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digdug18 Dork
6/17/12 12:54 p.m.

I've got an older car that needs a new paint job. I've never sprayed a car before, but I gotta learn someplace, and the car is an "extra". So tips, tricks, suggestions? Brands of paint? Types of paint? Possibly a guide you'd recommend? I searched google, mostly crap though.


BoxheadTim UberDork
6/17/12 1:34 p.m.

Do you enough space to put up something like a portable garage tent? That should keep some of the bugs and dust off.

kazoospec Reader
6/17/12 1:52 p.m.

Use a two stage process, wet sand/polish after the clear coat. Takes a lot of time, but comes out looking pretty good, even if you don't get a perfect spray job.

Woody UltimaDork
6/17/12 1:58 p.m.

fasted58 UltraDork
6/17/12 2:20 p.m.

I've painted a few trucks outdoors w/ acrylic enamel. Two under the car port w/ concrete pad were much easier than the one out in the gravel driveway. Blocked the wind side of the car port w/ a tarp, but a slight breeze is good. I didn't try to shoot the whole truck at once but broke it down into manageable sections.

Bugs, yur prolly gonna have bugs and maybe airborne dust. I lightly wet the ground/ pad to keep dust down. Less bugs in morning thru afternoon, buku bugs towards evening so plan to get it done earlier. IMO use as much natural light as possible, shop type lights just attract more bugs. Keep tweezers handy to remove bugs before they 'set' in paint.

Acrylic enamel was very forgiving, Nason is reasonable price. After pulling bugs or dirt touch up w/ small gun or airbrush. Wet sand out any imperfections then finish w/ compound. I actually preferred a cheaper TSC gun to the Eastwood set.

I know, I know it's redneck but it works, prolly a lot more work repairing spots outdoors as compared to indoors... but when you don't have the option...

Despite the extra work of outdoor paint after wet sanding and compound it looked good, the same as an indoor job.

Good luck

Raze SuperDork
6/17/12 2:34 p.m.

if u wanted to get fancy, one of the portable carports, or 2x4s + painters plastic, duct tape for all the seams, get a box fan + A/C filters, sealed pushing in, put another filter sealed venting out, lets you run positive pressure, but you will need a respirator and or a full suit +air inlet from outside. Otherwise, what fasted58 said

Curmudgeon MegaDork
6/17/12 5:47 p.m.

Use a lot of that real thin plastic sheeting (not the thick stuff) to protect your driveway and wet it down around the edges just before you spray. Don't use the thick shiny plastic, the paint won't stick to it and flakes will go EVERYWHERE when you try to move it or when you walk on it. Those cheap blue tarps work pretty well too. If you don't want overspray on the engine, wrap it with the thin plastic then old bed sheets.

Speaking of overspray, on a cool day the mist from your spraying can travel quite a ways and still be capable of sticking to something and this could royally piss off a neighbor. Warm or hot dry days cut down on this, as does using a HVLP gun.

Urethanes (also called 'two part', 'pack' or 'epoxy' paints) will set very quickly compared to the 'drying' type paints which cuts down on the amount of time our multilegged friends have to get stuck in the paint. They contain isocyanates, meaning a GOOD respirator and lots of ventilation are essential. Don't skip on this, isocyanates can kill you dead pretty quick! Otherwise, what fasted58 says.

iceracer UltraDork
6/17/12 6:19 p.m.

Couldn't help but think, are you useing brush, rollers or spray cans.

ddavidv UberDork
6/17/12 9:00 p.m.

Roll it on. Best way to get good driveway results.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
6/17/12 9:16 p.m.

Don't spray it when the bugs are out. Ask me how I know.

Wally UltimaDork
6/17/12 9:17 p.m.

Wait for a neighbor who lives downwind to go on vacation and use his driveway. It will keep the overspray from landing on everything you own.

speedbiu Reader
6/17/12 9:33 p.m.

Get someone who has painted before to help the first time.Paint it in the morning theres less chance of rain and less bugs out.I have painted anything from cheap cars to my Porsche Boxster last week right out under the sun with no issues.With single stage paint its hard to cut and buff but with base clear theres no issues.

Rad_Capz Reader
6/17/12 11:47 p.m.

I like the single stage paints for outdoor paint jobs. You can cut/buff out most imperfections. Clearcoat will never peel if there isn't one. I have 5 vehicles with clear coat problems all of which were painted by different auto body shops in spray booths. No BC/CC for me thanks. I've used Lacquer, Acrylic Enamel and Urethane outdoors with no problems and prefer the enamel.

