Every single DIY car painting video I watch is different.

SteveSS

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I want to learn to paint a car with acceptable results. I mean I don't want to have to be apologizing all over the place but it doesn't have to be a show car either. Since I'm a beginner I've watched a bunch of videos and none of them say the same thing. Even remotely. I don't mind shooting a single-stage enamel if it will look okay or a base coat clear coat if it's a thing a beginner can handle. Guys are all over the place on paint guns from super expensive to rattle cans. I do watch a lot of Vice Grip Garage but even he didn't say what sealer he was using. Can I get a gun for under $100 and paint for under $200 and get a decent job? Do I need 1 2 or 3 different guns for different products?

I know the old saw about paint being 95% prep and I'm ready for that.
 

5.7 hemi

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Summit Racing has what you’re looking for at reasonable prices. No, you don’t need a spray gun (HVLP) that’s costed bookoo bucks. There’s no reason why you can’t do a base coat/clear coat, it’s not really any different than spraying a single stage except ya got to spray the clear. If ya get a run, no biggie, it can be sanded (cut/buffed) and it’ll disappear.

Practice on some sheet metal so ya get the feel of what you’re doing. Painting is like sex, the more ya do it, the better ya get……supposedly! Lol!!
 

Chongo 68

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Alot of the finished results is in the prep. I never painted a complete car just went for it. Used PPG Shopline Sealer shot thru-a primer gun, sealer provides a good uniform base for top coats. Then applied base coat/clear coat thru-another gun. Purchased cheap set of HLVP guns off eBay, there was 3 guns in the kit. Wet sanded and buffed! Your local paint supply store is a wealth of knowledge. Anyways I'm happy with the finished results...my advice to anyone is just do it, saves a ton of money.
 

bearman

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Steve, i believe the reason it is all over the place is because one way works best for that one guy and something else worked better for another. Go to your paint shop talk to them they will set you up from start to finish and just take your time.
 

plymouth67

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There are only really a few basic things that pretty much stay the same after that it's all technique so, what you find works for you may not work for others.

The basic things are prep work, air pressure (this can also change depending on the guy spraying), cleanliness, overlap, gun distance...

Things that are usually different from one guy to the next or like I call it "technique".
Paint guns...I have an expensive one and, I have a couple $15 Harbor Frieght guns, can't complain about either.
Since there is adjustments on the gun you will always find 100 different answers on how to paint. Some people will have a lot of paint come out and damn near run around the car and, others will taper down the amount of paint coming and crawl around a car.
Best advice I can give you is, control the basics...cleanliness, air pressure,product and prep work then, get a couple $15 Harbor Frieght guns follow the tech data sheets that come with the paint, practice your technique. You will find a happy spot for you when it comes to the amount of paint and the speed.
 

Lefty71

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i believe the reason it is all over the place is because one way works best for that one guy and something else worked better for another.

For sure!! It takes talent to do any kinda work yourself from scratch, or you're doomed. But keep in mind, thinking of a guy who's worked at a body shop and is considered a pro....... he was taught the quickest, most economical ways to make a living, and make money for the shop...not necessarily in that order lol. And certainly not necessairly what's best for the job (CAR). A talented devoted amateur can pull off detailed work like Chongo_68 has shown above. Research and some practice on less important pieces will go a long way towards a great job.
 
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Nate S

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Take it a step at a time. Talk to your body/paint supplier (but don’t necessarily accept what they say as gospel). Ask questions on here and filter. I did this last spring after 25 years off, end product was great.
 

1967coronet

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Steve, like a few others on here I do this for a living.
You have got good advice above. Couple things I will toss in.
Find one bodyman that is willing to advise you and stick with them. All of us do the same job but have different ways of getting to the finish line.
Use the products / paint that they use as that's what is they are used to. I can spray any brand but prefer ppg brands.
I'm not going to rehash all the prep and blocking ect ect. Just allways be clean and use a good grease remover & Prep solvent at each stage up to laying down the sealer. Good luck to you and dive in.
 

cj's mopar

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Tip sealer and 2 k primer not the same but you can use either . Sealer has a longer open window. Recommend get a quality clear coat and use the correct speed hardener for the temps you will be spraying. Use what you can afford to spend don't have to buy most expensive ether.
 

slimt

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I guess the key to the products used is to aquire the tech sheets on those products. They give you a run down on air preasure, size of tip to use, mixture, viscosity and so on. The sheets are vital in understanding . Some advice. For each product.
Do a test panel. See how these materials work prior to doing your project. It might be costly at the start testing the material. But worth it in the end.

we are here to guide you. If your supplier does not have the knowledge.
 

