4 Steps to Prepping a Car for Paint During Your Automotive Career

These four steps for auto painting are what professionals use day in and day out and are what you'll need to remember for your auto painting career.

There are many things that need to be prepped, smoothed, or removed before painting an automobile. The preparation for painting is just as important as the painting itself, so as an auto painter it is very important to make sure that you are prepping cars as well as possible to avoid having to repaint anything.

Read on to discover four steps for prepping a car before applying paint.

Step 1: Stripping the Surface of Cars Is Important For Pros With an Automotive Career

Often cars require incredible amounts of sanding before applying paint. Using an electric sander, it often helps to sand the entirety of the surface you are seeking to paint down to the metal of the car, removing all paint. You may have to sand certain crevices or hard-to-reach places by hand in order to achieve a smooth finish. Each panel of a car can take up to two hours to complete, so make sure you dedicate a lot of time to preparation prior to auto painting. The ultimate goal is to ensure you have a smooth surface to paint with, however long it takes.

Often cars need to be sanded down to the metal to paint
Often cars need to be sanded down to the metal to paint

Step 2: Auto Painting Pros Know Clear Surfaces Equal Successful Paint Jobs

Prior to painting anything, you want to make sure that the surface area is free of all dust or any particles that can get in the way. If you’re painting your car outside, simply hose down the outside of the car and wash it well to ensure nothing is on the surface of the car, including road grime or grease. After letting the car dry, tape off the areas of the car that you want painted prior to beginning.

Step 3: Auto Painting Pros Know the Power of Taping

Until you become an absolute master with a paint gun, you should make sure to tape off any areas of the car that you do not want to hit. There are specially made tapes that are used for painting cars that can be bought at most do-it-yourself stores across North America. Apply the tape around the edges of the area you want to paint and use the tape to stick plastic onto the part of the car that needs to be covered. This provides the opportunity to paint in peace knowing that the paint will not reach an area of the car that it shouldn’t. Keep in mind for your automotive career that you can also remove various pieces of the car to paint them individually, like a door or quarter panel for instance.

Taping off parts of the car ensures a crisp paint job
Taping off parts of the car ensures a crisp paint job

Step 4: Auto Painting Pros Know To Spray Light Coats Rather Than One Heavy One

Painting a vehicle takes time and patience. As an auto painter, you have to remember to spray multiple light coats of paint rather than one thick one. Painters are often tempted to apply one large spray of paint to reduce the amount of time it takes to paint, but this often results in paint runs and paint build up. Also remember to hold your spray nozzle at least 10 inches away from the vehicle and apply even strokes. Always apply paint horizontally, and never with vertical strokes.

Want to discover the endless options that come with auto painting careers?

Contact an advisor today to repaint your career!

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