Steps on How to Paint a Car

When you have plans for painting a car on your own, one thing is for sure that the result is really rewarding and satisfying, and will save you a lot of money too. It is the best way to change the look of your vehicle. Even if you have never done this kind of paint job before, you can succeed in your venture, provided you have the patience to comply with all the relevant instructions.

Step # 1

No matter how well-maintained your vehicle is, it is exposed to loads of dust, grime, and debris. Therefore, the first step is to wash your car. This is done to ensure proper adhesion of the paint. Firstly, wash your vehicle with soap and water. This will clean up all the loosely bound particles from the body. Then, apply a grease remover to get rid of the stains and marks that are insoluble in water. Liquid charcoal starter or mineral spirits can also impart effective results.

Step # 2

Rough, scratched, and dented surfaces of the car’s body prevent the required finish after painting. Thus, you have to treat them with sandpaper in order to smoothen them up. Identify all such spots on the car that require some amount of repairing or sanding. If the rough surface area is large or the scratch marks are deep, then you can rub with a loose grit sandpaper. For small patches, where minor sanding is required, a fine grit will be just enough. Any kind of minor or major dents on the vehicle body should be mended before you take up the paint job. Putty material is the best choice for filling up such dips, and to make the surface leveled. After this repair work, you should do another round of sanding to make the repaired patches smooth. If you find lots of dust on the surface due to this method, wash it once more.

Step # 3

Your paint job can be started only after your car has dried up thoroughly. For this, even if you have to wait for few hours, do not hesitate to do so. Cover up all the portions of the vehicle where painting is not required, like mirrors, glass, window frames, door handle, etc. Masking tape is the best option for this purpose. Make sure there are no holes and gaps in the tapes, through which paint can seep into those areas.

Step # 4

Now that your car is ready, you can begin the paint work. It should start with the application of a primer. This is responsible for making a strong bond between the vehicle surface and the paint layers, so that the latter will last for some more time. Read the instructions given on the label of the primers carefully. Some varieties require application of double coats. Apply the ones on all the areas on the car, where paint has to be applied. Make sure that the primer is spread evenly on the surface. Keep its coat slightly thicker on those areas, where repair work of dent and scratches were done. This will make those surfaces even. Let the primer cure up completely. It often happens that small lumps and dips are caused by such compounds. These uneven surfaces should be smoothed out by another round of sanding.

Step # 5

Urethane based paints are the best ones for your car. Firstly, apply a base coat of paint using a spray gun, and allow it to dry up for about 15 minutes. Then, put another coat of paint. Normally, two coats are sufficient to get the desired effect. However, if you have selected any such paint that has instructions to apply it more than two coatings, then do it accordingly. The second coat needs a couple of hours to dry. When the final coat of paint has dried up, you have to give it a finishing touch by applying a clear coat. It is normally applied three times, and in the same way as of the previous ones. Allow the car to dry for one and half hours or so.

There should be proper ventilation in the place where the paint job will be carried out. You should gear up with suitable precautions to protect yourself from harmful fumes of the paint and of the primer. Choose loose fitting clothes that will cover your entire body well. Masks and eye glasses are also a must for this kind of work.