I've been doing a lot of painting on my car lately (rims/a-pillars/front lip/rear lip/side skirts) so I decided to make one of these to help answer any questions people may have.
What you'll need:
- Paint (primer/color/clearcoat)
- Tape (only if you need to section off an area)
- Cue cards (for rims, you can put them between the tire and rim)
- Towel or cloth
The paint I'm using:
Pitfalls and general **** ups:
- Patience (if you're going to attempt to do this, be patient and understand that you may screw up sometimes).
- Don't touch what you just painted, don't touch it until you're ready to re-install it.
- Let the last coat of paint dry before re-applying.
- Don't be cheap, throw down the coats.
- If something falls on the paint (piece of grass, w.e) don't panic. You can try getting it off with tweezers or simply leaving it. Either way it will probably show and need to be repainted.
Example of what frustration mixed with anger and impatience, lack of skill and one tiny stupid piece of grass can do:
1- Designate the area that you'll be using to paint. For me, I use my garage. Just this weekend I cleaned it and repainted both the walls and floors so it's clean and fairly dust free. However, when it's messy, sweep the floor. Lay down the newspaper in the area you're going to paint so to not paint the floor at the same time. Now once the dust from the sweeping (if you did) has settled, close your garage door. The trick is to minimize the chance of anything touching the wet paint.
2- Remove the piece you want to paint from the car, in my case side skirts. Clean them till they shine, don't want to paint over dirt. Don't be lazy, clean! Once this is done, sand them down if need be. In the case of the side skirts, I just went over them once. Wipe off the dust from the sanding. Now lay the piece down on your newspaper. This is what you should be looking at:
3- Get your primer ready! When I painted my rims, I didn't use any, however when I want to color match something, in this case the car, I find it better to use the primer. Shake the can well and hold it about 7 to 12 inches from the surface you're painting. Make sure to always hold the can upright so to get a constant flow of paint. Here's a picture to help you out:
Holding the can at this distance will help avoid over spray. When you start painting start spraying and then walk from one end to another. I had to do this 3 times with my side skirts to cover the entire width. Note that you will not completely cover the original color in one spray. So don't try and cover everything when you start. For the side skirts, I did 5 layers on each. I used nearly the hole can of primer. After the first layer of primer, it should look a little something like this:
After 4/5 layers, it will look like this:
Primer dries extremely quickly so basically once I was done painting on side skirt, I could do the other and vice versa. This is not the case for color or clearcoat, you'll have to give anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes between does coats. Again, I must stress how important it is to NOT TOUCH what you just painted. You'll leave finger marks or worse peal the paint. In the case you over spray or touch the paint, do not panic. Do not spray more paint to cover it up, do not wipe it, leave it! Wait till it dries 100% this may take a few hours. Take sand paper and gently go over the area you messed up until it becomes even and nice again and then re-attempt.
4- Color! Now your project is taking shape. You'll paint the same way you did with the primer. The only difference will be to wait between coats, thrust me. It's annoying and you just really want to finish and see the final product, but if you want to do it right and have something that looks nice...wait! I've made this mistake soooooo many times. Again, hold the can at about 7 to 12 inches from the surface and go across it in one flowing motion. The big difference will be how many times you do this. Some colors will take more coats. For the silver, I used about 6 coats. On my rims I did almost 8. Here's what the skirts looked like after 1 coat:
And after all of them:
5- Clearcoat...the final step. After this you'll just have to let it dry and then re-install. Again all the same rules and pitfalls apply. I like to do about 4 to 5 coats. I didn't put any on my rims, but for paint on the car you have no choice. You'll have to try and get this even to make it look nice. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes between coats. After clearcoat , this is what I've got:
And on the car:
And you're done. After the last coat of clear coat is applied I would recommend waiting about 2-6 hours before playing with whatever you painted. I know that's a little bit of overkill, but it guarantees a clean job. I don't wash anything I've painted before 24 hours, which again may be overkill, but I prefer it that way and not having to redo it. That's about everything you need to know. Understand that the first few times you do this it may not turn out amazing. I've been through many cans of paint, it takes practice. I know my front lip is messed up because I was trying to do a two tone. If you have any questions, post up or pm me.