Schools Training

Tip For Achieving A Flawless Paint Job

21 JAN 2014
Career Path : Repairs

When a car has faded paint, a paint project is recommended – consumers save thousands of dollars when they handle their own paint projects without hiring a paint company. Achieving a great paint job on an automobile isn’t as hard as you may think, it just takes careful planning.

Painting a car takes a lot of time. Because of this, it is best to tackle the project during the weekend. Consider using a shed to avoid weather issues, however, painting a car outside a shed is possible, but certain precautions must be considered.

1200 and 2000 grit sandpaper is needed. The sandpaper can either be wet or dry. Other requirements include an air powered sander or an electric sander, masking tape, newspaper, a spray gun, masks, safety glasses, enamel paint, undercoat, and a clear-coat lacquer. Another item that will make your job easier is a dust extractor. It will keep the project area clean.

Small or medium cars will need one gallon of primer, and three gallons of topcoat and clear coat. Large vehicles will need one and a half gallons of base coat, about four gallons of lacquer, and four gallons of topcoat. When professionals handle car painting projects, they use less paint. However, causal painters will need a few practice runs. Also, mistakes might occur while painting, so more paint will be required. You don’t necessarily need to be an auto mechanic to do this right but when in doubt, it may be best to consult a friendly service shop.


Before painting, the area must be cleaned. There must be no dust. When spraying outside, use a hose to clean the area and avoid painting under trees or near areas that will drop contaminant on the car before the paint dries. The car must be cleaned because dirt, grime, and grease will affect the paint project.


Use circular motions during the sanding process. Corners and crevices may requiring sanding by hand. For the best results, the car may need to be sanded down to the metal. However, this method can take a lot of time. Each panel can take nearly two hours. After sanding, wipe the surface down using a rag. Use thinners to remove dust.


Use masking tape to mask areas that don’t need automotive painting. This task should be handled efficiently to avoid painting issues.

Use the paint can’s instructions when mixing primers with thinners. The procedure will vary depending on the paint.

Before painting, consider practicing your spraying using a used car panel. Used car panels are available at a salvage yard. Hold the spray gun about six inches from the car panel and spray. While spraying, use a side-to-side sweeping motion. Only use the trigger when moving the gun. Don’t hold the trigger down all the time because the paint will be thicker when changing directions.

After learning the proper painting method, apply the primer on the car from the roof and work down. The coats should be thin, even coats.


The paint should be mixed using the instructions on the paint can. The top coat must be applied with the same techniques used for the primer.

Visit Automotive Training Centre for more information on automotive painting.