What Do I need to Paint a Car?

The Essential Items You Need to Paint a Car At Home

Doing your own bodywork and paint on a project car can be the ultimate satisfaction. Nothing is better than being able to stand next your ultra-shiny ride and explain “Yea I did all the bodywork and paint myself at home!”. If you haven’t painted before you might be overwhelmed with what you need to paint a car at home. We decided to break down the essential items you need to spray at home. We’ve left out the bodywork stage as that is a separate and much longer discussion.

  1. Safety- Painting a vehicle at home can be a fun project but you need to make sure you’re protecting yourself when spraying solvents and chemicals. Unlike when doing bodywork you need something more than a dust mask when painting. If you want the ultimate protection a fresh air respirator system is best for spraying as it will provide you clean air and no chances of chemicals getting into your body. We prefer the Hobby Air Masks that use a turbine motor to pump air through filters that take out any impurities in the air. If you are on a budget or want something a little more simple you can use the tried and true half mask with mutli-stage filters that keep liquid particles and gasses out as well as a particulate filter to keep larger contaminants like dust and dirt out of your lungs. Finally a good paint suit and is preferred to keep over spray off of your body and dirt from your clothes off the paint! Make sure you keep your paint suit in a plastic bag or stored in a clean area to keep it from getting dirty. You can find all of our safety supplies for auto body work HERE.
  2. Paint Gun- Obviously you need a way to apply paint to the car and the best way is to use a paint gun. There are all kinds of paint guns on the market from disposable guns you can buy for pennies and high end professional guns that might cost as much as your first car! There a couple of different types of paint guns to use and the easiest way to decide on which type is to decide if you have an air compressor than can handle an HVLP gun or not. If you decide to use an HVLP gun make sure you pick one that is rated within your air compressors CFM rating. If you want to spray without an air compressor you can invest in a turbine paint system. These use a turbine motor to compress the air and apply it out of a paint gun. They are self contained and work off of a standard electrical outlet. The biggest thing you need to make sure you have with your paint gun is needle nozzles that match the coating that you’re applying. Smaller tips like 1.2-1.4 normally come with most guns and allow you to spray most color and clear coats. But if you want to also spray primers and heavier coatings you may need a 1.7-2.0 needle nozzle. These needle nozzles can be purchased separately and are easy to change out between jobs. Find all of our spray guns from entry level to pro HERE.
  3. Mixing Equipment- Properly mixed paint is as important as the paint gun you use. Many modern paints have a metallic in them and will settle when sitting. You need to make sure that you properly mix the paint before even pouring it into your mixing cup. The same goes for custom mixed paint like our InterMix paint where you’re mixing a large batch of two or three colors together to create a custom hue. If you don’t mix your paint or clear correctly you can get irregularities in each coat and that can be frustrating when you have to remove it all and start over! For gallon or quart can mixing a dedicated paint shaker works well to get everything full mixed without wearing your arms out shaking! For large batch mixing our Intermix kit comes with a mixer you can use in your drill to stir and fully mix paint colors and additives like pearls, metal flake, etc all together evenly. See our entire paint mixing supplies HERE.

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