Tarnished paint, scuff marks, scratches: the paint on your car needs to be redone. It’s not a very difficult operation. Above all, it requires good preparation, a lot of care and a dust-free room. A low-pressure spray gun and excellent products are required. Its role is therefore both technical and decorative.
A well painted car is one that is more resistant to corrosion and therefore lasts longer. But it’s also a more beautiful car, therefore more pleasant, and which will keep its resale value. Indeed, for the potential buyer, the quality of the paint is interpreted as a sign of the vehicle’s overall good condition (which is not always true).
Second-hand car dealers are not mistaken, since they prioritize their renovation efforts on the outside, knowing that a poorly presented vehicle is unsaleable.
When buying a new car, you have to be particularly careful about the color and type of paint you choose, and don’t pay too much attention to taste and fashion. The following points should be kept in mind:
- A dark paint is much messier than a light one.
- A bright color (e. g. red) passes over time, making it difficult to connect later.
- An unglazed metallic paint is difficult to maintain, because it’s difficult to polish it.
- The very original colors, sometimes associated with limited series, quickly go out of fashion, it’s sometimes difficult to find them again several years later.
- It’s almost impossible for an amateur to touch up a varnished paint.
Repainting your car is a challenge. That’s why spray painting your car is a good idea.
As a general rule, several thousand dollars are spent on this work. Depending on the type of your car and your objective, you can do it alone but the result will not be perfect. If you decide to go to a specialist workshop for this, you can save a lot of money by preparing the work at home. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about repainting your car at home as well as the spray painting techniques.
Repaint your car yourself — Know the limits
Before you start repainting your car, you need to have an idea of the results you will get. New paint or professional repair lacquering can only be undertaken with suitable equipment and training. It’s totally illusory to believe that you will achieve the same result with household products and homework, as with professional spray painting and work in a specialized workshop.
That’s why, don’t do the job yourself when:
- You want to be able to resell your car.
- This is not about your car.
- The car has a representative function.
- It’s a high-quality car.
If you repaint your car yourself, this is always noticeable and, in many cases, leads to a considerable loss of vehicle value, except for commercial vehicles. If you want to repaint a vehicle yourself in order to resell it, limit yourself to tractors, bulldozers, heavy trucks, or delivery trucks. Rusty Sprinter, Transit or Ducato cars are also perfect training objects.
If you’re wondering if there’s still a way to get a good result, that’s the case. And for that, you need to understand the technique.
Painting is a delicate job, which requires all the right conditions to succeed. A number of precautions are essential:
- Always work in a clean, dust-free room.
- Don’t spray paint in a draught, especially outside.
- Avoid spray painting when it rains, as ambient humidity mixes with paint mist.
- Don’t paint your car below 15°C or above 25°C.
The different ways of painting your car
You have a choice of three methods to refresh your car with a new color. Here they are:
- Spraying painting the car at home(my favorite choice)
- Roller painting
- Wrap painting
Note: In many cases, a car painted with a roller gives a less satisfactory result than a spray paint can.
Spray and Repaint your car yourself — Preparation, 90% of the time
More than for the rest, the preparation of a repaint is essential. Neglecting them will inevitably lead to dramatically poor results, which you will not be able to repair without difficulty. This is why you must set aside 90% of the estimated working time to repaint your car for preparation. In principle, repainting a normal sized vehicle will take you two days.
Step 1: Wash your car
Obviously your car must be cleaned. Moreover the car doesn’t just have to be clean to be repainted, but polished deep down. You can wash it by hand or go to a car wash and make sure the hot wax is off.
Take your time and do it correctly, it will be essential afterwards to get a satisfactory result.
Step 2: Dismantle everything
You will save yourself a lot of work if you remove all the components that can be dismantled: lamp, antenna, side rod, washing nozzle, hubcap, wiper, door handle. This will prevent you from accidentally varnishing parts of your vehicle that should not be varnished. Also, by doing this, you identify the defective components and you can eventually change them. However, don’t remove the windows.
Step 3: Cover the surface generously with adhesive tape
Now the car can be covered with tape. Choose quality crepe tape for easy removal afterwards. Cover the windows and rubbers. When you have removed the wipers and front / rear lights, also cover the cavities. This saves color. If the roof bar is mounted and you cannot remove it, then be very careful.
Step 4: Unboss and smooth
The paint considerably strengthens all the bumps. If you give yourself a little time and effort, you will get great results. Dismantle as much as possible and smooth as little as possible, this will always lead to better results.
