Step By Step Painting a Car

Categories: Tips & Tricks

Painting a car at home is not a simple task. If you do not have experience doing this, it may cause some difficulties. Worse, your car will look like "a clown". So, Let's learn how to paint a car step by step to help your car have a more beautiful appearance!

Come on, let's explore these car paint steps with Carcover!

Painting a car to have a new look

Why Should You Paint a Car at Home

Has your car been used for too long without any upgrades? Has your car been scratched due to strong impacts? Repainting your car will help it have a new, more beautiful and modern look. And it will be even better if you do it by yourself. So, let's follow the steps to paint your own car below!

Maybe you like our products Best Car Covers 2023

1. What Tools should you Prepare?

To paint your car perfectly, you need to prepare the necessary tools. These tools will help you save more time and be more efficient during the painting process.

Paint kits for painting a car

Paint kits are currently being sold quite a lot on websites and forums. This is a useful kit every time you want to repaint your car. With this kit, you can freely create and draw on your favorite car.

You need to prepare Paint kits before painting a car
  • Paint kits: Includes equipment for car painting and paint mixing. Maybe you need a spray gun, paint container, hose, and other accessories.
  • Sandpaper: Used to remove old paint. You should choose from 1500 grit to 2000 grit for better paint dust removal.
  • Tape is essential for unpainted parts such as glass, mirrors, and car lights. You can use paper or plastic panels to replace them when painting your car.
  • Detergent, cleaning cloth: You should use alcohol or paint thinner to clean the surface when needed.
  • Repair kits: Used to repair defects on vehicles.
  • Air dryer: Used to dry car paint.
  • Paint: You can choose a primer or base paint that matches your favorite color.
  • Masks, protective glasses, gloves: Protects you from harmful chemicals in paint ingredients.

Related Top 10 Used Cars More Expensive Than New One

Choose a safe and comfortable place

Before painting, you need to choose a location large enough and clean to avoid paint getting dirty around it. Choose a place that is very airy and has no surrounding objects blocking the way.


A suitable car paint place must ensure:

  • Keep away from places, objects, and equipment in danger of fire or explosion.
  • There must be good ventilation to limit the contact of car paint with your body. But these places should avoid strong winds because they will blow paint to harm the environment and people while you work.
  • Ensure there is enough light, ventilation, and fit, and no other people enter the place when you do the job.
  • You need to follow the rules of work safety and protection when painting your car.
Choosing a safe location to complete a new look

Repair scratches, dents, and damage on the car body

Before painting, you need to repair any damage on the car. A smooth car surface will help the paint look nicer and newer. You can smooth out the dents with a hammer if possible.

For dents and punctures, you can use powder to fill them. You can buy this powder easily at auto repair stores. Mix the powder and apply it to the areas that need repair. Once the powder dries, sand it to smooth it out.

Repair the damage to the car's body before painting

2. Repaint the Car Step by Step

Once everything is ready, you will start repainting your favorite car. Make sure the car is placed in a suitable location for painting: spacious and well-ventilated. Furthermore, the necessary tools were already laid out.

See also How to Protect Paint Film When Washing a Car

Step #1 - Sanding

You need to remove the old paint first by sanding. Use a sanding pad to grind away the old paint and smooth the car's surface. In this way, the new paint layer will stick to the car better, be smoother and glossier. You can stand in a circular orbital motion to make the job easier.

Try to sand down to as much detail as possible. Pay attention to hard-to-reach locations, completely remove the old paint layer on the car so that the new paint layer can adhere better, helping the paint layer last longer.

After ensuring the entire body had sanded thoroughly, you apply detergent and a rag to apply the primer at the next step.

Stand the surface to help the new paint adhere well

Step #2 - Primer

Primer is an important step and will help protect and prolong the new paint's life. Set up with a spray gun and choose a corrosion-resistant and self-etching primer for your vehicle. Hold the gun and spray paint thoroughly on all body surfaces side-by-side. Let the primer cure auto, or use a dryer to dry it faster after the spray finishes.

You need to make sure that the entire vehicle surface is primed. You can repeat the priming process 2 or 3 times to be sure. Once dry and hardened, use sandpaper to sand the surface again. Rub carefully, avoid rubbing off all the primer. Then you use a rag and detergent to clean and remove dirt on the surface.

Don't forget to cover all the parts that don't need to be painted. Use newspaper to carefully wrap parts such as mirrors, windows,...Don't worry glue will damage and deteriorate the glass because you can easily remove them..

