Many people try to paint their cars at home to save money or to create a custom look. Do-it-yourself paint jobs can turn out badly when the painters rush or skip steps, but it is possible to achieve professional results at home. To get professional-quality results, apply a professional level of care, including using rubbing compounds and the right paints with proven spray painting techniques.
Paint Gun or Paint Can
Spray painting a car means using a spray gun with an air compressor or using aerosol paint cans. Both methods work, but spray cans usually contain very little paint and painting a car requires many coats in order to achieve the right look. You need many spray cans, and the price adds up quickly. Both options can look good, but only if you use the products correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most owners choose to use a spray gun and air compressor.
Choosing the Work Area
Before deciding to paint your car yourself, identify a clean work space with plenty of ventilation and no dust. If any kind of dirt or debris falls on the car before the final coat of paint dries, it could ruin your paint job. Garages are usually poor choices for this work, as they have poor ventilation. Built-up fumes are not only unhealthy to breathe but could also catch fire. Outdoor areas, on the other hand, are hard to keep clean. If you do not have an adequate place to work, consider researching options in your local area or renting a space at an auto shop.
Choose the Paint and Primer Type
You can choose either automotive paint or a more generalised product, such as Rustoleum, as long as the paint works for metal surfaces. You also need to use a primer that is compatible with both metal and the type of paint you chose. Otherwise, the new paint could peel off. Be aware that using a non-standard colour makes the job look less professional.
Preparing Your Car
Before priming and painting your car, sand away the old layer of paint and remove and repair any rust spots or dents. You can use an abrasive rubbing compound or sandpaper for this. Remove or tape over all parts of the car you do not want to paint, such as the headlights. Then, thoroughly clean the car with denatured alcohol to remove any oils or dust.
Spray Painting Your Car
For smooth, even layers of both primer and paint, do one small section of your car at a time. That way, one line of paint cannot start to dry before the next one goes on. Use numerous thin coats, especially if painting with aerosol cans. If you mix the paint yourself, make sure it is not too thin or it could drip. Be sure to wash your car thoroughly between priming and painting.