Car Paint Application



  • Tack cloth

car paint

Car Paint Application

So, with everything in place to start painting the car paint, the next stage is to completely make sure the body panels are cleaned with a degrease and a tack cloth.

This is the last time you will be touching the car paint and body panel before painting, so the cleaning process is the most important now . Use two cloths, one to put the degrease on, and the other to take it of.

The idea is to not smear any grease or invisible finger prints across the car paint and body panel, if the paint is applied over the grease or any other foreign material on there, it will be visible, and ruin the end finish.

Once you have degrease the car and body panel, next you will need to tack cloth the panel .

The tack cloth is a sticky cloth that is run over the car paint and body panel in order to pick up any little bits of dust that has landed on there, the dust is attracted to the metal or plastic that your working, during the car degrease process your actions with the cloths and solvents charge the body panels with a static charge, and dust is draw to it.

There are antistatic tack cloths, as well as the cheaper tack cloths. The antistatic ones are very effective.

car paint

Color codes

Finding the right car paint color can be hard sometimes, there should be a color code on the car somewhere, depending on the car depends, on the place of the identification plate placement.

For an example, Volkswagen, Audi, seat and Skoda are all on the boot floor, and Fords and Renault are in the drivers side door shut. But then you have Mazda which can only be acquired by phone from a Mazda dealership.

In general it would be easier to phone your make of car dealership and see if they can either get it or direct you to somewhere you can.

There are different types of paint available, if your color is a metallic or a pearl, then your car paint is in a base coat and lacquer system. This means that the color is applied first and then a clear coat lacquer is applied after, once the base coat is dry.

If your color is a solid color then it has know metallic or pearl in it, This could be bought as a finish coat acrylic car paint, which is a the same as lacquer but colored, or in base coat and lacquer.

In order to get the best car paint and body finish, the spray gun should be set up right. You need to make sure that you have 2 bar of pressure on the gauge. In order to get the paint to go on the body panel evenly you will need a good spray pattern. This is the shape left on a surface when you pull the trigger once quickly on a test surface, like the plastic sheet on the car. The pattern should be a line about 4 inches long, the best way to get a perfect fan pattern, with the right amount paint coming out is to screw the needle all the way in, and then unscrew it and keep testing it until the fan length stops growing. This should be the best fan with no more paint coming out than needed. To much car paint and there is a chance of there being to much material on the body panel and then it could run and sag, which is then a nightmare to put right.

Spraying should be a smooth and even speed across the body panel, starting at the bottom with a 50% lap over as you rise up when the car paint is going on, will make the paint join up. The best thing to do is perfect this technique first before you go straight to your car.

Base coat

With the base coat, you will need to put three coats on, making sure that they are dry between each coat applied, The first coat should be a nice even and wet coat over the area you have repaired, dry till it goes Matt. The next coat should be about 50% of material put on of the first coat and then dried again. The last coat is known as a drop coat, the finish might look a bit patchy now, this is because the car paint was applied wet, and the metallic moves and does not look format with the rest of the car paint on the body panel. The drop coat is applied to sit on top and even out the look of the metallic.

With the gun about two foot away from the body panel, let the paint evenly drop on to the panel and lay it evenly till it your happy with how it looks.


The lacquer is applied in two coats, the first should be enough to fill up the base coat, not so that it looks like a smooth finish. This is because if you put to much on the first coat then it could be to much material after the second coat goes on.

There should be a 5 minute wait for the first coat to go off a bit, the sign that it is ready for a second coat is to touch a bit on the plastic and see if it is tacky or if its to wet to put on another coat.

The second coat should be applied the same way as the first coat, but this time it should be more of a finished surface.

If you have any questions about car paint and body, please leave one below. Thank you.

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7 Responses to Car Paint Application

  1. BOB says:

    Hey, thanks Freddie. Should be adding more video’s soon, so keep a look out for them.

  2. tank says:

    great site an videos,I’m a painter getting back into it ,very useful thanks

  3. paul hayward says:

    hello , can you tell me at what preasure you are spraying, and what ratio of lacquer to thinners you are using . many thanks . Paul

  4. Jason T says:

    Excellent site very good for a DIYer like me. Thanks for the info.


  5. Muneer says:

    Hi Bob
    Very helpful and easy to use.
    Thanks for all your effort much appreciated.

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