Thread: DIY: How to properly prime your car on a small budget.

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  1. #1 DIY: How to properly prime your car on a small budget. 
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    First write-up, bear with me. I'm doing this simple and straightforward, nothing too complex, it's written in plain English. I'm still working on this post should be done when I get back tonight, but I'll leave it posted up for people to get started on.

    If you have any questions just PM me or reply here.

    Before Pictures:

    After Pictures:

    1. Introduction:

    I'm not a professional painter , nor do I claim to be, I'm just posting this because this is what worked for me and it came out ok.

    So some people have seen my car in real life, noticing it's primed. I barely used enough, only 8 cans, yes I was going to do more to the prime stage, but figured it was temporary, this is just something for everyone to note that even you can come out with a decent rattle can job (if done right).

    I re-primered my AE86 because the original prime was coming off, and some light surface rust. I'll show you what you can do to take this off.

    I'll go through what you need and what is important, first off, I estimated I spent around $250 or less on all the materials, not sure to be exact but it was quite cheap. Yes you can take your car to Maaco but they don't do prep work, priming your car is a great thing to do before taking it to someone like them.

    People who ask why I did this, it's because the state the car was in. It needed a re-prime. I'm writing this up for anyone who unfortunately has the same condition paint that I did.

    Depending on your budget, you may go higher or lower, this is just what I found that worked. I don't have pictures of the materials I used (it's all in the garage, I'm lazy to take pics) so just make reference of what the stuff looks like and what fits your needs.

    Under each section I posted what you need for that job just in case you forget. This should help you out if you are confused.

    Note on Bondo:
    I am not covering bondo as my car has no dents and/or bondo'd areas from the previous owner. I originally wanted to use some in light areas, but decided against it, bondo can crack and when used some people tend to over-do it and use it like a sculpting tool. Really trashy. In an ideal world I would weld metal to the body.

    2. Materials Used:

    - Black & Decker 5" Orbital Sander ($40~50)
    - 300~320 Grit Sandpaper (for the body of the car) (~$11)
    - 3M Wax and Grease Remover (~$8 )
    - Shamwow or similar material (must be this type of material) ($10~20)
    - Rustoleum Automobile Primer 8-12 cans ($3~7/can)
    - 3M Blue Tape ($~3/roll)
    - 3M Respirator Mask ($30~60)
    - Red shop rags
    - Lots of newspaper (free, got a bunch of pepboys newsadverts)

    *Note: I estimated material costs, I had no budget in mind other than to get what I needed to get the job done, you can spend more or less finding alternative tools, the Orbital sander is optional but it will make sanding it smooth a lot better. I would highly recommend a power tool sander.

    Please do not work in a closed environment without one, breathing in the fumes is unhealthy and you will possibly die/ lose a lot of brain cells. Do not overlook this.

    3. Estimated time spent:
    - 6 hours to mask
    - 4 hours to sand
    - 20 minutes to pre-wipe down (before spraying)
    - 2 hours to prime
    - A night to dry
    - 30 minutes to post-wipe down (after spraying)

    Me and my friend did the work in one sitting minus the night of drying/washing car off. We wanted it done in a night so we did it...

    *Note: This was my first time using spray paint, I've done roll-on paint jobs before and I don't like it, just because of all the wet sanding involved. I'd rather spray paint.

    4. Masking (6 hours):
    - Masking Tape
    - Newspaper
    - Patience

    I personally believe this is the most important part. Masking is what makes or breaks your paint job, what separates you from the amateurs. I luckily had a friend who use to tape off cars for his dad's shop, so he helped me along the way.

    1. Start off by using the 3M masking tape. Tape off the weather stripping and any areas you don't want to get painted.

    2. After masking off the areas, cover the windows with taped down masking material, I used newspaper, you can use painter's plastic if you want to and have the material/money for them. Keep in mind when you use newspaper to not over spray the areas as it will soak through.

