint Sprayer;

• Goggles;

• Dust mask;

• Rubber gloves;

• Proper clothes to protect your skin

Painting Your Car

• First, you have to find proper space where you will paint your car. A garage is perfect for this. You should not paint your car outside. Dust, leaves, or small particles from the air may easily spoil your work.

Clean your garage thoroughly: make sure there’s no dust or other dirt on the ceiling and walls. Some car painters recommend that you pour water over the walls and floor. The temperature in the room must be moderate and constant during the car painting process.

• Before you do anything, you have to wash your car. Use car washing detergent and a sponge to remove all the dirt. To make sure the car is perfectly clean, use grease remover.

• When the car is dry, use paper or some other material to protect the car parts you won’t paint (glass, mirrors, lights, etc.)

• Use a sander to remove the old paint and rust, if there is any. If you are not sure which type of sandpaper to use, ask in the store. They will probably tell you to use at least two different types of sandpaper: rough (but not too rough!) sandpaper comes first, and then, the finest sandpaper will make the surface perfectly smooth.

• Car body fillers are used if there is any damage on the car, such as deep scratches. If there is any bigger damage, you will need both fiberglass filler and lightweight filler. Every product comes with detailed instructions. Read it before you start! When mixing the mass, make sure it’s not too thick!

• When you’re done with body fillers, use the sander to make the spot perfectly smooth.

• Clean the car before you start applying the primer. Wait until the primer is dry before you move on to the next step. Drying times may vary depending on the product.

• Car paint is your next step. As we said, urethane-based paints are now more popular than acrylic paints, but you can choose either of those. Make sure your paint sprayer is clean before you start painting!

• When the paint is dry, apply the car painting clear coat. It will provide protection for the paint, and it will also provide gloss and better car appearance.


Further Reading on How to Paint a Car

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