The Basics Steps to Painting a Car

A Crash Course in The Basics Of Painting A Car

Painting a car can be a rewarding process and requires a lot of time, some skill, the right tools (we’ve got you there!), and a lot of work. Before you get involved in painting your own car or having someone paint your car for you make sure you understand what all has to happen to get the vehicle looking like new again. Below is our basic list of the steps needed to paint and refinish the outside of a vehicle.

  1. Paint Stripping- First you need to remove the old paint and coatings on the car. Depending on the quality of the repaint you may need to take the vehicle back down to bare metal. For DIY Paint Jobs we like to use the Eastwood Contour SCT to quickly remove paint, rust, and old coatings. From there you can sand the surface to get the desired panel finish.
  2. Surface Correction- At this point you should have uncovered all of the major damage or areas that need repaired on the vehicle. You may find rust, dents, old repairs, and much more under the old paint. To fix these areas you will have to cut out the rust and replace with new metal and dents and dings need to be hammered out and body filler used to fill imperfections. This process takes the most time and is the basis for a show car paint job.
  3. Seal Up the Body- With the body stripped and all panels repaired you need to seal up the body before painting. We suggest starting with an Epoxy Primer to seal up body work and bare metal. Epoxy Primer can be applied over most anything and is extremely durable. Project vehicles can be stored in epoxy primer without worries of rust coming back. Once the epoxy has been applied you can stack other primers like urethane primer or even a filler primer to block sand the surface perfectly flat.
  4. Paint the Car- Now we’re at the satisfying part of the process. Applying paint. Paint comes in many different styles. From a Single Stage Urethane, Base Coat- Clear Coat, and even a Waterborne style paint. The process for painting will depend on the type of paint and the color used. Single Stage Paint is the most simple and will give a moderate shine once polished. A single stage paint is applied and ready to use once cured. While a base coat of solvent based paint or even Waterborne need a clear coat over the color to seal the paint up and protect it. These multi-step paints can give special effects and also leave a room for error where you can wet sand and buff imperfections out.

So there you have it, a simplified description of the steps needed to paint a car. If you think you’re ready to take on your own paint job you may want to watch our full video on How To Paint a Car and purchase your paint and auto body supplies HERE.

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