BeepBeepRR

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Rattle can and lots of wet sanding. I know its just 2 fenders and 2 trim pieces under the headlights. But it came out decent for a rattle can.
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BigFlo

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Loaded question here with lots to consider. Depending on how you plan to use and store the car may play a role also. If it’s a daily driver that is going to be out in the elements and not parked in a garage, you probably want better paint or you’re going to be doing this again in a few years. I’m doing my car now - I’ve got door jambs and engine bay in base/clear. I’m going to shoot the body this spring. I used decent paint (not real high end) and I’m into for $2K just for the sealer, base and clear. That doesn’t include primer. Paint is expensive.
I learned a lot from Kevin Tetz videos. He did a series a few years ago using Eastwood products and he shows exactly what he used and explains why. Whether you use Eastwood products or not, he shows a lot of techniques and product tips that are very helpful.
My thought is, if you’re going to spend the time, effort and money to strip and prep, don’t skimp on the paint.
 

cj's mopar

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I used house of color DTS primer and Dupont croma base color. And limco LC4100 I am not a pro just hobby. But have been painting in garage projects since 1987 self learning is the only way .
Ask alot of questions and buy coffee and donuts for your supply guy and pick his brain on sat. Morning LOL.

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Mike67

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I learned a lot from watching Kevin Tetz videos from Eastwood.
He used to be on one of the Saturday morning HotRod show called Trucks, when it used to be good.
He also has a lot of bidy working vids that were informative too.
I recommend it for a first timer.
 

cj's mopar

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Also I wanted to add don't shoot single stage enamel for your first time because it is harder to apply than base
I learned painting centari and del star .
You had to paint good because will single stage what you see is what you get . Lol
Base /!clear can be fixed easier drya faster and more forgiving than enamel.
 

70chall440

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First off, painting and all the comes with it is a skill, not something you can just watch a video and be good at it. This seems to be lost in today's "instant gratification" environment. I have painted a number of cars but I cannot say I am good at it because I do not do it frequently and thus I have to re-learn every time.

As I think has been stated, prep is the key to a decent job. Paint WILL NOT hide bad body work or poor prep (I have found this out the hard way too many times). The equipment is somewhat secondary to the prep and materials, however you do not need a $1000 HVLP gun, I have painted several cars with the $20 HF gun and they came out good. I finally bought a $250 Devilbiss gun when I painted my Cuda a few years ago and while it worked well, I cannot say it was all that much better than the HF gun other than it was/is much more consistent and durable.

A good consistent air compressor is a must as is clean dry air (another lesson I had to learn the hard way).

Despite all of the differences in the various videos out there, the process is essentially the same, do the body work, prime the vehicle, block sand (repeat as necessary), apply top coat (clear if using 2 stage), wet sand. This said, there are many sub and optional steps for all of these such as using 2K, sealer, etc.

I will say this, do not paint your engine compartment, trunk and/or interior/door jambs and then go on to prime the outside of the car, you will blow primer into all of the things you already painted (another hard learned lesson). You can seal/mask those areas but it is a pain. Better to do your body work, get the entire car into primer, then paint whatever you want (engine compartment, trunk, etc) and then the outside of the car. I find it is easier to do an initial prime on things like the fenders off the car however you need to do your final block sanding with the car somewhat assembled (doors, fenders, etc.) and dont forget the wax/grease remover wipe down (over and over) as well as using tac rags in abundance. You cannot clean the car too much.
 

Builderguy

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Steve, you don't need different guns but you will need different tips.

A general rule of thumb is:

  • Heavy-bodied primers and primer surfacers work best when you use a nozzle size of 1.7 to 2.2.
  • Basecoats should be sprayed with a 1.4 to 1.6 nozzle.
  • Clearcoats should be sprayed with a 1.3 to 1.7 nozzle.
  • Sealers and single-stage urethanes should be sprayed with 1.4 to 1.6 nozzles.
If using one gun, make sure you do a good job cleaning it. You don't want a streak of primer showing up in your clear coat.

If you gun only has one tip available, I would opt for a 1.4 as that is about as close to universal as you can get.

Best of luck on you paint job!
 

Richard Davis

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I took an autobody class from a guy that had over 20 years in the industry. I followed his guidelines and still do. For me the biggest difference comes from the preparation.
 

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