Even though it’s sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around it, our cars are susceptible to the flow of time, weather, and all kinds of mechanical damages. No matter how much attention we pay to them, it’s inevitable that some dents and scratches will pop up here and there. Paint starts to break down and rust can appear on most surfaces of our vehicles. Car painting can be a daunting but also fun task. It’s cost-efficient and the end result can be really satisfying, but you need to prepare well. Here are a few tips that you should pay attention to if you choose to spray paint your car and give it a new, refreshed look.
Preparation is the key to everything
Before securing all the necessities for your car, you should prepare safety gear for yourself. You’ll need a painter coverall, respiratory protection, goggles, chemical-resistant boots, and rubber gloves. Also, find a good place where you’ll be painting your car, as it needs to be well ventilated, with electricity and no dust. It should be spacious enough, as you’ll need a lot of room to work around it.
Sanding is essential
Before you start car painting, you should first sand its surface to make it straight and smooth. It will remove the old paint and smooth any scratches there are. You should start with sandpaper of 600-grit and use circular motions to even the surface as you go. Sanding can be done all the way to the metal or enough for your new layers of paint to adhere to. When you start sanding, the paint will slowly fade away. When it’s almost completely gone, you should change to sandpaper of 1500-grit and make sure that you didn’t skip any rust on the car. This will allow you to prime the surface of your car without any problems.
Prime it to protect it
If you decide to sand your car to the metal, you should probably use a corrosion-resistant primer. This way, you’ll secure the quality and corrosion protection of the painted materials. After you apply the first layer, you should wait around 15 minutes before continuing with the second one. The same applies to the third layer. When the layering is done, wait 24 hours for them to dry and then use sandpaper of 1200-grit to smoothen the prime coating. Make sure not to sand those surfaces too much, as you don’t want to expose the metal. Also, don’t forget that you should prime only the surfaces that you want to paint.
Final preparation for car painting
When you’re done with sanding and priming, you have to make some final preparations for car painting. Use a rag and wipe down surfaces of your car to make sure that you’ve removed everything properly and prepare it for painting. There are some parts of your car that are not made of metal and you probably want to cover them so they wouldn’t get painted. Those include mirrors, glass, grills, door handles, window trims, etc. Take some masking tape and cover those parts if you want them to stay the way they are. Also, make sure to spread something on the floor if you don’t want it to get painted as well.
Applying your new paint
The new paint, as well as your primer, should be applied using a side-to-side sweeping motion slightly away from the surface. To get the optimal results, try to apply it in thin and, if possible, even coats. The drying time should be specified on the paint can so make sure to wait before applying the new layer. It should take three to four layers to get the job done. Before that last layer, make sure to sand the surface again and use a rag to remove any dust or particles that may have found their way onto your car. To make your paint appear transparent, use the best automotive clear coat and make your car look shiny. Now you can remove the masking tape and let the clear coat dry. You can spray some clear paint half an hour after you apply your regular paint if you want to protect it from UV rays.
All in all, spray painting your car is a task that requires a lot of preparation and practice. You can practice your spraying techniques on some old metal parts until you feel confident that you can do a good job with the real deal. Car painting might be a time-consuming activity, but this way, you can save some money, learn something new and have a great feeling of accomplishment when you’re done.