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How to paint a car

How do I paint a car?

3814 day(s) ago

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How do I paint a car?

By far the most important part of painting a car is the prep work: this is the difference between a paint job that costs $200 and one that costs $4,000. Here's what you'll need:

Ratio measuring cup
Paint gun: Gravity feed works best.
Air compressor: The larger the tank, the better.
Sanding pad
Respirator mask

Optional: DA sander, thermometer

The paint shop can tell you how much paint you will need for the job, as well as how much hardener and reducer the paint needs to be mixed with. Some paints are particular about temperature: you'll need to know how hot or cold the area you're working in is to mix the paint properly.

Painting need to be done in a well-ventilated area. It is possible to paint outside, but wind can blow dirt onto your car. ALWAYS wear a respirator mask made for automotive paint.

Everything you don't want to paint needs to be covered. Tape any trim and cover windows, grills, and tires in paper.

If you use a piece of sandpaper with your hand, you'll leave finger-shaped marks in the metal. A sanding pad or a DA sander will leave a smooth surface. Use 200-300 grit sandpaper. At this stage any dents will need to be taken out or filled in with Bondo.

Now you're ready to paint. Mix the paint with the hardener and reducer according to the manufacturer's instructions. This is done in ratios: you can pick up a measuring cup with ratios on them at your paint store.

Always end each spray off the car: when you release the trigger, a few large specks of paint will come out.
For the best shine, each layer of paint should be sanded with a very fine sandpaper: 1000 grit for colored paint and 1600 for clearcoat.

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