Car ownership 101: Practical painting advice

The big city is tough on our cars
by Paulo Rafael Subido | Sep 4, 2018

The urban environment can wreak havoc on your car’s paint. Door dings, fender benders, and UV damage are things that we have to deal with, especially if a car is driven daily. We can’t keep our cars in the garage all of the time. When you can’t stand seeing your car in a sorry state, maybe a complete wash-over is the way to go. Here’s what goes on when you need to have your car repainted. 

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Difficulty level

Unless you are an experienced painter and metal worker, best to leave this to the professionals

Things to remember

- Paint will not stick to a poorly prepped surface 

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-Make sure that there is no grease or dirt before applying paint

-Paint fumes are deadly. Work in a properly ventilated area.

The gear

-sand paper of varying grit; putty; laquer thinner; rust converter; wash primer; anti-corrosion primer

Important things to check 

- Gauge the condition of your car’s paint. You might have to tackle some rust issues if your car is a bit older. Make sure that you do work at a shop that you trust.

Life in the big city is tough on our cars. Here are tips for practical paint repairs:

1) ’Collect’ the damage.

It's a fact that your car will get some damage throughout its life. Instead of having repairs done to a small area, it's a good idea to just ‘collect’ this damage and have a complete wash-over. That way, the paint will be more or less even. And this will save you the trouble of having to go to the shop all the time.

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2) Don’t scrape to metal unless absolutely necessary.

Only scrape a body panel to metal if there is rust damage underneath. Factory primer is still the best, so when having repairs done, save this layer if possible. This is a pro tip that’s proven to work.

3) Check for rust.

Inspect the entire car for rust damage. It will be a wasted effort to put fresh paint over a rusted area. If your shop does this, you might want to have your painting done elsewhere. 

4) It’s all about the prep.

Proper paint prep involves plenty of sanding and the use of wash primer and an anti-corrosion primer. Choose a quality paint for your car.

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PHOTO: Paulo Rafael Subido
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