This is a simple overview for anyone who wants to repaint their car themselves!
Method 1 of 2: preparation
Step 1. Find a suitable work surface
Your work space needs to be well ventilated, dust-free, well-lit, with sockets and space so that you can work around the car. Residential garages are usually unsuitable as the heater could ignite the paint fumes released during the spraying process.
Step 2. Prepare the utensils and tools you will need for this job
Check out the full list under What you need to do this, but let's start with a general summary:
- Everything you need to spray
- Grinding and polishing tools
- Safety equipment
Step 3. Remove any rust from your car and repair any dents that you don't want to be visible after spraying
Step 4. Remove any chrome and plastic frames that you can easily take off and easily reattach later
Much of the exterior trim on the body used on automobiles is easy to put on and take off. If it doesn't come off easily, don't try forcefully. There are special tools you can use to remove the moldings.
Step 5. Sand the paint down to the bare metal, the original primer, or at least enough so that the new paint sticks
You can decide how much to sand down, but for the best result, sand down the paint to bare metal, then spray on a special car primer and then apply the final paint.
Step 6. Thoroughly clean the entire surface with turpentine or denatured alcohol to remove any grease (including that from your fingers and hands)
Step 7. Use tape and paper to cover any surfaces such as glass, window frames, door handles, mirrors, and grooves that you do not want to be sprayed
Check the tape and paper for holes that could let paint through.
Cover your garage with plastic wrap to avoid spraying the entire room
Method 2 of 2: spray the car
Step 1. Prime the surface with rust primer after you've removed the paint down to the metal
Prime the entire surface that you've removed paint from or re-puttied, especially around the edges, to smooth out any scratches or dents left over from the prep process.
Step 2. Let the primer dry well
Read the instructions carefully. The drying time varies from primer to primer. Some primers require multiple applications, and the final color usually needs to be applied within a certain amount of time after priming.
Step 3. Sand the primer until it is smooth
Use a 600 grit sandpaper to carefully smooth paint drops without sanding down to the metal.
Step 4. After you apply the primer, clean the surface to remove any dust and grease that got on the car while you applied the primer
Sand them off with wax, degreaser, or acetone.
Step 5. Then spray the car with paint
Follow the manufacturer's instructions. Automotive paints and some polyurethanes give better results when a curing agent or catalyst is used.
Make sure the paint is diluted enough for the utensils you are using, but don't dilute the paint too much or the paint will lose its sheen and drip faster
Step 6. Let the paint dry out completely
If you're using a catalyst, it should dry in less than 24 hours. However, depending on the color, this can take up to 7 days until it is completely dry. From the time you started spraying to the time the paint no longer sticks, the car needs to be kept dust-free.
Step 7. Finish sanding the car
Use 1200 or finer sandpaper and sand the paint smooth. Wash off any residue from the sanding and let the car dry.
- You can apply a clear polish for a more glossy look.
- You can sand the clear gloss varnish with wet 1500 grit sandpaper to remove drip marks, dirt and other minor defects.
Step 8. You can create even more shine with a polishing paste
Doing this by hand is best, but you can also use a buffing machine, this is often a little easier. Be careful with this, however, as it can damage the paint if not used properly. If you are using a machine, we recommend covering the edges with tape and then buffing them by hand.
- Make sure to keep enough distance from the car when spraying (see instructions on the spray can), otherwise the paint will be applied too thickly and will run.
- Connect the car to the car with a ground wire, as well as all electrical devices to prevent everything from becoming statically charged and attracting dust.
- Spraying a car takes patience and time. So give yourself enough time.
- Be patient and thorough! Spray slowly and evenly, otherwise you will have to do everything again, which is very strenuous and time-consuming.
Gases can be harmful and potentially fatal. To be on the safe side, wear a breathing mask, for example an organic breathing mask, and ventilate the workplace well. Good ventilation is also very important to prevent the formation of gases in enclosed spaces, which could explode
What you need to do this
- Air compressor
- Spray bottle (HVLP, LVLP, or without air)
- Sander with sandpaper
- 120-600 grit sandpaper for preparation and finish
- Solvent to clean all surfaces
- Tape and paper
- Paint (enamel, acrylic enamel, or polyurethane)
- Paint thinner, catalyst or hardener
- Breathing mask, dust mask, eye protection
- Filler or fiberglass for repair