As a professional, spray painting a car with an Aerosol Can doesn’t always give you the best results. However, for many part-time sprayers that are just repairing their own cars on a Saturday morning, the Aerosol Can is a very convenient alternative, and by following our guidelines then you can achieve a very good finish and colour match.
Follow our guidelines below and let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Preparation Is Key
To achieve a perfect paint finish, there are two things that are absolutely necessary: patience and preparation.
The first task, if possible, is to remove the part of the car that you want to paint. It is a lot easier to spray down onto a part instead of trying to do it with the part still attached to the vehicle (you also won't have as much masking off that you will need to do). Another benefit is that it is less likely that the paint will run with the part laying down flat on a work surface.
Take any silicon based product out of the painting area. There are some car care products like 'Son Of A Gun' or some waxes and polishes containing silicone that may affect your paint job just by being in the same room!
Carefully visually inspect the surface that you are painting, along with running your finger across the surface to ensure there are no imperfections that exist. For any imperfections, use water along with fine wet and dry sandpaper to remove them. Before applying any primer, it is important to have a surface that is perfectly smooth. Make sure you aren't fooled into believing that small marks or scratches will be covered up by the paint, it won't be!
For larger areas, use paper and masking tape to mask off everywhere where you don't want the paint to cover. Cover up a larger area than you think is necessary since paint can travel quite far. Finally, use a cleaning agent, like petrol or a thinner, to wipe down the surface that you want to paint to remove any oily residues that may be present. The paint finish can even be poor by the oil on your fingers.
Priming The Painting Surface
There are many different primers that you can choose from. Some of the more common ones are plastic, red oxide, grey and white primer. Plastic primer is a good choice as it's specifically designed to be used to spray paint on plastic products that have some degree of flexibility, which flexes with the plastic suerface and prevents the paint from cracking.
To apply primer, it is necessary to shake the can very well for a few minutes. The can should ideally be at room temperature (before painting leave the can inside the house overnight). Hold the paint can around 10-12 inches away from the surface and spray just a light dusting of primer across the surface in a back and forth smooth motion. Don't simply cover the surface. Allow your part to dry for around 5 to 10 minutes then repeat the process. Move the part around and then change your direction, as before.
You should apply at least 5 to 6 fine layers of primer. If you are able to see any imperfections, take the finest grade of wet and dry sandpaper and sand them out. Then re-apply a couple of layers of primer.
Now Its Time To Paint
Here is the most satisfying part of all. You use the same application method that you did with priming. Instead of applying one heavy, thick layer you want to build layers up. The most important thing to note here is the difference between flat and metallic paints. You MUST use metallic paints along with a clear lacquer in order to obtain the right glossy finish. A flat or standard paint colour doesn't need to have lacquer as its made of a minimum of 8 layers of paint.
Apply The Lacquer For A Glossy Finish
Only metallic paints need to have a clear lacquer. It gets applied in the exact same way that paint and primer are used - with many fine layers. The lacquer provides gloss as well as protects the paint that is underneath.
With all the above work, patience is the real key to achieving a perfect finish.
If you are willing to follow our simple guidelines and put in the time, it is possible to achieve the perfect finish at just a fraction of the price that a professional car paint sprayer would charge.
Also remember, if you do make any mistakes, you can just sand it down and start all over again!
If you need any help with spray paint, contact carrepairuk.co.uk