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How to paint a car?

Whether you wish to touch up the details in your car's body work, or wish to cover that unsightly chip in the paintwork, going to a pro body shop for a simple painting job can be expensive. Another alternative is to learn painting and body repair skills. This article provides you with tips on how to paint your car.

Finding the right place

Location The most important thing when attempting to retouch your car is finding the right place to begin painting. Choose a place which is well lit, well ventilated, relatively dust free and large enough for you to work around the body of the car. Working outside is also possible, but the chances of debris damaging your fresh paint increases.

Selecting your equipment

Paint Finding the right paint for your car is essential – consult the user’s manual to find the car’s colour code and use this to select the right colour paint for your bodywork. Brushes
Many touch up kits (designed for paint chips etc) come with a provided specialist brush for paint application, while larger kits usually provide brushes or spray cans of paint. Other
You will also need sanding paper and polishing equipment such as a cotton cloth, and safety apparatus such as a face mask and gloves.


Prepare the car by washing the body as thoroughly as possible. Make sure that you remove all dust and fibers from the cleaning materials as well. This is the time to repair any visible dents in the car's bodywork. Carefully remove the plastic trimming from the car body. Use cleaning spirits to remove oil (including fingerprints etc) from the area to be painted, before using masking tape to cover any areas which are not to be painted but which may come into contact with the new paint.


Begin to sand the area around which the paint is to be applied. Note: The new paint will not adhere to old paint, so the aim is to remove as much of the original damaged paint as possible. Tip: If the area to be painted is showing signs of rust, remove this rust with more abrasive sandpaper and wash the car again to remove all dust.


Apply the first layer of priming paint to the car, and allow this layer to dry completely before moving on. Wash the car and sand the newly primed area ready for the colour coat. Apply the colour coat evenly, allowing each layer to dry thoroughly before adding the next layer. Once the main colour coat is applied and is allowed to dry, clean the newly painted area. Optionally, add a gloss layer using the same technique.

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