DIY paintwork repairs
This article is intended for anyone who wishes to attempt to re-spray an area using off-the-shelf aerosol spray paint. For truly professional results we would always recommend one of our approved repair centres.
For truly professional results we would always recommend one of our approved repair centres as badly applied/matched paintwork can be costly to rectify.
Always seek professional advice.
If you are attempting to re-spray any car body repair, remember that in order for the re-spray to be perfect, the underlying bodywork repair must also be perfect.
Firstly ensure that the colour of the spray paint is matched to your car. There will be a small metal plate with the cars 'VIN' number etched on it, often under the bonnet , this will also have a colour code for the original paint colour of your vehicle. Any good car parts dealer should be able to help you get the correct colour from that information.
If you are going to be working outside ensure that the weather is warm and dry, otherwise a well ventilated garage or large shed should be fine.
Ensure that the area to be sprayed is sanded down using fine 800 grit sandpaper. Using a soft cloth, wipe the surface using cellulose thinners, and with a fresh cloth wipe clean with a very mild solution of washing up liquid and water, allow to dry thoroughly.
Mask any areas not being painted and move the your masking outwards by a centimetre or so between coats to ensure a smooth transition between the old and the newly painted areas.
Whilst holding the spray can about 30cm (1ft) away from the panel, spray one thin coat of primer over the area. Use no more than two slow sweeps left to right of the spray and then stop, allow at least 20 minutes between coats. After 2 or 3 light coats, overlapping each other by 2 or three centimetres, leave the primer to dry for about 36 hours.
Wet some 1200 grit sandpaper and gently sand the area until smooth. Wipe clean with water and allow to dry thoroughly.
Give your can of spray paint a really good shake and apply each coat as you did with the primer, shake the can between coats. After the final coat leave for another 36 hours to dry.
Finally spray 1 or 2 coats of spray lacquer, leaving about 24 hours between coats, again adjusting the masking to enable overlaps between coats.
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