Maybe you're interested in Top 10 Ways To Protect Your Car From Hail When Parking Outdoors

you must ensure all surfaces had applied with a primer

Step #3 - Base coat  and color and paint

When everything is ready, you apply your favorite color. This work is the same as the primer step. For the perfect new look of the car, you should follow the paint manufacturer's recommendations on mixing ratios and spray practices.

Hold your paint spray gun about 6 inches from the surface and move from side to side while working. Paint in neat and even layers, paint all over the surface, and wait for the paint to dry. Remember that the more careful you are, the more perfect the new look paint will be.

You need about 1 hour to wait for the paint to dry. The dry time may be shorter or longer for the manufacturer. When the paint dries hard, clean again with alcohol or paint thinner and wipe to remove dirt and paint dust. You should repeat the above process 2-3 times to help the car paint more beautifully and even.

You need about 1 hour to wait for the paint to dry

Step #4 - Buffing color

Buff the car by spraying a coat of polish to protect the paint you had sprayed. Same as the above steps, you put the polishing solution into the paint sprayer and do it evenly. In order from top to bottom, from side to side, and make sure this gloss coat evenly covers the surface.

Wait for the polish to dry and sand, then clean to remove dirt. After that, you can apply 1-2 more coats of gloss paint to ensure this paint evenly covers the surface. Every time the polish dries, sand and rinse them.

In this final step, wait for the buff coat and base paint to dry completely. Use sandpaper (1600 - 2000 grit) to remove paint residue and dirt one last time when completely dry. Then, use a damp cloth to wipe the surface of the car. At this step, your car is an almost complete and new look.

The manually polished car will be more beautiful. However, using an electric polishing machine will save you more time. Remove the glue and newspapers from the unpaint and wash the car last time to remove the little stains on the surface.

Buff the car by spraying a coat of polish

See also What's VIN? Understand VIN From A To Z

3. Notes when painting the car

Prepare the right tools.

When painting cars, you should choose the right tools and sandpaper before painting a painted car. They will help you work better. If you do not know how to prepare tools, you can refer directly to professional car paint shops. The technicians recommend 1500 - 2000 grit sandpaper for cleaner and finer sanding.

Choose the car paint colors.

Choosing car paint colors with the naked eye is very difficult. Please use the color code provided by the manufacturer to select the right paint. The color code had marked with a compliance position affixed to the hood or on the driver's side door frame. If you can't find the paint color on the car, you can contact the manufacturer for help.

You should use the color code provided by the manufacturer

Compliance with occupational safety

Painting a car is not easy, and 7 days or more to create a new look for the vehicle. Therefore, you should choose a safe place, ensuring occupational safety standards for yourself and those around you. Besides, you should also follow the recommendations on mixing, using, and preserving painted during the construction period.

Choose a safe place, ensuring occupational safety standards

4. FAQs

Why should I paint my car at home?

Painting cars at home require technique and care, which is quite time-consuming. Of course, it also has the following benefits.

  • The first is cost savings: Of course, when you take your car to a professional paint shop, it will cost many times more than buying paint tools at home.
  • Pleasure and experience: If you want to be an adventurer and love the experience. This job is for you!
  •  The quality control: This job will help increase the value, and if you intend to give this car to someone else, it also carries the spiritual emotions you have for them.

Related to Does the car cover damaged paint?

Painting cars at home require technique and care

May I paint my car piled up the old paint?

You should not do it. Old paint needs to be removed before painting to ensure that the new paint will adhere well to the surface. In addition, removing the old paint layer will make the new paint surface shiny and smoother.

Take your car to a professional paint shop

How much does a fee cost to repaint a car?

The cost to paint a car at a professional car paint shop has many different levels. Paint price depends on the package you choose. Please refer below:

  • Basic: Paint and partially cover the vehicle, except for hard-to-see parts. You can lose $300 - $1000 painting the area.
  • Standard: It will cost you $1000 - $5000 to sand, remove rust and take standard steps to paint the car.
  • Premium: This process includes removing old paint from the metal layer, cleaning, priming, and spray painting in detail. Repairs dents and ensures the most flawless and premium paint finish. You can lose $ 5000 or more depending on the condition.

Paint at home: If you want to do this job at home, the cost for these tools is only about 200 - $500.

The cost will depend on the purpose of your car paint

5. Conclusion

Painting a car at home helps you save a lot of money. However, you need to prepare carefully and be very thorough when performing the above steps. Hopefully through this article, you can paint it yourself, giving your favorite car a new, more personal and dynamic look.

Reated 15 Experiences To Limit Car Collisions In The Parking Lot

Video Beginner's Guide: How To Paint A Car At Home


Lucas Gream