With the recent release of 2017’s car models, who wouldn’t love to buy a new automobile? If money is standing in your way, fear not. There are ways to make your used car sparkle like it’s new that cost less than you would think. A typical paint makeover can cost upwards of $4000 if you have it professionally done. With the recent release of 2017’s car models, who wouldn’t love to buy a new automobile? If money is standing in your way, fear not. There are ways to make your used car sparkle like it’s new that cost less than you would think. A typical paint makeover can cost upwards of $4000 if you have it professionally done.
But the good news is that with a little patience and perseverance, you can paint your own vehicle for less than $100 and make it look like a pro did it. In fact, for less than about $75 you can cover all the little imperfections that are aging your car’s appearance.
You don’t have to be a pro in order to paint like one. Your local do-it-yourself center or hardware store has all the materials you need so you can paint your car from the convenience of your own garage. All you need is about six quarts of various paints, primer spray, a couple of foam brushes, paint trays, some tape and different grades of sandpaper.
If you make sure to do the prep work, then you shouldn’t need that much time. You should be able to cover your current car’s paint in two or three coats, tops. Whether you are trying to repair some old scratches or just want something new and exciting, it is a whole lot easier than you think.
If you want to attempt a poor-man’s paint job that can look like a million bucks, you have to follow some crucial steps and take the time to do them right. These five steps will get you the “new car” look — without the new car price.
Step one: Get the supplies
The easiest way to complete a project is to make sure that you have the supplies available so you aren’t wasting time running back and forth. The necessary materials won’t cost you more than $75, but make sure to get enough of the listed supplies so you’re good to go when the time is right. Depending on the size of your car, these amounts might have to be adjusted.
What you will need is:
● Three quarts rust-free high gloss white paint
● Three quarts mineral spirits — choose odorless for poorly-ventilated areas
● Primer spray
● Seven 2 inch high-density foam brushes
● Seven 4 inch high-density foam brushes
● Three paint trays
● Two packs of sandpaper
● One roll of painter’s tape
If you have an SUV or larger vehicle then you might want to purchase a little extra, but you should still be able to get all you need for less than $100.
Step two: It’s all in the prepping
Just like any other paint job, your results are all about the precautions you take to minimize the potential damage from paint touching places you don’t want. First, you will want to thoroughly wash the car to remove debris and clean the area to be painted. Making sure to remove dust and other types of particles from the vehicle will give your paint job a smoother appearance and will cut back on the number of coats you need to apply.
You will then want to remove any exterior pieces that you don’t want to paint, like the tail lights or trim pieces. Any other areas that you want to protect from paint will need to be covered with vehicle painting tape. Whether you want to remove a specific piece or tape over it is really dependent on the type of car you have and how difficult is the piece is to dismantle versus taping over.
Step three: Sand
To make sure that you are starting with an even and unblemished surface, you will want to run a sander across the areas you intend to paint. You will want to use either 400 or 600 grade sandpaper, depending on how many imperfections are visible. If any parts of the paint are chipping, don’t start to peel them off. It is much better to sand them away. It’s like unraveling a sweater; you don’t want to end up with more work than you had to begin with.
Step four: Paint
Once you have sanded and cleaned the car, you are ready to paint. The first step is to mix the paint into 50% paint and 50% mineral spirits so that it feels like milk. That will give you a more consistent finish. Figure out how you are going to paint the car — either front to back or side to side — so the paint runs the right way. After you have applied three layers of paint, you will want to sand again with a 600 grit sander to make it smooth.
If you find any other areas of imperfection, they can be fixed with another round of sanding and then painting.
You can make your used car look much newer on your own for less than $100. It might take a little trial and error, but in the end, it will give new life to your car and make you feel pretty good about a job well done.