How to Do a Two Tone Paint Job on a Car

Things You'll Need

  • Paint

  • Paper

  • Masking tape

In the paint booth

Painting a car one single color is a cinch compared to trying a two-tone color scheme. If you want to get fancy with your artistry on the car, it will take precision and serious attention to detail.

Step 1

Wash the car thoroughly and inspect for imperfections. Repair any blemishes, rust and dents. Sand to a smooth finish so you have a nice foundation for your paint.

Step 2

Before painting, you obviously need to decide what sections of the car will be different colors. Some may paint the body one color and the top another. Others may desire to split the tones down the middle of the sides or make one color shaped like a flame. Once you come up with your design, sketch the outline on the car to use as a guide.

Step 3

Painting in progress

Use masking tape and paper to cover any areas of the car you do not want any paint on.

Step 4

Follow your sketch line very carefully with masking tape. The tape needs to be applied with precision. Then mask off the section of the car that you do not want to paint at this time with paper.

Step 5

Apply your first tone. Paint as usual, but let it dry thoroughly.

Step 6

Two-tone beauty

After the first tone is completely dry, mask off that area and spray on the second tone. Once that dries, you have a two-tone car.


If the line where the two tones meet is not exactly straight, a good way to remedy that is to apply a border with a colored tape or racing stripe.


Be sure each application of paint dries completely before moving to the next tone. Jumping the gun is a good way to ruin what you've already done.