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PAINTING YOUR VEHICLE: a step by step guide

By November 23, 2016Dragonskin, Tips & Tricks
Pick a weekend where the weather is good, between 18-25c is ideal. Make sure you’ve allocated a good amount of time to complete the job. If you’re painting your whole car a weekend will need to be committed to the task:

  • Friday Night – Clear and clean the area you‘re going to use & wash the car.
  • Saturday Morning – Clean the car with wax and grease remover.
  • Saturday Afternoon – Mask and Tape
  • Sunday – Painting Day
  • Monday or Tuesday Evening – Remove the Masked areas

Select where you’re going to do the painting –

  • A clean garage with really good ventilation is ideal. Ventilation can be achieved with a couple of simple house fans, and open windows at one end and garage door at the other.
  • Windows should have a fly screen to keep bugs out. If using fans, put them at this end. Have the garage door half open at the other end.
  • A stand-alone garage is best to keep paint fumes away from the house.
  • Ensure you have a good amount of light. Supplement natural light with flood lights as needed.
Clean the painting area thoroughly so no dust and debris gets kicked up onto the surface when you turn the fans on or when you are moving around while painting.

Wash the car thoroughly

  • Use a good quality car wash and lint free cloth/cleaning mit.
  • Take care to get into every nook.
  • Pay attention to the lower part of the car especially. Use a bug and tar remover to get rid of any stubborn marks.
  • Dry with a quality chamois.
  • Ideally polish and wash the car the weekend before as well so it’s not such a big job when you come to the painting weekend.
  • Polishing is a good idea as it smooths the surface of the paint, especially if it’s not a new car. This ensures a more seamless coat as well as easier removal.
Put the car in the garage overnight to let it dry thoroughly.

Mask of all the sections you don’t want to paint,

  • Use good quality proper masking tape which won’t leave glue behind, low adhesion painters tape is best.
  • This includes window rubbers, trims, roof rails etc. Pay close attention to the edges as any unevenness will show through in the final product.  Badges can be peeled clean later, using a scalpel and a little patience and care.
If you want to get really detailed:

  • Take of the wing mirrors
  • Remove the window seals for the winding windows
  • Optional: Remove the badges altogether to give it a clean look and finish. Caution when removing badges as they can break.
Final Clean

  • Thoroughly clean all surfaces to be painted with clean a lint free cloth and some wax and grease remover (Prepsol™ is good)
  • Once you’re done, ensure nobody touches the surface as oil from the skin can affect your final finish.
Painting

  • If you’re using spray cans make sure you have enough to complete the job before you start. One can will cover between 0.5 and 1m square, however we suggest having enough for you to cover 0.5 per can as there is always overspray.
  • The more coats you apply, the easier it is to remove later. Very thin coats can be difficult and time consuming to remove. It’s important to have enough paint to get at least 4 good complete coats on, we recommend 5-7.
  • More coats = better protection
  • More coats = easier removal
  • More coats = looks good for longer
Spraying action

  • Use long even strokes when painting,
  • At any point where you pause to go back the other way will result in a larger amount being sprayed.
Coat Application

  • Apply a couple of light coats over all surfaces first.
  • Continue applying until all surfaces are covered evenly.
  • Keep track of the number of coats on each surface.
Just like normal paint

  • If applying a light colour over an original dark colour more coats may be required.
  • Using a base coat colour like DRAGONSKIN Metallic Silver, which has a much higher density than some of the lighter colours in the range, mean less coats are required.
Removing the masked sections slowly and carefully.

  • The longer you leave it to dry the better – a day or two at least depending on the weather. This way you’re much less likely to accidentally peel the DRAGONSKIN paint off areas you want to keep it.
  • Have a scalpel/razor blade/hobby knife handy to cut the tape away from the paint, if this happens, careful not to touch the original surface as you could leave a mark with the blade.

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