The most fantastic way of car modification and to change the appearance of your car is to re-spray it. One way to avoid the problem of scratches scrapes or paint degradation is to apply bare metal spray.
Spray cans are only appropriate when you are repainting at small scale. Repaint at big level will require a professional finish and therefore acceptable arsenal of car repaint equipment which includes filtered booth to avoid emission carcinogens and other environment damaging gases into the atmosphere and a high quality spray gun with different sizes of nozzle depending on the paint and finish required.
Before starting the car repaint jobs please make sure that the area is completely dust free. Performing car repaint is encouraged in a warm environment as it really makes your job easier and really enhances the finish of your paint. If you happen to be in a cold territory then make sure you have an access to a low bake oven.
Make sure you apply the right paint for the right job as varieties of different paints are available in the market all made for different purposes. For instance if you want to apply a flip paint or even want to give a special effect to your car by repainting it then both will require different types of paints. There are variety of effects to choose from which includes metallic, pearlescent, translucent and many more. Obviously the technique to apply these will differ accordingly. However I will presume a regular base paint in this article in order to just make myself clear.
Before you start to repaint your car make sure that you have complied with all the safety measures. The most important safety step before repainting your car is to cover your mouth with good filtration. The paint fumes are believed to be medically injurious to inhale so a normal decorator mask is not going to provide appropriate safety. Furthermore ensure that the area in which you are performing the repaint is well ventilated and there's a good passage of fresh air.
As explained above spray paint cans are good only for small scale repaint. For large scale repaint you need to acquire a spray gun and good quality paint. Moreover spray paint cans are more expensive on aggregate basis so if you are looking for a cool and stunning car modification through repaint you have to stop relying on spray paint cans. As large scale repaint means that you will be doing 5-6 thin mist coats so it would require at least 18-20 spray paint cans. So you can estimate the overall cost when you are trying to be a miser and avoid spending on spray paint gun and good quality paint.
Now coming to the procedure. For your convenience I have tried to divide the whole procedure into sequential steps so you would feel easier to remember and act as explained in this article.
Step 1: Wash thoroughly, the area where the paint has to be applied. Make sure that the sanding and filling has been done before you reach this stage. Even the slightest uneven body surface will stand out so keep on watching the car's body from different angles and ensure that not even a slightest bump remains there. An effective technique to figure out any bump on the car is to wet the surface and use a lamp to inspect for any flaw. All the bumps can be seen if any.
Just in case you did not replace the old paint using paint remover and protected the metal with rust inhibitor, make sure that all the dust, grit and road film are removed via a good quality car cleaning fluid free of wax additives.
Step 2: Do some clinical cleansing. Use a paper towel or a screen wipe which is more preferred and any solvent cleaner such as IPA or similar spirit used for cleansing purposes wipe over the surface to a smear free finish.
Step 3: Masking. Be conscious of all the exposed areas which are going to get painted. If you are not able to apply masking even a few mm then you will have to endure some really annoying over-spray lines. The masking proves itself even more significant when you are to change the color of the car. Check for all the seams by opening the car's doors, bonnets e.t.c. and of course don't forget to remove the glass. The more plastic you will remove from the car the easier you are making your job.
Step 4: Spraying. Make sure that the spray paint gun you are using ejects a good flow of paint and for this purpose first, test the pressure and flow by applying the paint on the small piece of a card and ensure that blobs and splatters are minimized. A really valuable tip seems to be appropriate here. When spraying paint do not aim to completely cover the metal but just smear the spray gun over the area with an even speed. Do not try to complete the job in just few thick coats. Remember that numbers of thin coats are better than few thick coats. Keep on moving the spray gun over the area with a regular pace. If you moved from right to left at first coat then move up to down in the second one as this will provide more detail. If only a portion of a car is to be painted i.e. a panel, then try to blend the paint with the surrounding panels as the paint is going to fade-off eventually. It is preferred to give a break of one hour between the coats. In majority cases the final touch has to be given through a lacquer coat. The final lacquer coat can be applied in series of thin coats.
Step 5: After applying the lacquer, let it to go off for 2-3 days before waxing. Bring an end to the repaint job by applying fine grit of wet and dry paper then polish off with a cutting paste and then apply a good quality wax. Wax is necessary as it assists and protects the car when refitting the parts and accessories you previously plucked from it.
However, ignore step 5 if you want a Matt (non-reflective finish).
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