Step 5: Sanding
For the new paint to hold properly on the old one, it must be sanded. Use sandpaper (grit 400 to 600) and a sanding block for this purpose. Only sand by hand. On corners and edges, the paint layer is thinner, you can quickly sharpen it down to the sheet metal. This should be avoided at all costs.
Step 6: Wash the fat with a silicone cleaner
With a silicone cleaner, you will not only remove dust by sanding and smoothing. This will also allow you to degrease your car. To be able to repaint your vehicle, it must be perfectly degreased. You can therefore spread your silicone cleaner generously.
You could find this on walmart or ebay, it’s not expensive.
Now is the time to decide on the next step of your journey, your car is ready to be repainted. If you have covered, sanded, smoothed and cleaned it in a paint shop, you can save about 50 to 70%, and thus go from $2000 to $500-$700. If you want to resell your car, and therefore have the objective of increasing the value of your vehicle, delegate the rest of the work to a professional. If it’s a utility or amusement vehicle, there are some ways you can continue the business on your own.
Step 7: Prepare your workplace
To paint your car, you need a roof over your head. A closed room would be ideal. A carport or garden pavilion can also be used. Close the side walls with paint protection film. The paint still needs a certain amount of time to dry, during which time foliage or dust can stick to it.
A sprayer produces a paint mist that can be fixed anywhere. If you are not working outdoors, therefore, cover the part well with protective paint film so that your part is suitable for this work. You can also paint it with a roller or cover it with wrapping.
Step 8.1: Paint a car with spray paint cans
If your goal is to get the best possible result, then you can use a car spray painting equipment. The most important thing is to work carefully on each part of the car. Always work from seam to seam, cover the rest thoroughly. Keep a distance of about 30 cm.
For a complete paint job, use a compressor, a car spray painting gun and mixing bucket, in which you mix a thinner and a hardener. Wear a full protective suit and a protective mask. Also work from above and below and paint the cloister as well.
The paint you are going to buy is provided in three forms that correspond to the different levels of the procedure:
- A “pencil” of retouching, in fact a small brush and a bottle, for retouching chips and scratches.
- Some aerosol cans, small or large format.
- A 1 kg paint can, for spraying.
- OR you can just buy a spray painting kit.
To these three classical tools, we must add backing patches, which can be glued by simple contact with the sheet metal and are suitable for small defects (chips, thin scratches). With all this, you’ll spray paint your car like a boss!
Step 8 alternative: Painting a car with a roller
When you paint with a roller, you have a wide range of color choices, which can also be mixed if you wish. For pickups and vans, white radiator paint is perfectly sufficient and not expensive. You need to:
- A rubber paint roller for a flat surface.
- A paint roller for a rough surface.
- A paint container.
- Newsprint paper.
To paint with a roller, you don’t need respiratory protection like with a car spray painting gun. Put the newspaper all around the car, so as not to dirty the floor. Start with the roof and end with the bottom. Apply the paint to the cloister for complete coverage.
The result is somewhat tied to your skills, depending if you can apply the paint evenly the result will looks good or bad.
Step 8 alternative: Wrap painting the vehicle
Wrapping is often an easy but not the fastest way to visually enhance your vehicle. Also, be aware that removing air bubbles is a lot of work. To be honest, I’m not an expert of this method.
If you have a lot of time and very little money, it’s an affordable method to get a reasonable result compared to the spray painting one.
Step 9: Finishing the vehicle
With fine abrasive paper and good sanding, you can successfully upgrade your car. This will not be the case with matt lacquer, reserved for the last owners.
Repaint your car yourself — All you need to know at a glance:
When to repaint your car yourself?
- When the vehicle is no longer for sale.
- It’s an old utility car.
What are the possible methods?
- Painting with a roller (Fast but often not good).
- Spray painting your car(Very good result but you need to do it the right way).
- Wrapping (Slow but inexpensive and the result is somewhat good).
Where can you spray paint your car yourself?
When you have at least one roof over your head.
What do I need to spray paint my car?
A lot of time, a good preparation phase, good materials and tools.
How much will it cost me to spray paint my car alone?
Between 50 and 500 dollars and two days (if you spray paint you car).
Advantages of spray painting your car alone
- The job of car spray painting cost less when you do it yourself.
- It’s relatively fast.
- It allows you to be more creative with colors (silver, white, black aren’t the only one). There is also many cans for spray painting your car.
Disadvantages of repainting your car yourself
- You must have a good painting equipment (especially if you spray paint your car in any color).
- You need to learn how to do it, you can’t just figure it out.
- This requires a lot of time.
You want to learn step by step how to spray paint your car for cheap AND get a wonderful result? ▶ Just check out these videos ◄