How to Apply Car Paint Primer Correctly

January 27, 2012

You can easily change the look of your car by changing the paint but before you paint your car another color it is necessary to apply a car paint primer. Many professional car painting companies can charge you quite a bit to repaint your car and you can do this yourself with the right material and information.

Materials and Tools:

  • Paper, tarp or other covering
  • Masking tape
  • Grease or wax remover
  • Fine sandpaper and thick grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Goggles and dust mask
  • Putty
  • Car washing and cleaning materials

Step 1: Remove Dirt

The very first step is washing the car to get rid of any dirt or grit. If you do not wash your car then any dust, grit or dirt can interfere with the primer and paint adhering to the car. Besides washing your car you also need to use a grease or wax remover in order to get rid of that dirt that does not wash off using soap or water.

Step 2: Sand the Car

Now that the car is clean it is necessary to sand down any rough areas. For very tough spots use the tough grit sandpaper as smaller areas can be done using finer sandpaper. If you find any holes or dips that need to be fixed, fill them with putty and then sand the area down. You want all imperfections taken care of in order to have a level and smooth area to paint.

Step 3: Let your Car Dry

Make sure the car is completely dry before you start painting. This can take a few hours after washing the car, but it really will depend on the weather. You can prevent any dust from settling on the car by grounding a wire from the car frame to a grounded object near the car.

Step 4: Cover areas not to be Painted

It is important to cover all areas that you do not want paint on. You can use paper or cloth and cover all the mirrors, windows, chrome and other areas. Makes sure you tape down all edges with masking tape. This is very similar to taping over molding when painting a wall. If you go over the edge you can just peal the paper away and you will not have any problems.

Step 5: Priming

The first step to completely painting a car is priming the car. Make sure you use a paint primer exterior as this will be tougher then interior primers. You also can apply a primer clear coat if desired. You want to apply the primer evenly to any area that is to be painted. Primer is needed to make sure the paint adheres to the car. Paint will stick much better to a car with primer than to a car that has not been primed. If you are applying primer indoors then it is necessary to make sure there is good ventilation. You also need to cover up any exposed skin, wear eye protection and wear a dust mask so you do not inhale any primer.

Step 6: Sand Car again

It may be necessary to sand down your car again after the primer is dried. Many times applying the primer can cause mounds or dips in areas and you want to smooth these out as much as possible. Only use fine grain sandpaper for the primer as you do not want to sand off the primer.

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