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5 Tips for Painting Your Car

DIY for Painting Your Car

I have always told people that if you want something done professionally, go to a professional, but I also know that some individuals are going to try certain things themselves. They may do this in order to learn something new, or maybe to save some money. Some will succeed and others will fail, especially when it comes to painting a vehicle. Here at Excel Collision Centers At Robert Horne Ford, we often get cars in the shop where customers have tried to paint their vehicles themselves and ran into problems. It happens often here in Apache Junction, AZ and all over the country, so we are offering five tips that will help you to avoid these common issues!

1. Always wear protective gear while painting. Paint and clear coats and other things that you'll be using while painting your car contain toxic materials that could enter your system and cause serious health problems for you and your family. So, before you start, go out and purchase a paint suit, goggles, a respirator and some industrial-grade gloves.

2. Make certain your paint booth is well-lit, dirt-free and set it at the correct temperature. Many rookie do-it-yourselfers make a tragic mistake by not keeping their spray booth or painting area clean of dust and dirt at all times. Another mistake they make is by working in a poorly lit booth so they can't see what they're doing. The paint job might look fine in the booth, but when you look at the finished vehicle outside of the booth all of your imperfections will be visible. The third thing they do is improperly heating the booth—either too hot or more likely—not hot enough. This can affect how much paint and thinner you use, but also the how long it requires for the paint to dry between coats.

Be sure to prep your panels before painting

3. Prep all your car panels or your vehicle before you commence painting. Even artists know that they need to start with a clean canvas and painting a vehicle is surely no exception. Always carefully clean the entire exterior of your vehicle with soap and water, in addition to wax and grease remover, in order to get rid of any debris, dust or dirt that could block your spray gun or ruin your new paint. You will also need to prime and block sand your vehicle or car panels with the use of a 600-grit paper prior to painting them. Great paint jobs always start with careful and detail-oriented prepping, so never skimp on this part of the process.

4. Continually stir the paint while you're spraying. Never forget to stir up the paint during the process. As you keep spraying, much of the paint will sink to the bottom of the gun’s tank. So, to make sure that your paint’s thickness is maintained, stir it up often and thoroughly.

Keep your paint area clean and well lit

5. Maintain a proper distance between your vehicle and your spray gun. Make sure that your spray gun is a minimum of 18 inches from your vehicle while painting. If you discover that your spray gun is starting to spit, stop without hesitation. Immediately clean your gun’s nozzle with acetone before you spray even one more ounce of product. In addition, never allow your gun to connect your freshly painted vehicle or panel. Many DIYers make this error, which means they have to re-do the work, which can be highly tedious.

Navigate through the painting process and good luck. If you can't get the finished paint job the way you want it, let's discuss getting it done professionally. Here at Excel Collision Centers At Robert Horne Ford, we've painted literally thousands of cars over the years, so we know the process inside and out!

Sources: USA Today, Autobody News and MSN

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