Is It Possible To Paint Your Car Like A Pro? Yes, And Here’s How To Do It
When your car is like your baby, you want to be the one to take care of it. From taking care of the exterior and detailing the interior to changing the fluids and filters, doing it yourself is the only way to go.
Yet, there are some things that we try to avoid and let the professionals handle. Painting a car, for instance. Not many people think that they can do it themselves so they end up spending thousands to have an automotive painter do it for them.
The reality is that even painting a car can be done yourself. You just have to be very patient and attentive to details to make sure it comes out looking like a pro did it for you. In this article, we will go over the steps to take to DIY your car's paint job so you can hit the automotive paint store armed with the right information.
Before you begin
There are a couple of things to consider before you get started on the prep work to paint your own car. Keep in mind that you are very likely to make a mistake that will make the paint job look less than professional. You may have 90% of the car looking mint, but a couple of small details weren't considered and it shows.
This will affect your ability to sell the car. Unless the paint job is currently a mess, or you have doors that are a different color than the body, you may be taking value away from the car by painting it yourself.
Maybe your car looks fine as it is but you have some ideas on better colors that are not typically done from the factory. This can also devalue your car as colors are very personal. This is why car manufacturers have such limited colors so they can be pleasing to the majority of people buying cars.
If you plan to sell your car one day then make sure you really want to paint the car yourself. And assuming you will still want to paint it, make sure to put the work into every step and don't take any shortcuts.
Prep work is most of the job
Preparing everything for the paint job is going to take you far longer to do than the actual painting. At least when you are doing it right.
How successful you will be is almost entirely dependent on how well you've done the prep work. If you cut corners during this part of the process, then you are setting yourself up for a less than stellar paint job.
The first thing to do is thoroughly wash the car. If you do this part yourself, it should be the best car wash you have ever done for the car. Make sure to get every inch of the car with your hands to make sure it is done well and is sparkling clean at the end.
Then, remove all of the parts that can be removed. The bumper, tail lights, headlights and possibly even the door handles should all come off. Anything that can be removed. You don't want to accidentally paint these parts and spraying can bleed and get where you don't want it to.
Taping the areas around where those parts will be fitted once again will also ensure a smooth paint job so take your time. Make sure that all the tape is even and smooth so you don't end up with awkward lines.
Lastly, you should repair any dents by spackling them and then sanding it down. This will make the surface uniform. Try to beat the dents out as much as possible so there is less to fill and sand for better results.
Get ready to paint
Find a place that is covered but still well ventilated. Your garage will suffice if you leave the door open and open any windows. Cover all the surfaces so they don't end up getting paint on them.
Then, get yourself a spray paint gun and mix the paint according to the manual for the particular gun that you have. You may need to thin the paint a bit to make sure it doesn't clog the gun.
With a slow steady movement, and holding the tip of the gun about 8 inches from the surface of the car, start spraying the paint. Once you have painted the entire surface, let the car dry for at least 24 hours before you take it out of the garage. It is a good idea to not drive the car for a couple of weeks to allow the paint to cure properly.