Things to Know About Painting Your Car

Painting a vehicle is vital to prevent rust, but also to give a better visual look. Today, different colors of paint are available if you decide to paint your car.

How Much Does Painting a Car Cost?

Usually, painting by a professional will cost you between $600 up to $2000. Professional paint job costs vary, depending on the type of car, paint used, and the intensity of the labor.

Types of Car Paint

There are three types of car paint.

Acrylic. This kind of paint is easy to apply and gives a glossy finish. But as this paint is soft, it will not last you long.

Metallic. This type of paint is mostly used on sports cars and entirely hides scratches. Remember, this paint needs more attention and is difficult to repair, that’s why you should be careful when choosing it.

Urethane. This type of paint can be sprayed, it dries quickly and lasts longer. Urethane needs to be applied with a suit, respirator, and goggles for safety reasons.

Common Paint Problems

Spotting or discoloration are the most common paint problems. This can happen because of acid rain, tree sap, bird droppings, and road tar.

Another problem is cracking in the vehicle’s topcoat. It can happen because of an excessive thickness of your undercoat, or short flash time after every coat.

One more paint problem is chipping, which often happens when stones or rocks damage the paint.

How to Paint a Car Yourself

It is recommended to have a professional paint your car because they have all the necessary tools and experience. Professional paint jobs, however, can be costly. You can do the repainting yourself to save money. It can be done with proper materials, time, and dedication. Here are some tips for you on how to paint a car yourself.
First of all, before starting, inspect your car's exterior from all sides, looking for imperfections in the paint job if there are cracks, bubbles, or portions that have peeled, sand off all of the original paint down to the metal before applying a primer sealant. If the old paint looks good or just has slightly dulled in shine, you will only need to sand off a little bit off the surface before applying new paint.

Necessary tools:

  • air compressor

  • automotive clear coat (optional)

  • automotive paint

  • catalyzed glazing putty (if needed)

  • clean cloth

  • denatured alcohol

  • electric sander

  • masking tape

  • moisture separator filter

  • paint gun

  • plastic or paper sheets (large)

  • primer paint (if required)

  • sandpaper (array ranging from 320- to 3000- grit, depending on the damage to original paint)

  • water.

1. Prepare workspace. Protect other stuff by covering them in plastic.
2. Sand the existing paint down to the required level, keeping the surface wet with water during the process. You can also use an electric sander for a quicker result instead of sanding it by hand. If you need to sand down to the metal to completely remove the original paint along with any rust that may be present, use a coarse grit of sandpaper first, then repeat the process with a medium grit and finally a fine grit once you have reached the bare metal. If you only need to smooth the existing paint, use only the finest grit to prepare the surface for new paint.

3. If there are any kinds or dents, fill them with catalyzed glazing putty and allow to dry completely. Sand it with a fine grit paper until smooth and then clean the surface with denatured alcohol and a clean cloth to remove any oils.

4. Before applying a primer, remove or cover with masking tape and plastic or paper any parts of your vehicle you do not want to paint, such as bumpers and windows. Applying a primer sealant is required if you need to sand down to the metal to protect the metal from rust and to provide a porous surface as a base for new paint.

5. If you applied a primer, let it dry at least a day before painting.
6. Clean the surfaces to be painted with acetone on a cloth to ensure there is no dust or oily residue.
7. Set up the paint gun. For that, connect the air compressor to the moisture separator filter, which then attaches to the paint gun. Thin the paint of your choice according to the brand’s instructions and add paint to the paint gun.

8. Smoothly spray the surface and with broad strokes. Don’t rush, and every portion should be fully covered. Allow the paint to dry, or cure, according to the brand's instructions, which is usually between one and seven days.

9. For a better gloss finish, consider wet sanding the new paint with 1200-grit or finer paper and applying a clear coat after a thorough rinse with water.

10. After the paint has thoroughly dried, remove the masking tape and protective coverings.

Enjoy new paint!