Painting Your Classic Car – Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

Having your classic car repainted will definitely cost you a lot of money. That’s why you should consider handling the painting job on your own. It’s not a complicated job after all.

To help you do a great job painting your car, we created an awesome DIY car painting guide below. Check out all the tips and tricks you need know to ace your car painting project.

Not your ordinary painting job

If you think painting your car’s body is the same as applying a layer of paint on the wall of your house, then you need think again. These are far too different tasks.

Automotive painting jobs are pricey for a reason. It requires precision and finesse if you want to achieve a smooth and impressive finish. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do it on your own. With a bit of practice and the right tools and equipment.

Ready to start planning your auto painting project? Read on!

What to prepare before painting an auto

Painting a car requires a lot of patience and time. Expect to complete the job after at least one week. You need to find a dry garage or shed where you can park the car while you paint the body and wait for the coating to dry.

If you already have a place for the job, your next step should be sourcing the materials needed for the actual painting procedure.

Take note that you’re not just going to buy paint. You will also need sandpaper, masking tape, electric sander, newspaper, and spray gun. To protect yourself from the fumes, you will need gears like face mask and safety glasses. Also, you will need a few tin cans of paint thinner.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more, try buying or renting a dust extracting machine to remove debris from the air while you paint.

How much paint do you need to have?

Aside from the equipment enumerated above, you mustuld also start looking for a car paint supplier for the base coat, top coat and clear lacquer that you’ll need for the project.

If you will be working on a small car, you need to prepare the following:

  • 1 gallon primer/base coat
  • 3 gallons topcoat
  • 3 gallons clear automotive lacquer

Professional companies who do car respray usually need a lesser amount of paint because they know exactly what to do. But, since you don’t have a lot of experience and skills, it’s better to prepare more than enough.

How do you know which colour to buy?

If in case you want to maintain the same colour, try finding the paint’s colour code on the compliance plate. Take note of the code and visit a car paint shop to request for the paint colour.

If you want a new colour, simply check the supplier’s product catalogue and select the new shade you want to use.  

Then, you can proceed to sand the surface. You should also think about which parts of your car you want to paint. Aside from the trunk, do you want to change the colour of the inner doorsills? How about the engine bay?

By knowing the areas you want to work on, you can effectively assess how much time you need to dedicate to complete the project. It will also help you assess the level of difficulty of the procedure.

Getting the job done right!

After sanding the surface, you need to wipe the surface with paint thinner. This step is needed so the primer sticks on the surface quickly.

Then, you need to start priming the areas you want to work on. Be sure to put masking tape on areas you want to leave out to avoid staining them.

Before you start the actual painting process, you should practice painting on an old car panel or perhaps a small piece of metal door. This will help you apply the paint using the spray gun with more precision once you start working on the real thing. Make sure to position the gun at least 6 inches from the surface you want to paint.

Also, see to it that you only press trigger when you move the gun to prevent paint from dripping.

Start painting the roof and work your way downwards. Apply the coating thinly to get an even finish. You would most likely need to swipe the spray gun up to three times to finish coating the car surface.

You need to spend at least 10 minutes to finish each panel of your car. Then, you will need an additional 20 to 60 minutes to cure the coat.

After completing the painting job, you need to apply the primer and polish using a piece of sandpaper to achieve a matte finish.

Lastly, don’t forget to clean the paint gun and your working space. Wait for a couple of days for the coat to dry completely.

See that didn’t sound too complicated right? Go through the steps again before you start your DIY painting task. Within a few weeks time, your classic car will have that new shiny coat that it deserves!

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