How Much Paint Does It Take to Paint a Car?

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Depending on experience, it takes between two quarts and a gallon of paint to paint a mid-size car. Avoid trying to paint a car with spray paint, which would require 20 or 30 cans, and consider information from a certified mechanic in this free video on auto repair.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Repair & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon. My name is Tom Brintzenhofe, certified master mechanic from Redding, Pennsylvania, and today I'm going to talk briefly about how much paint does it take to paint a car. First thing I want to say is, unless you absolutely don't have much of a choice, I wouldn't recommend using a spray paint. It'll probably take you about twenty, thirty cans to do it with this and the overall appearance when you're done is not going to be what you're looking for. But to do it professionally with a paint can, it would take you probably, a professional, about three quarts of paint to paint a mid-sized car. If you're inexperienced, two to three coats of paint on the vehicle will take you about a gallon, a gallon and a quart. Depending on how you mix it and the technique you're using, if you're inexperienced, it's going to take you an extra amount of paint. Like I said, an experienced person can do it for relatively a small amount of paint -- two, three quarts on a mid-sized car. And just remember, too, when you're painting the car that it has to be cut down. It's usually two to one or one to ten. You'd have to refer to the manufacturer's about how far it needs to be reduced, but that's about it. It's really not that difficult to figure out. Every can's got a mark on the back. Refer to that and the one gallon mark is about where you need to be. And that's about how much paint you're going to need to paint a car.

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