How to Spray Paint a Car Flat Black

Written by melanie fleury
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How to Spray Paint a Car Flat Black
Auto paint can come in a variety of colours and choices, such as glossy or flat. (spray image by Dragana Petrovic from

Flat black paint is used on cars for a variety of reasons. Some people prefer flat black because they like its style. Others paint their cars flat black because flat paints can stick to hides rough surfaces easily, whereas glossy paint would emphasise every imperfection. Flat paint does not reflect light from every angle, unlike glossy paint, and this helps hide imperfections. Beware that primer is not flat black paint. While the primer will have a flat look and should easily adhere to paint, it will not have all the protection that a true auto paint provides.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Face mask
  • Masking tape
  • Paper
  • 80 grit sandpaper
  • Sander
  • Black primer
  • Flat, or Matte, black paint
  • Flattening agent
  • Clear coat paint

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  1. 1

    Prep your car surface. With 80 grit sandpaper, sand the paint on your car so the primer will adhere easily to the car's surface. Clean off the car. Tape off any areas that you do not want to paint by using newspaper and painters tape, or masking tape.

  2. 2

    Spray primer onto the car. Spray the paint horizontally and in long strokes that overlap each other. Do two coats of primer, allowing each coat to dry for at least 30 minutes. Sand the primer lightly to get rid of any bubbles, paint globules or other imperfections. If the primer comes off in those areas, spray again and allow another 30 minutes to dry.

  3. 3

    Spray black paint onto the car. Strokes should be long, quick, horizontal and overlap each other slightly. Start at the top of the car and move down to the sides. Spray three to four coats, making sure to allow each coat 30 minutes or more to dry.

  4. 4

    Mix flattening agent to the paint. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions on the flattening agent that you purchase. The flattening agent will take out any shine or gloss in your paint and make the paint look flat.

  5. 5

    Spray a clear coat onto the car to protect the paint. Clear coat will be applied the same as the primer and paint, in long, overlapping strokes. Paint two to three coats of clear coat, allowing drying time of at least 30 minutes in between coats.

Tips and warnings

  • Stay in a well ventilated area. If necessary, wear a protective mask to block fumes.

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