    3. Take careful aim to tape off things like door handles, keyholes (if you can remove them that would be ideal), and antennas.

    4. Remove tail lights and bumpers if you want to cover all the areas. I chose to leave the bumpers intact.

    5. Don't forget to cover the wheel wells up with something, make sure you cover your "pretty" wheels as well, you don't want paint getting in them.

    6. Take a break, that was alot of hours of work. The hardest part is over.

    5. Sanding (4 hours):
    - Sandpaper
    - Orbital Buffer
    - Respirator Masks

    1. After Masking everything off, apply sandpaper to the car body by rubbing it in a backwards/forwards motion. Depending on what kind of sandpaper and shape you use, it may apply differently, I used an electric orbital buffer with a 5" diameter sander.

    2. When sanding the body down, start in one area, you do not have to go all the way down to the metal, but I decided to just to make sure there weren't pitted areas or any hidden bondo/rust spots I missed.

    3. If you get areas down to bare metal do not let it sit naked for too long, I would highly recommend sanding a car in an enclosed environment.

    4. Continue sanding the car down to either prime or paint, depending on what condition your car is in, optimally you want an even level surface to paint on so I just went through the entire car with the sander with my friend (he got to use the orbital while I was sanding by hand...lucky haha).

    5. Once you have finally sanded the car down to an even state, take some shop rags and wipe the dust away. Allow the car to sit for a while and take a break. There's probably small dust in the air and you need to wait for it to calm down before continuing to the painting stage.

    It will get very dusty if you are in a non-ventilated area, keep this in mind before you paint the car to let the dust sit or escape in whatever means possible. Be sure to wear a respirator mask while sanding your vehicle down and possibly protective goggles as well. Also make sure to check for pitted areas and any small hidden rust spots or bondo spots that need to be pulled out or filled in.

    6. Final Prepping (20 minutes):
    - Red shop rags
    - Sandpaper
    - Wax and Grease Remover

    1. Give the car one final inspection before painting the car, check for any missed rust spots, uneven surfaces, etc etc.

    2. Once you have checked and sanded everything, wipe the car down with a dry shop rag.

    3. After wiping the car down, use the 3M Wax and Grease remover and apply it to the shop rag, then apply it to the entire vehicle on the metallic parts. Continue until all parts have been wiped down.

    4. Once all the parts have been wiped down, DO NOT TOUCH ANY PART OF THE VEHICLE YOU APPLIED IT TO! Your skin has oil and touching the body will cause the paint to bubble or have funny sections in it.

    7. Painting (2 hours):
    - Lots of cans of Primer
    - A steady hand
    - Patience

    1. You're ready to paint. Now you need to make sure you apply the coat evenly. You can prep the spray cans by sitting them in warm/hot water for 5 minutes to allow for even paint flow. This should/will reduce paint spatter (I can't guarantee it because not every rattle can is created equal).

    2. Shake the can. Start spraying light/even coats across the car. Make sure you stand at least 3 feet and spray in a left to right motion nice and steady. It helps to listen to music.

    3. Continue spraying til you have completed your first coat. BE SURE NOT TO OVERSPRAY, you'll have run in some areas if you do, practice on small sections first then move onto bigger sections.

    4. Once you have completed the painting process, it will dry up by spots, this is normal.

    5. Repeat this process til you are satisfied with the prime coat.

    6. Allow the paint to cure/dry overnight.

    7. Once the car is dried overnight, unravel your masterwork!!! : )

    8. Rinse (20~30 minutes):
    - A hose
    - Sham F***kin WOW!!!

    1. Rinse the car off with water, where areas are wet, wipe them down with the shammy so you can remove any dust/grain/residue from the paintjob.

    2. Be sure to keep the sham always soaked and the car soaked, this is just a process of wipedown.

    3. Repeat until satisfied. You are done at this point. Enjoy.

    If I forgot anything, just PM me or reply. Peace and have fun.
    Last edited by s7_; 01-13-2009 at 06:12 PM.
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