Auto Painting Tips
Many people are starting to realize that it's not that hard to do semi-professional auto
painting work from home. Anyone who wishes to paint a car will do a good job by keeping the following
tips in mind (updated for 2012):
Clean the car thoroughly before you start. This goes beyond just a good washing.
Have dents repaired and any deep scratches filled and sanded as smooth as possible before applying primer. A new
paint job will only look as good as the underlying vehicle body.
Understand your primer. Not all primer is created equal. Choose a primer
specifically made for cars because a general purpose primer will not bond as thoroughly and could cause the paint
job to deteriorate prematurely. Once a primer has been selected and applied, be sure to allow it what it needs to
dry through. Some primers require a hardener, for others air drying is sufficient.
Understand your paint. Just as there are different primers available, so are there
different paints available. For an auto paint job, the basic choices are 2k or water based. Generally speaking,
water based paints are slightly superior in every area - they require less paint for thorough coverage and are less
detrimental to the environment. These advantages do come with a price tag though. 2k paints are less expensive than
water based. Also, the biggest choice between the 2 for the DIY painter is equipment. Most of the older painting
equipment will not handle water based paints without becoming clogged or even damaged. Be sure to get the paint
type that matches the equipment to be used.
Do not skimp on the clear coat. The clear coat is your paint job's armor. A good
layer of clear coat is the difference between a paint job that stands up well to minor injury and one that requires
constant touch ups to maintain its visual appeal. When choosing a clear coat product, do not be cheap. Clear coat
actually has a yellow tinge that becomes worse with time and exposure to weather. Unless the car is also yellow,
this will alter the color slightly. The more expensive clear coat products are both more clear to begin with and
resist this weathering effect better.
Do not forget to buff. That gorgeous super glossy finish on new cars comes from
the smoothness of the clear coat. Once it has dried, a proper and thorough buffing will erase any surface
imperfections that are dulling the gloss but are not visible to the eye.
A new paint job is the result of several equally important steps. Plan ahead and make each
step flawless and the end result will also be flawless.