How to Prepare Your Car for Painting

How to Prepare Your Car for Painting

Painting your car is not always an easy task. You must first learn how to prepare your car for painting. You can always look at a DIY Guide to Painting Metal before you get started.

The secret to a great paint job is all in the preparation. Keep in mind it is also a very time-consuming task, and it isn’t cheap to paint your car, so you want to get it right the first time.

Remove the Rust

Cars in the colder climate states tend to have a lot more rust than the warmer states. When the cars’ metal is exposed to water (snow), salt, and sand from the roads, the rusting process is sped up, and it is impossible to stop. You might want to check a DIY Guide to Painting Metal to see if there is anything that tells you how to add extra protection against rust.

There are a few ways to remove the rust, including the following:

  • If you have an extensive rust area, you may be better off completely remove and replace that sheet metal panel. You can find instructions on how to do this in a professional guide on how to prepare your car for painting.
  • You can use rust removers from an auto store. If the rust is minimal, get a liquid rust inhibitor. This process can take up to 12 hours to work because the rust will turn into iron phosphate, which will turn the area completely black.
  • Sand the rust off if it is a small area.

Once that is completed, if you replaced any panels or parts of panels, you need to make sure they are perfectly straight and fill in any gaps with liquid filler from the auto store. Then they must be sanded to remove any imperfections.

Prime the Car

Just like the walls inside your house, before you paint them, they need to be primed.

Now that we’ve completed the rust removal, metalwork, and gotten the body straight with filler and many hours of sanding, we’re ready for paint. Once you prime the car, it must dry and be blocked (sanded) again. This will provide a nice smooth surface to be painted.

Priming the car before it is painted serves two purposes, one, you will have a consistent and smooth surface for the paint to bond to. So, you can avoid variations in color when you paint your car.

Selecting Your Paint

You have to choices – single stage paint and base/clear paint. With the single paint, you paint once, and you are done. Remember to tape your car before you start painting.

Base/clear paint is a two-step process. First, you paint your car after it dries. Check a how to prepare your car for painting or a DIY Guide to Painting Metal to see how long before you can do the second coat, which is the clear coat that acts as a protective agent that makes your car look shinier and is better at hiding scratches, pings, and dings.

Painting your own car may seem time-consuming, but it is a lot less expensive than taking it to a body shop, and if you do it properly, it will look just as good.