I'm building 2 cars for people right now. Both want BC/CC paint jobs and I can't talk them out of it. A 69 Camaro and a Factory Five GTM so I may end up shooting them in BC/CC against my wishes.

Here's one of my cars I painted outside. I painted it on a dirt driveway, got a cover/feature in PHR 15 years later, bottom pic is after 20 years.

neon4891 UltimaDork
6/17/12 11:57 p.m.

In reply to Rad_Capz:

PHR, have they moved on from being "all shoe box, all the time"?

Otherwise, very nice.

forzav12 Reader
6/18/12 9:57 a.m.

good suggestions, but, don't wet the ground.

BoxheadTim UberDork
6/18/12 10:00 a.m.
mguar wrote: You can use a 2 part paint but it will never have the real depth and quality of Lacquer Plus a 2 part you'd better wear a full suit and have a source of fresh air.. Some paint's/primers are known to cause cancer.

Most paint is bad for you, but 2 part/2 pack is especially bad as it contains isocyanates. Cancer isn't really a problem with it, it can just kill you outright instead.

wearymicrobe HalfDork
6/18/12 10:21 a.m.
mguar wrote: That is the most important part of a paint job.. prep work.. You can't do a decent paint job without proper prep work and the prep work for a junk car is the same as for a megabuck restoration..

This is where the cost of a good paint job lies. I would seriously recommend doing all the prep yourself and just paying to have the paint laid down by a professional in a booth. After you buy a good gun, make sure you have enough air volume, and even more importantly have dry air. You are looking at least the labor on a spray job.

Especially if all you can get are Iso paints. Shooting them is harder then you would expect and the safety aspects are not to be underestimated.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
6/18/12 11:50 a.m.

Friend of mine uses a large bottle of nitrogen as the air source. He swears by it. He suggested a paint shop friend of his try it and that's all he will use now.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
6/18/12 12:28 p.m.

Maybe a stupid question, but what about later cars that came from the factory with basecoat / clear? I have an MR2 that the PO ran up on a curb and cracked the dark green pearl paint. So for plastic bumper cover, laquer, acrylic, BC/CC? Are all paint colors available in every kind of paint?

motomoron Dork
6/18/12 10:45 p.m.

I wrote a nice article for Roadracing World Magazine about painting motorcycle bodywork, but it's applicable to shootin' cars, and I've done a few that turned out very nicely.

Shoot me an email - my address is in my profile - and I'll send it.

foxtrapper PowerDork
6/19/12 7:38 a.m.


Just for a little clarity, they don't kill. There has only been one (1) documented death attributed to isocyanates in the history of the human race. Just one.

The problem with them is an alergic reaction, which is an asthma reaction. The reaction is strong and severe.

For a painter, the most difficult part is you may not start out sensitive to it, but when you do become sensitive and react to it, that's it. You can no longer work or play with the stuff ever again.

It's in paints, plastics, foams, adhesives, etc. Just about anything that is a two part reaction contains it.

Sensitivity is about 1 in 20 people.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
6/19/12 10:00 a.m.

I did a 2 part epoxy paint job with only a particle mask and was severely short of breath for a long time afterwards, I'm talking like a year or two. The worst part is that the stuff doesn't smell bad, in fact it's sorta pleasant so there's no real indication that it can really berkeley you up. I don't really care to be #2 as a documented case, so I don't take that chance.

motomoron Dork
6/19/12 10:38 a.m.

The problem with isocyantes is not the respiratory stuff - it's the neurotoxin part. But I'm not a neurological researcher or a toxicologist, though I work with a slew of them at NIH.

In any case, the article on painting I ghost-wrote for a series of race bike preparation in Roadracing World:

"Paint Fumes"

914Driver MegaDork
6/19/12 11:25 a.m.

I'd go with the plastice tent idea, it's wicked cheaper than paying off the neighbors for the overspray on their vehicles, house, dogs ....... you know.

6/19/12 3:04 p.m.

People are going to tell you to roll it cause they read it on the internet. Ask to see the results of what they did themselves.

As mentioned, prep is the hard part. Buy some tractor paint and you can always buff out the bugs.

Regardless of tent or no tent, the fumes are going to be bad for a radius of 3 houses.

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