How to Paint a Car at Home Yourself!

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How to Paint a Car at Home Yourself!

Car painting is not an easy task and it’s usually done in an auto shop. however, if you’re enthusiastic to do it yourself and you know some basic painting techniques, then it’s a possible DIY job. So, how to paint a car at home? In this blog, I’ll show you what you need to prepare and how to do it.

How to paint a car at home

Things you need to prepare!

1. Time

The supplies needed to paint a car at home are basic, but you’ll need about twenty to thirty hours of painting time for a car that’s very small, or larger models.

2. Paint brushes

You’ll need several paintbrushes that can reach the crevices of the car and get into them because it will help you in painting it. The brushes should be synthetic and of good quality. Brushes that are too soft don’t work well.

3. Plastic tray

A plastic tray is used to contain paint and keep it at the right temperature. You may also use a warm air paint gun, but a plastic tray will be more convenient than an air gun.

4. Painting templates

Painting templates are used to get your car painted evenly in one go, so you don’t need to take turns painting it. You should buy a set with several sizes to get the best results.

5. Plastic panel

You’ll need a plastic panel to cover your car when it’s not in use. The panel should fit perfectly, and it can be either temporary or permanent, but for the size of the car that you’re painting, I think temporary is better.

6. Sandpaper

Sandpaper is used to sand the car before painting. You can buy various types of sandpaper, but it doesn’t matter and you only need one to do the task.

7. Goggles and mask

To protect your eyes and face, you should use protective goggles and a mask when painting. It will keep you free of dust particles that can cause health issues.

8. Cloth

To wipe the car, a towel will do the job perfectly. You should get a soft one that can reach the crevices and rid of dirt in them.

9. Primer

The primer should be used first when you’re painting your car. Its main role is to create adhesion between the paint and the car surface so it will last longer. It’s not easy to find a primer that matches your car’s color, so you’ll need to test various types until you find one or make one.

10. Paints

There are different paints available and the paints may vary, so you’ll need to test them first to see if that’s what you need. To achieve a good result, the paints should be used properly and in the right amounts. If not you’ll end up with a patchy or blotchy finish or your car will be faded after a long time. So, choose your paints carefully, because it’s important for a good job.

11. Find a suitable workstation

Before you start painting your car, you should find a suitable workstation. It’s better to do the job in a well-lit area to ensure that you don’t miss any spots. The workstation can be inside or outside your home, but it needs enough space for you to move freely. Furthermore, if the workstation has enough space, then you can keep your painting equipment and supplies there so you can use them easily and will not waste time looking for them whenever you need one of them.

Also, you should make sure that the workstation is free of dust as well. It will be easier for you to paint the car if you do not get any dust on it.
The workspace should be well ventilated to keep it clean and fresh. You should also wipe it clean with a wet cloth before use to keep it clean.

In case you have to work outside, make sure that the weather is nice and dry so the paint can dry fast.

How to Paint a Car at Home

Now that you have everything ready, you can start painting your car.

Stage 1: Rust treatment

Before touching the paint, you should fix all the rusted areas on the surface of your car. Sanding these spots can be a lot of work, so you should fix them first before painting.

Stage 2: Wash the car

When you wash the car, do it carefully to get rid of any dust, dirt, and possible paint from other sources. After washing, rinse it with water and dry it properly before starting painting. If you remove dirt, wax, and other sources of paint from the car’s surface before painting it, then you’ll get the best results.

Stage 3: Sanding

Sand the car by hand or use a sanding machine to remove rust and prepare the surface of your car for paint. You can use 120-grit sandpaper or higher if needed. Never use a coarse sandpaper because it will ruin the paint on your car’s surface by scratching it and making it weak.

Sanding in circular motion is the best way to give you an even surface. You can use an orbital sander for a consistent result.

Stage 4: Priming

To get a better finish, you should primer the car. You can use a good quality primer or a homemade one. But, using a good quality primer is better because it will ensure that your car’s surface will last longer and it will give a better finish.

You may need to mix the primer with the thinners in a predetermined ratio. Check the can for the correct mixture.

You should start spraying from the roof first. For a better result, 2-3 coats are recommended and you need to let the primer cure and dry completely in between coats.

Spraying technique:

  • For an even coat, use the spray in long sweeping motions and keep the gun moving all the time.
  • The spray should be thin, so you need to thin it out by mixing it with water.
  • Use a paint can with a good nozzle that will spread the paint properly.

Stage 5: Painting your car

The painting process should be done correctly and carefully because it’s difficult to remove any mistakes. Always work from the top-down, starting with the roof or trunk of the car.
The paint should be applied in long strokes. It will take you a while to get it right, but practice makes perfect and you’ll do great after some time.

When painting bumpers and body panels, you should avoid over-spraying them so as not to create drips that might cause horizontal streaks on your car’s surface.

You shouldn’t spray your side mirrors because this will make them look foggy. It’s not easy to achieve a perfect finish, but with practice and patience, you’ll get there. Just be sure to spray enough primer and paint on the car’s surface to get an even and smooth result.

Stage 6: Lacquering

Lacquer is a clear and shiny finish that gives the car that gorgeous shine you always wanted.
The lacquer has 3 major components which are lacquer thinner, colorant, and catalyzer. If you want to remove the lacquered layer on your car’s surface, you’ll need to dissolve them all with acetone or other solvents.

To avoid scratching the surface of your paint with a metal pad, use a high-quality soft cloth or paper towel.

Stage 7: Drying

You should wait for 24 hours after you apply your lacquer to dry it properly. This is a hard thing to get right because you might have to wait for some time.

You should also use polyurethane sealant to seal the paint from humidity and body oils and protect it from UV rays so that your car will stay shiny for a long time.

Important Tips

Here are some tips you should know to paint your car:

  • Wear protective glasses and mask at all times when painting. It’s important if you want to keep dust particles out of your eyes, nose, and mouth and avoid breathing them in. The protective glasses will help you avoid breathing any chemicals that could be harmful.
  • Choose a nice, dry day to paint your car because wet conditions can ruin the paint on the surface of your car.
  • Use good quality paints for your car. If you use low-quality paints, your car will fade and scratch easily after some time.
  • If you do not want to make a mistake when doing the job, then practice painting techniques first on an old car or anything else at home and with colors that you don’t mind damaging. That way, you’ll get used to the process and be familiar with it before using it on your favorite car or anything that’s special to you.
  • If you want to get better results for your car, make sure that the paint is wet enough. It should cover the surface of your car and can’t be seen too much.

How much does it cost to paint a car yourself?

The cost of painting your car at home depends on the type of paint, primer, and lacquer you use. If you make your own paints from scratch then it will save you quite a lot of money. The commercial paints that cost $60-$70 per gallon can cost up to $100 if you buy them in bulk.

The price will also depend on the method you use to apply it and the automotive supplies that include brushes, rollers, sandpaper, and other required items. The price of an average car paint job ranges from $150 to $350, but you can also get it from $100 to more than $400 depending on the size and length of the painting.

Professional auto painters will charge you an average price of around from $450 to more than $700 for the same thing. But, there are cheap and affordable ways for doing the job.


It’s very important to know how to paint your car in order to clean it and make it look new again. It could save you a lot of money if you know how to do it properly. There are several steps involved to paint a car, so make sure you follow them all.