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How to Paint Your Car

Transform Your Vehicle in 8 Easy Steps

Looking to re-paint your car but on a budget? Here is everything you need to know, from finding the perfect place to carry out the job to applying car paint.

Find the right location

Before you do anything, you need to find the right area in to paint your car. If you are going to be working outside, hose down the area with water to settle any dust, and don’t paint underneath a tree to avoid anything dropping onto your car and ruining the finish. If you are working indoors, then sweep the floor and make sure the space is free of any obstacles.


Just like if you were painting a piece of furniture, sanding before you apply any paint to your car is essential. Working in circles, remove the clear coat, top coat, and base coat. You’ll be able to do the majority of this using a sander, but any corners and crevices will need to be done by hand. To achieve the best finish, take the sanding down to the bare metal.


Unless you want to get paint everywhere, you will have to mask off any areas that you don’t want to cover. Take your time doing this, as rushing this step could lead to you getting paint on your windows and wing mirrors – hardly the pristine finish that you had in mind!


Once the sanding and masking have been carried out, it’s time for you to start applying primer. This will lay the perfect foundation for your paint and will help it to look fantastic for as long as possible. Make sure that you have the right primer for your application, as the wrong choice at this stage will have a negative impact on all subsequent steps.

Thinning the paint

When the time comes for you to begin painting, pay attention to thinners. Mix your paint with thinners using the ratios stated in the paint instructions for the best possible results.


You’ve arrived at the most exciting part of the process: applying the paint! It’s best to have a practice run beforehand, so you can get a feel for the consistency of the paint and the application technique. You should apply three to four coats of paint, paying attention to the drying times on the instructions. Before you apply the final coat, remove any powdery residue by sanding and then wiping it with a damp cloth.


Last but not least is the clear coat lacquer. This will not only give your car a beautiful shine but will protect the paint underneath. Before the clear coat dries, remove the masking tape that you applied earlier. Be careful while you do this – you don’t want to get any tape stuck to the wet paint. Then let the clear coat dry as instructed.

We’re here to help

With a wide range of sanding materials, primers, car paint and clear coats, we are the one-stop shop for anyone wanting to paint their car themselves.