For some people, the colour of their car is almost as important as the make or model. After all, some colours are iconic in their own right; Ferrari red, British racing green… Honda Jazz pink. Anyway, what happens if you’re not satisfied with the pigmentation of your Picasso or the shade of your Scirocco? Can you undertake a DIY paint job, be it to cover scratches or totally recolour the vehicle, or should you leave it to the professionals? Let’s find out.
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Is It Possible To Paint Your Own Car?
Yes, it is possible to paint your car yourself, but we cannot stress enough how difficult this task will be for the average person. Car painting is a time consuming and concentration-heavy skill, which probably explains why vehicle manufacturers now have robots to do it instead of people! Even those who are skilled enough to paint a vehicle themselves aren’t simply doing so with the kind of gear you can buy from your local DIY supply shop. It’ll require proper equipment, which will be very expensive, if you want to do the job well.
Should You Spray Paint Your Car Yourself?
Following on directly from the above section, it’s not recommended that you attempt to spray paint your own car unless you are extremely confident, can afford professional-standard equipment and you’re even prepared to butcher it and end up taking it for a proper respray in the end anyway.
If you have an artistic mindset and think you’d be able to pull it off, by all means have a crack at it, but do not underestimate the scale of the job ahead of you. It’s not a case of simply spraying paint all over the car. There’s far more to it than that, which we’ll delve into further down the page.
How To Prepare Your Car For Painting
There are several steps that you need to take before you put so much as a drop of paint onto any of the panels. Preparation is key to making the finished job look professional, so don’t cut any corners:
- Clean the car: Remove any dirt or grime from the vehicle to ensure that the surface is totally smooth and without blemishes that would disrupt the coats of paint.
- Remove parts: Remove (or at least cover) parts of the vehicle that you don’t want to get paint on. For example, plastic bumpers that don’t match the colour of the rest of the car should be removed if possible.
- Sand the car: This is where that confidence first comes into play. Taking sandpaper to your car’s paint job seems totally unnatural, but it’s necessary if you want to repaint the vehicle. Just keep telling yourself that if you do it all correctly, it’ll look better in the end.
- Fix damage: Deep scratches or dents will disrupt the smooth layers of paint that you’re applying, so fix those up first.
- Prime the car: Primer is essential and shouldn’t be overlooked. Several coats of this should be applied to your car.
- Clean it again: Once more, clean the vehicle with a microfibre cloth to ensure any tiny particles are removed without damaging the layers of primer.
How To Paint Your Car Yourself
The preparation is where the hardest work lies, so once you’ve done that, the job of actually painting the car will feel relatively simple. You’ll need your paint (obviously) and some paint thinner, along with some clear-coat lacquer. Sandpaper and a buffer will also help to give the vehicle a much more professional appearance.
Using the ratio measurements listed on the packaging, thin the paint before applying several coats – letting it dry in between each, of course. It’s important to work panel by panel, rather than attempting to spray the entire vehicle front to back in one go.
Then, after several coats of paint have been applied, clean the top layer then apply the lacquer. Once this lacquer has cured, you can buff the paintwork to a nice, professional finish.
Is It Better To Paint Or Wrap A Car?
The popularity of car wrapping is going up and up in the UK, with many people opting to go down this route as opposed to actually getting their vehicle repainted. But, what are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods? Let’s weigh them up.
- Pro-paint – Technician skill: Whichever method you choose, it’s only going to look as good as the skill of the person applying it can make it. A bad wrap is likely to look worse than a bad paint job.
- Pro-paint – Older cars: Paint is much better at covering over imperfections and minor damage, like scratches. Wrapped cars with scratches or dents will show off these blemishes, whereas paint will work better to disguise them.
- Pro-wrap – Fast & easy: Wrapping is a fairly simple process when compared to painting. Because of this, it’s also a much faster job, meaning you’ll have your car back looking brand new before you know it.
- Pro-wrap – Low maintenance: Paint jobs require a lot of maintenance. Regular jet washing, scrubbing, waxing… Wrapped cars don’t need any of this, and in fact their cleaning techniques are much gentler.
- Pro-wrap – Change your mind: Got a wrap but decided later on that you want to get rid of it? It’s simple to take a wrap off a car and revert it back to its original paint job!
On top of all this, there’s the most important factor of all: the cost. Is it cheaper to paint or wrap your car? Well, because of the ease of application, it’s cheaper to get your vehicle wrapped. Ultimately though, the choice is yours.
Can You Paint Over A Scratch On Your Car?
You can paint over a scratch on your car, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. You’ll still have to follow the preparation listed above and, if the scratch is quite large, you should respray the entire bodywork panel. Painting a small area will lead to inconsistencies in the paint job that will be noticeable and probably look worse than the scratch ever did. However, if the scratch is smaller, a touch-up pen or even a thin paint brush could do the job.
If you’d rather just sell your car and get something new, don’t worry about the state of the paintwork – get a quote in 30 seconds from Scrap Car Comparison instead. We’ll find you the best offers from scrap and salvage specialists who are positioned all over the UK and ready to buy your car or van from you today! In fact, our network is so extensive that we can even collect and remove your vehicle at no cost to yourself! So, give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator for a valuation on your vehicle now!