Tips on how to paint your car

PAINTING your own car can save you thousands of dollars? Car painting is a time consuming job, it’s something that needs your undivided attention. If you’re planning to paint your car remember to set aside a few days or a couple of weekend, it’s best to use a shed if you’re planning to paint your car.

Expert says that good prep work and being systematic in your approach will have your car looking new in no time. This week we will look at some tips on how you can paint your own car by

Car painting is done by a professional auto body shop; the task requires all kinds of special equipment and safety precautions. Whether you’re training to become an automotive collision repair technician or you are a car owner and simply want to make it a do-it-yourself project.

Plan to paint your car in either a work shed (if your car will fit) or outside, preferably away from trees and during a few sunny days with very little wind.

If you want to add extra designs or graphics in addition to the paint job, make sure you build extra days into the plan.

Also, check with a specialist before mixing any chemicals and to help you figure out the final colour. You want to get the right ratios for the mixtures depending on the size of your car and what you’re trying to accomplish.

You’ll need:

* Plenty of 1200 and 2000-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper

nAn electric or air-powered sander

* Masking tape

* Newspapers (for masking off)

* An air compressor

nA spray gun

* A buffer

* Paint thinners

* Facemasks

* Safety glasses

* Undercoat (one or more gallons, depending on the size of the car)

nTopcoat acrylic or enamel paint (three or more gallons, depending on the size of the car)

nClear-coat lacquer (two to three gallons or more, depending on the size of the car)

Note — if you’ve never used a power spray gun before, you might want to practice the spraying motion on a piece of metal junk before trying it on your vehicle.

Here are some basic instructions

nWash the car and hose down the surrounding area. If you plan to paint something with detail on specific areas of the car, block off those areas with the masking tape and paper now.

nUse the power sander to strip away the old paint, using circular motions. You may have to manually sand the corners and other tricky areas.

Go from front to back and make the surface as smooth as possible; the smoother it is, the better the paint finish will be. After sanding, wipe down the whole vehicle completely. Dust, sandpaper remnants, and other debris will cause imperfections in the paint.

nMix the primers with the thinners. Apply the primer, working from the roof down. It might take two to three coats to cover the car surface completely. Assume 10 minutes per application and 20 minutes of drying time. When dry, the primer will be powdery on the surface so use the 2000 sandpaper to smooth and wipe it down.

nClean the spray gun and wipe down the primed surface with a rag slightly dampened with thinners.

Note: If you apply too much thinner to the rag, the thinner will strip the primer you just applied.

nApply three to four coats of the paint with the same sweeping strokes. Again, each coat will take about 10 minutes to apply and 20 minutes to dry. Before applying the final coat, go over the car one last time with the sandpaper followed by a clean rag to get rid of any final residue.

nApply the clear coat lacquer.

* Remove the masking tape while the lacquer is still wet.

Note: If you find any problem areas, sand them with the 2000-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper and re-spray.

8) Once everything is dry, buff the whole thing with a soft buffer, using a circular motion. Be careful not to stay in one spot too long, it could ruin the finish.

More Stories