How to Prime & Paint a Car

Things You'll Need

  • Car paint
  • Primer
  • Spray gun
  • Bondo or body filler
  • Spatula
  • Newspaper or sheet paper
  • Tape

Painting your car gives it a new look and can also mask large areas of body damage. However, it is a big chore that requires a lot of room and time. If you want to do it right you have to both prime and paint it with the correct paint. You start by matching the color with the one you want, and then choosing a coat, gloss, hi-gloss or mat. After that, you need to match your primer to the paint itself.

Sand down you car body removing all rust, and exterior paint. Then fill and sand the cracks or repair any damage. Sand the bondo or filler.

Select the appropriate primer for your metal and paint. Ask you salesperson for help on this one.

Tape off all the chrome using painters tape or regular masking tape.

Tape off mirrors, and wind shield gaskets, then cover each with sheets of paper, that is completely taped and sealed together.

Cover the wheels with paper completely. Be sure every inch of the car you don't want painted is covered, even the ender carriage, because paint will float, spatter and attach itself to the tiniest holes.

Load your primer in your spray gun and test it on a sheet of paper or plywood.

Paint the car using fast strokes and long bursts of primer. Resist the urge to make short quick bursts of spray, because this gives you bulky coverage that is prone to dripping.

Let each coat of primer dry. You can decide if you want to sand the primer. I wouldn't because it is a huge job and not always necessary.

Load your top coat of paint after cleaning the gun. Apply the paint in very broad even strokes about medium speed, or just enough to cover the car in a decent but not too thick, coat. Pass over the car several times on the first coat.

Let dry, and then check your paint info to see if you should apply a second coat.

About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.