DIY: How To Paint A Car Like A PRO

Follow these six steps to create an awesome paint job for your vehicle – these steps will ensure that you do a fantastic finish. Let’s get started!

Step One: Prep

Photo credit: Seidner’s Collision Centers


As with any paintjob, proper preparation and a clean surface is crucial to obtaining great results. Before any bodywork is done, make sure that the vehicle is completely clean. First, wash the car with warm soapy water. After the car is completely dried, clean with Sherwil Clean surface cleaner by wiping on with a cloth then immediately drying-off with a clean cloth.




Step Two: Body Repair

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A quality paint job begins with great body preparation and attention to detail. Before applying our Sherwin-Williams Body Filler, sand the area using a sandpaper with a range between 40-grit to 80-grit to guarantee proper adhesion; followed by shaping body filler to the contours of your car.

Finish, sand and feather-edge surrounding areas with 180-grit sandpaper, then sand areas with 320-grit sandpaper to avoid seeing scratches in your work – this technique also straightens the bodywork of your automobile. Apply Acylic Primer (1K) or Ultra Fill II colour primer (2K) surfacer as defined in Step 3.




Step 3: Prime

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diy-auto-paint-1013-de All good paint jobs are the result of patience and quality time. To avoid re-sanding your automobile; apply primer surfacer within 24 hours of bodywork. If any bare steel is exposed from the bodywork process, make sure you spray a medium coat of etch primer over base metal areas. This provides a top adhesion to the bare metal and durable corrosion resistance. Allow your etch primer to dry for at least 30 minutes before recoating.

With a HPLV / gravity spray gun, set the gun pressure to 20 – 25 psi or five – seven psi at the cap with a fluid tip of 1.4mm. Apply two to three medium wet coats allowing three to seven minutes flash time between coats. When applying the primer surfacer, avoid applying one heavy coat as it is better apply several medium coats. The priming process gives that smooth, durable foundation we all love.



Step 4: Colour

Photo credit: Thaddäus Zoltkowski

spray-auto-paint-colors-samples Sherwin-Williams has the colour you need for your next vehicle painting project. Our Dimension® Automotive Finishes come in convenient pint, quart and gallon cans with a mix ratio of 1:1; meaning one part colour to one part Sherwin-Williams Dimension ® DR734 Reducer. This enhances colour and metallic consistency.
Before spraying, use a rag to remove loose particles of dust, dirt and lint that would ruin your paintjob. Apply base coat in a horizontal direction, overlapping each pass with by 70%. Repeat three to four coats until desired colour is achieved. Allow 20 minutes before clear coating.



Step 5: Clear coat

Photo Credit: Mustang Monthly Magazine

mufp_060500_24_z_paint+1968_ford_mustang_auto_air_colors_paint_job+spraying_clearcoat Before applying your clear coat make sure the basecoat is ‘finger-slick’ (dry for at least 30 minutes). Use a tac rag to remove any foreign objects and over spray.

For the clear coat use our Dimension ® Pro Multi/Overall Clearcoat DC5020 to enhance your vehicle’s resistance to chips and scratches. Mix clear coat with Dimension ® DM656 hardener and Dimension ® DR734 Reducer to specific ratio. With a gun pressure of 50 – 55 psi and fluid tip of 1.3mm; apply two coats of clear allowing five to ten minutes to flash between coats.




Step 6: Buffing

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008 There might be imperfections arising from your clear coat application. (dust nips, runs and orange peel).
Depending on the imperfection the following steps might be used:

Sand using sand paper between 1000-grit to 2000-grit.

Apply rubbing compound using a buffing pad.

Apply swirl mark remover using a pad.

Now that the work is finished, your friends and colleagues will envy your new paint job!

If you have a question about paint. ASK HOW. ASK NOW. ASK SHERWIN-WILLIAMS. A technical representative will assist you.