How To Paint A Car?


You may be thinking that your car needs a makeover and you decide to change the paint of the car. However, having a car professionally painted can be quite expensive, that is why most people opt to do it themselves. But the mistake that the majority of individuals make is that they think painting a car is as simple as painting a wall. Painting a wall only requires a few brushes a good can of paint and paint rollers while painting a car requires a variety of products, primers, clear coats, compressor, respirators, paint guns, and sprayers. It is because of this reason that getting your car resprayed professionally can be expensive.

Repainting your car by yourself may feel like a daunting task, but you can learn to paint a car in your home. All you need are the right tools and a clean workspace to save money by doing it yourself.

Also, see;

(How To Paint A Room)

(How To Paint With Acrylics)

Choosing The Car Paint

When it comes to car paint, you can’t buy any paint you can find and use it on your car. It will definitely ruin your car. You need a specific car paint that you can get at any car store, or you can buy it online. If you intend on using the same colour on your car, then you will need someone to match and mix the paint for you.

To know the exact colour of your car, you will find a specific code located on the bonnet or under the boot or on the inside of one of the car’s door.

Tools Needed To Paint A Car

To properly paint your car, there are a few tools that will be needed; you will also need some tools to clean the car before you paint it. The tools you will need include;

  • Paint
  • Safety equipment
  • Sanding and polishing tools
  • Painting equipment
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Corrosion-resistant paint primer
  • Wax
  • Masking tape
  • Cloths
  • Paint sprayer
  • Polish

The paint used for cars is different from other types of paint because it comes in aerosol form. This makes it easy to inhale the aerosolized paint particles, and it could lead to respiratory issues, that is why it is important to have a respirator. You will also need a face mask to protect your eyes from splashes. There is a need to get the best automotive paint guns; it will allow you to apply a uniform coating of paint on your car. There are some systems that are available that let you use an airless sprayer if you decide to use one of these ensure it is the best.

Car paints come in different forms such as polyurethane, enamel or acrylic enamel. Some of them leave a metallic sheen, and there are also chrome paints that leave your car with a refined and exquisite look. If you want to use chrome paint, ensure you choose the best one. A small to medium sized car will use about a gallon of paint primer, three gallons of car paint and about two gallons of lacquer or clear coat. Larger vehicles will need more.

Preparations Before Painting A Car

Before you can begin painting your car, there are a few steps you have to follow. These steps include;

Prepare The Location For Painting The Car

It is important to get a good location to paint your car; there are four factors you need to consider while choosing a location to paint your car. First of all, you need to make sure the location you choose has enough room for you to move about, you will be handling different types of equipment, and adequate space will reduce tipping or bumping into equipment.

The second factor to consider is lighting. The location you choose should be adequately lighted. A part of painting a car is the preparation of the surface of the car; you will need adequate light to make sure everything is smooth. You also need to make sure the paint is applied evenly, and you can only do this in a well-lit room.

Thirdly, you need proper ventilation. Car paints are aerosolized, and this means that they will get suspended in the air for quite some time, and you will need proper ventilation for them to get efficiently dispersed.

The fourth factor to consider is to choose a location that is free from dust and other contaminants. After spraying a car, the body will stay wet for quite some time, and if your location is riddled with dust, the dust can stick on the surface of the paint and ruin your work.

Prepare The Car For Painting

Before applying paint to the car, you need first to prepare the surface of the car. Choose the parts of the car you intend on painting. If it is the engine bay, then you need to know how to remove the different components and if it is the inner door sill you will have to remove the outer door panel. Before you paint a car, you need to remove the parts that you don’t want to paint. If they are not removable, then you can cover them with a newspaper held in place by masking tape.

Check your car’s surface for any rust or dents. Get rid of any rust you find and use an orbital sander to smoothen the surface. If you paint over rust, it will just keep eating away at the new paint and undermine the integrity of your car. Ensure you remove any plastic or chrome off the car.

The next step might set you back 3 to 4 days, depending on the extent of the job. You will need to sand the old paint off the car. Sand it until it reaches bare metal, then clean the car with mineral spirits to make sure there is no oil left on the car. Once you are done with that, make sure you cover the parts of the car that you don’t want to paint such as the windows, glass, grills, mirror, windshield and more. Hold the edges with masking tape.

How To Apply Paint To Your Car

Before you can apply paint to the car, you need to prime the parts of the car that you intend on painting using a corrosion-resistant primer. You only need to do this if you have removed all the paint and it’s just metal that is left. Apply your primer and leave it to cure, the time will vary depending on what primer you used. You should find the time it should be left to cure on the tin.

Once it is done curing, you will need to sand the surface until it is smooth. After doing that, you will need to clean the surface and make sure there is no dust or oil. After all that, it is time to spray paint the car, and for this, you will need a paint sprayer.

When it comes to applying the paint on the surface of your car, make sure you follow the instructions on the can of the paint. Hold your spray gun a half-foot away from the car’s surface and spray in a smooth but sweeping motion. It takes about 15 minutes to paint a section or panel, and you need to apply about 4 coats to a section, ensure that you leave it to cure for an hour before topping off the paint. After painting the whole car wait for about 24 hours to 7 days for it to properly dry, then once it is dry, you can sand the car for the last time.

Ensure you finish the paint job by buffing the surface, this will give the car a natural shine and brand-new look, but be careful not to buff one area for too long as it can burn the new paint.


Painting a car by yourself may seem complicated, but it really isn’t. you just have to possess the right equipment and follow all the steps, and you will have a newly painted car in no time. Painting your car, yourself will help you save money, but it will also be a rewarding experience.