When it comes to painting your car, you don't have to be a professional to achieve a showroom finish. Thanks to the quality of paints and lacquers on the market, you can save yourself a fortune when touching up slight damage or re-spraying repaired bodywork. However, the key to effective spray painting is preparation and patience - compromise on either and the results will be glaringly obvious...
Abrasive papers, rust treatment (if required), cellulose thinners, masking tape, primer, paint and lacquer. Plus masks, gloves and overalls (if required). You may also need Isopon P38, P40 and Bumper filler if the item being sprayed needs blending or a dent repaired etc..
Depends on the item you are spraying, as you may need several cans. a can of primer, paint or lacquer normal cost around ?4.99 each from most car accessory shops such as Halfords. Body fillers are normally around the same price too. Always use a budget of at least ?30 for all your paint, fillers and sanding paper etc.
1) Warm and dry conditions are ideal for spray painting, as aerosols don't always work best in the damp and colder temperatures hinder drying time. If it's not warm and dry outside, work in a well-ventilated garage. Wear overalls or old clothes - goggles and a mask will keep stray droplets of paint away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
2) To prepare for spraying, use aluminium oxide abrasive paper (graded at 80grit) and rub the surface to be painted down to bare metal. Apply a rust treatment product if required, following the manufacturer's instructions and allowing it to dry fully. Use a finner grad paper for sanding plastics or fibreglass.
3) If the part in question needs any sort of repair or blending, now's the time to do it. If its a hole your repairing use some P40 fibreglass filler on the inside of the hole and once set, skimm over it with a small amount of P38. Always use the smallest amount of filler possible on body repairs, as they have a tendance to crack if you use to much of it, if you think for example a holes to big to use filler, get it welded instead. If you are blending an item that is flexable never use P38 as once it has set hard on the item, any movement from the item will make it crack, use Ispon bumper filler instead as it has flexable properties and shouldnt crack with slight movment.
4) Once all the filling work has been done and its dried, sand it all back so that its flush to the panel\item your working on and clean the area thoroughly and wait for it to dry.
5) The area to be painted should now be clean and dry - any traces of dirt or wax can be removed using cellulose thinners. Mask off any areas not being painted using masking tape and paper (to avoid hard edges, increase the area to be painted by moving the masking tape back gradually as you apply each coat of paint).
6) Before priming you need to choose the right primer for the car depending on the final paint colour. WHITE for lighter coloured cars, RED for orange\red tonned paint or GREY for darker paint colours, if its plastic or fibreglass your painting then get plastic primer instead of normal body primer.
7) Holding the spray can approximately 25cm away from the surface to be painted, apply a number of coats of primer at 15-minute intervals until the area is evenly covered. Go an inch over the original layer of paint to help it blend in (to create an even softer edge, peel the masking tape back from the surface slightly). When spraying, use a smooth movement from side to side. It is best to apply several light layers of paint, as applying too much paint in one go can create sags and runs.
8) Allow at least 24 hours for the primer to dry thoroughly, then rub down with 1200grit wet and dry paper until smooth. Clean the area with warm, soapy water, rinse, then dry fully.
9) To start painting, shake the can vigorously for two minutes to ensure the paint is thoroughly mixed. Apply a number of coats at 15-minute intervals, shaking the can between each one.
10) If you're using a metallic colour, allow the paintwork 24 hours to dry then rub it down with 1200 grit wet and dry paper. It should lose its gloss appearance and take on a dull, matt finish. Clean with warm, soapy water, rinse and dry.
11) Now apply two coats of lacquer, separated by a gap of 15-minutes. If the finish looks patchy, apply another coat or wait until the surface is completely dry before rubbing it down and starting the lacquering process again.
12) Allow new paintwork at least two weeks to harden, then use a rubbing compound to blend it in with the old paintwork if needed.
Anything ive forgotten, i'll edit the post and update it. This is only a guide created by myself which has always worked, use it at your own risk as different materials sometimes have different effects..............................happy spraying !