How to Sand & Paint a Car

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You don't need a lot of money to get your car sanded and painted. If you have a steady hand and enough time, you can give your vehicle a brisk paint job with a personal touch.

Things You'll Need

  • Angle grinder or "bondo" product
  • Hardware cloth
  • Primer
  • Emery cloth
  • Paint
  • Paint thinner
  • Duct tape
  • Air-operated paint gun
  • Decide if you want to change colors. If so, then you have to consider painting the doors, inside the trunk, under the hood, etc. Your prep work will be much greater as well.

  • Small rusted areas can be cleaned with a grinder or “bondo” product available at any auto parts stores. Larger areas may require hardware cloth or new pieces of metal. After repairs have been made, spray them with primer.

  • Begin sanding, using the emery cloth (wet or dry). It is not necessary to remove all of the old paint, nor to sand the vehicle down to the bare metal.

  • Wipe down the entire vehicle with paint thinner. Dust must be removed from the vehicle.

  • Tape off any areas of the car that you do not want to get paint on. Remember that the paint will come out of the gun as a mist and may get into areas where you might not expect it.

  • Thin your paint approximately 50 percent with paint thinner.

  • Begin spraying the car with the paint gun. Remember, any “runs” will have to be resanded and repainted after the vehicle dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • The vehicle needs to remain in a warm, dust-free atmosphere during the procedure.
  • Before painting your vehicle, spray a spot of paint on a less-obvious part of the car to make sure you have your mixture and air pressure set correctly.
  • Make sure not to sand too much. All you need to do is scuff up the old paint to give the new paint something to stick to.
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