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Old 03-14-2010, 01:49 AM
Howlsatmoonlight Howlsatmoonlight is offline
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Default Spray Paint Tutorial

Okay, so after looking over the forums I have not noticed a tutorial on the proper use of spray paint, or as some call them 'rattlecans'. While most of us that have been doing this awhile overlook the seemingly easy use of spray paint, some people on our forums are new to painting in general, and have trouble adjusting to spray paint, as most of us did our first time.

Step 1) NEVER use an old can! Trust me, spending $2-$3 on a new can of spray paint is worth the cost when you consider the potential for mishap using an old can. Anything from uneven coverage, spattering running and a multitude of other problems can result from using an old can. I prefer Krylon Fusion, because when used properly it negates the need of a primer coat. The downside is that Fusion paints etch the plastic to bond to the surface, and if a mistake is made, makes it very difficult to remove.

Step 2) Prepare your ride. I recommend washing and air drying your car body before painting, and sanding out any blemishes. If you are using anything other than Fusion paints, you should sand the body until the shininess is gone to insure a proper bond. Make sure your body is dust and dirt free, and have something handy to hang the body from while painting. I use wire hangers myself. What this does is allows you to easily reach all sides of the body.

Step 3) Prepare your spray paint. Take the time to shake it, and before EVERY use spray the can on a disposable surface for at least 10 seconds. This clears the nozzle and helps prevent old paint from spattering your car. Also make sure after every use to turn the can upside down and spray until it comes out clear.

Step 4) Paint! You want to do a light dusting of spray paint, as shown in the photo below. Spray evenly in quick bursts, moving the can while spraying. Never hold the can still, and shake the can a few times between bursts. Hold the can 12-18" from the body as you spray. Let each dusting dry 15 minutes before applying the next. I typically do 5-6 light dustings to achieve full coverage. This is time consuming, but assures an even, run free coat on the body.

First Coat


Second Coat


What Not To Do: An improper coat, way too thick. Notice the runny paint, and paint dripping. Seen too often with newcomers, and impatient people.


Step 5) Wet Sand. This term is thrown around a lot, but never properly described. Make sure you allow the car to dry 24 hours before doing this. You want to pick up some 1000-2000 grit sandpaper (never use coarser than 1000 grit for wet sanding) and have a container of water handy. I usually add a drop of dish soap to keep it slick. dip your sandpaper in the water, and apply even pressure as you sand this last coat. Make sure the sandpaper stays wet at all times, and replace as needed. The sandpaper will fall apart pretty quick.

Step 6) Final coat. Again lightly mist the car with your color of choice, applying a smooth even coat. If you are running low on spray paint at any point, do NOT use the can until empty! If the ball bearing in the spray paint can seems to be meeting very little to no resistance any longer, throw the can out. What can happen is the propellant in the can could sputter, causing paint to splatter on your car. While not a horrible problem, any spattering should be sanded out before continuing. If you have any questions or comments, or remember something I have forgotten, please speak up!

Teaser of the car now(Unfinished project)
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