Spray Paint Your Car
Step 1 - Getting Set Up
Warm and dry conditions are ideal for spray painting, as aerosols don't always work best in the damp and colder temperatures hinder drying time. If it's not warm and dry outside, work in a well-ventilated garage. Wear overalls or old clothes and disposable gloves - goggles and a dust mask will also keep stray droplets of spray paint away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
Step 2 - Preparation
To prepare for spraying, use aluminium oxide abrasive paper (graded at 80 grit) to rub the surface to be painted down to bare metal. Apply a rust treatment product if required, following the manufacturer's instructions and allowing it to dry fully.
Step 3 - Masking Up
The area to be painted should now be clean and dry - any traces of dirt or wax can be removed using cellulose thinners. Mask off any areas not being painted using masking tape and newspaper (to avoid hard edges, increase the area to be painted by moving the masking tape back gradually as you apply each coat of paint).
Step 4 - Spraying Primer
Holding the spray can approximately 25cm away from the surface to be painted, apply a number of coats of primer at 15-minute intervals until the area is evenly covered. Go an inch over the original layer of paint to help it blend in, using several light layers of paint.
Step 5 - Preparing To Paint
Step 6 - Applying The Paint
To start painting, shake the can vigorously for two minutes to ensure the paint is thoroughly mixed. Apply a number of coats at 15-minute intervals, shaking the can between each one.
Step 7 - Metallic Paint
If you're using a metallic paint colour, allow the paintwork 24 hours to dry then rub it down with 1200 grit wet and dry paper. It should lose its gloss appearance and take on a dull, matt finish. Clean with warm, soapy water, rinse and dry.
Step 8 - Finishing Off
Now apply two coats of lacquer, separated by a gap of 15-minutes. Halfords stock a petrol-resistant lacquer for fuel tanks/motorbikes etc.
If the finish looks patchy, apply another coat of paint or wait until the surface is completely dry before rubbing it down and starting the lacquering process again.