Spray Painting Your Car

A car is a prized possession! Ask a vehicle owner about sending his car for maintenance and repairs or for a coat of repainting, and chances are there are hundreds of unanswered questions running around in his head!

Considering repainting your own car rather than getting professional help can not only be an exhilarating experience but also save a lot of money, which in itself can be a huge motivating factor. Spray painting the car is however not as easy as it may seem especially for a first-timer, but is certainly not impossible armed with the right materials and attitude. Getting the job done easily and quickly involves having the right accessories in hand and following some simple pieces of advice. And of course, choosing to be a little adventurous is an option for the individual to exercise.

The basic supplies required for spray painting are:

• Spray paint cans in the choice of color chosen
• Spray gun
• Spray rust killer and primer
• Fluorescent paint (if adventurous!)
• Newspaper
• Masking tape
• Sanding paper
• Car was
• Goggles

The number of steps involved in spray painting a car can be as simple as four or five to about ten. But the sequencing remains the same.

Preparing the car

The car needs a thorough wash of the exterior surface with water and mild soap and complete drying. Removing fixtures from the interior is necessary. A closed well-lit and well ventilated garage can be used or an open space in the yard where access to air and light is easy.

Sanding the car

The surface of the car should be completely scrubbed with large sandpaper to remove the old paint. This can be back-breaking but once the paint starts peeling off its quite easy. Then finer sandpaper should be used for removing scratches and signs of corrosion. Any minor gaps must be filled with putty and dried before painting leaving the entire exterior smooth.

Masking off and taping

Prevention of over-spraying is essential using masking tape or pre taped film so that outline tape lines are not visible. In case painting is done inside a garage, covering the entire car with plastic sheeting is a good option.

Applying primer

Primer spray paint is good at filling scratches and should be sprayed over clean, dry and sanded exterior. One or more coats can be applied leaving about 10-15 minutes between coats.

Spray painting – first coat

After covering windows, frames, bumpers, wheel rims with newspaper and tape to seal off the area not being painted first, use the spray paint gun and position yourself about 10 inches to a foot away from the car surface. An even and regular spraying motion allows the coat to spread evenly and build up a nice and smooth surface. Now the paint has to be left to dry completely.

Adding a second coat

Professionals advise a second paint layer to give the car a completely new look. But getting that look depends entirely on allowing the first coat to dry completely before the second coat of paint goes up. A quick rub through with car wax gives a shiny and smooth feel to the car.

Some useful tips to keep in mind while spray painting include:

• Ensuring that the weather is perfect – humidity levels should be 50% or lesser and ideal temperature ranges between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Cloudy and windy days are not ideal for painting; wet weather does not allow paint to spread evenly and dry and gusts of wind can deposit dust, grime and lint on wet paint.