Automotive Painting Tips
If you are interested in doing a spot repair or a having a custom paint job done, these automotive painting tips will help you fix up your car to your standards.
Automotive Painting Tips and Advice
Perform Minor Paint Jobs Yourself
There are a number of products on the market designed to fill in and hide minor scratches. Others exist that will hide the effects of oxidization (chalky or cloudy appearance caused by the elements) on a car's finish. Both items can be found at your local automotive parts store.
Another situation where doing it yourself may make sense is when only a small area needs to be repaired. If you go this route, be prepared by purchasing the following:
- Primer (spray on)
- Top coat to match vehicle
- Clear finish
Consider the Age and Value of Your Car
If you own a late-model vehicle, it may be worth your money to have a body shop do the work on your vehicle. If the resale value is still relatively high, you may not want to run the risk of trying to perform the work yourself and have a less-than-desirable outcome.
Paint the Spot vs. Total Repaint
In a situation where only a small area of your car needs to be repainted, you do not have to have the entire vehicle painted. If the rest of the vehicle looks fine, then leave it alone.
Custom vs. Production Paint Job
If you decide that the entire vehicle should be repainted, then take the age and condition of your vehicle into consideration. It may not make much sense to spend the money for a custom paint job on an older vehicle. For a newer model, it is well worth spending the extra amount to have the trim and any emblems on the vehicle removed before the paint is applied.
A custom paint job will include color-sanding and buffing the paint, which will provide a smoother finish when the job is completed. A production shop will apply tape to the trim instead of taking the time to remove it. This means that the work will take less time, which is another factor to consider.
Get an Estimate
Insist on getting a written estimate before you have any work performed on your vehicle. Make sure the estimate includes details such as which items will be removed from your vehicle or taped before the painting begins.
Ask About a Warranty
Ask whether the paint/body shop you are considering offers a warranty on the work performed. If so:
- What is the warranty period?
- What does the warranty cover?
- Are there any exceptions, such as change of owner?
Factory or Show Finish
If you are planning on displaying your vehicle at car shows, let the paint/body shop you have chosen know of this fact. Otherwise, tell them you want a factory finish on your vehicle.
Wash Your Vehicle Regularly
One of the best automotive painting tips is to keep your vehicle clean. If dirt and grease are left on your car for any length of time, they can damage the paint. Use a product specifically made for vehicles to wash your car once a week.
Use a large bucket so dirt sinks to the bottom; there is no sense in washing your car with dirty water. Avoid washing your vehicle in the sun. Once the car has been washed and rinsed, it should be wiped down with a clean chamois.