How to prime & paint a car for candy-apple red paint

Written by philip powe
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Painting a car can improve the value and also add a personal touch to the vehicle. When you undertake this project you will have to also take several things into consideration. The expenditure on the equipment can be expensive and the techniques will have to be practised before applying paint to the car. If you are willing to undertake the investment, practice painting a car, and have the right equipment, this can become a way to make extra income.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Masking tape
  • Butcher's paper
  • Scissors
  • Wheel covers (purchased at an auto supply store)
  • Gas mask (the fumes can cause you to pass out)
  • Primer (purchased at an auto supply store)
  • Air compressor (can be rented or bought)
  • Paint gun with detachable can
  • Paint (purchased at an auto supply store)
  • Power buffer
  • Buffing pad
  • High-quality car
  • Wax
  • Lint-free cloth (the softest you can purchase)

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  1. 1

    Tape off the car for painting. This is done in a couple of ways. Large surface areas such as the windshield, windows, light and bumpers should be taped off with the butcher's paper. To do this simply run the masking tape halfway across the top of the paper. Place this across the very top of the windshield. Tape the other three sides to the windshield. Tape off the trim. Follow this same process for all of the windows. To tape the lights cut a section of paper in the general shape of the light and attach to the light and tape off. Put the wheel cover on over the tires. They will fit over most tires.

  2. 2

    Taping trim and smaller sections will require using only tape. If you are taping trim use the masking tape and cover the trim strip only. Try to tuck the tape behind the trim. Tape the door handles with the masking tape by covering them completely. Make sure that only the areas you want painted are visible. Check a couple of times in case you missed something.

  3. 3

    Put on the gas mask. Pour the primer into the paint-gun canister. Hook the paint gun onto the canister and then attach it to the airline for the compressor. Turn on the compressor. Spray the car in even long strokes going back and forth using short bursts from the gun. This is done by pulling and releasing the trigger. This will eliminate the primer from running or dripping. Allow to dry for 24 to 48 hours depending on the humidity. Clean the paint canister by rinsing with water. Allow to dry. Clean the gun portion by holding the trigger until it is blowing clear air.

  4. 4

    Put on the gas mask. Fill the canister with the paint. Paint the car with the paint gun. Start from the top of the car and work your way down using short bursts of paint and moving the gun in a straight line. Take your time. Too little is better than too much since it will run. Continue this process until the entire car is painted. Clean the gun and canister the same way you did in Step 3. Allow the car to dry for 24 to 48 hours depending on humidity.

  5. 5

    Remove the tape after the car has dried. It should not be tacky. The paint should feel smooth to the touch. Be very careful when removing the tape. Do not rush, because this will cause you to remove some of the paint you just applied.

  6. 6

    Buff the car with a car-buffing pad. This will bring out a deeper shine in the paint. Do not apply too much pressure because this will damage the fresh paint.

  7. 7

    Wax the car when you are finished buffing. Remove the wax with a soft lint free cloth. Apply a second coat of wax and remove it. You might wish to add a third coat if you want, but it is not necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Allow yourself a few minutes to practice before you apply any primer or paint if you have never done this. Use a large piece of cardboard to practice on. Do not get into a hurry when painting or priming because this will cause runs in the paint or primer.

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