The first step to painting your car is to strip away the initial paint. Next, apply primer, and apply the paint. The process can take five hours or longer.
- Prepare the work area
Clean your working area thoroughly to remove dust. Wash the car to remove dirt, road grime and grease. Select an area without trees to avoid debris and contaminants falling on wet paint.
- Strip the car
Use an electric or air-powered sander to strip away the paint. Use sandpaper to manually sand cervices and corners. Sand the car back to bare metal for the best result. Use a clean rug and thinner to remove dust. Wait for the thinner to evaporate completely before proceeding.
- Apply the primer
Use masking tape and newspapers to cover the areas you don’t want to paint. Mix your primer with thinners as recommended in the instructions. Use a spray gun to apply the paint in a side-to-side sweeping motion. Hold the spray gun about 6 inches from the panel. It is a good idea to practice your technique on scrap metal or a used car panel. Once the paint dries, use a 2000-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper to lightly sand the surface until smooth. Wipe down the surface with a clean rug.
- Apply the paint
Mix the paint with thinners as recommended in the instructions. Use a spray gun, and with the same technique, apply the top coat. Apply three to four coats. Follow the paint's drying instructions before applying each coat. Finally, use a buffer to buff the car in circular motions for a smooth, clean finish.