We have a car. A 1994 Toyota Tercel with its original paint still on. The only way you’re prying it from me is to give me back my gen 1 RX-7 (with unlimited gas money), give me a genuine Delorian, or trade it for one of those snazzy Teslas. I get over 35 mpg on back roads and can zoom through just about anything. I laugh at shiny SUV’s with primpy women drivers and “manly” trucks with rednecks and other automobilic versions of silicon. But, my car was in dire need of paint. Not for looks, for downright maintenance.
1-Get a car. It doesn’t have to be yours. I’m sure others would appreciate a good paint job for free.
2-Wash it up and make it real pretty like.
Now, I know it’s hard to see in the pics, but below are the real barren spots. They were real obvious with the dirt on. Look for different colors in the paint. They were almost to the point of rusting, and we did have to sand out some rust areas, so we definitely needed to do this.
3-Sand it. We used 400 grit wet/dry sand paper with trickling water from our hose over wherever we sanded by hand. This took about 2 hours I guess with several breaks in between to let it dry so you can check for missed spots. You will want to wear nasty wet clothes for this as they will be wet and nasty by the time you are done with them. We hit bare metal in a few places, like edges,by accident, so be careful. Sand out rust spots and fix body work (if needed-we did not need to) at this time. Rinse WELL and wipe with a microfiber cloth to get all the dust off. You want ALL shiny gone. I thought there was no shine left on my car. There was. It will turn frosty (see tape pictures below).
4-Tape it up-tape ANYTHING you don’t want paint on, and I mean anything. Start out with just tape around the edges for a real good trim job. Take off all your decals and anything removable (our included the antenna) that you don’t want painted.
Then use grocery bags, trash bags, newspaper, or whatever you have.
So- how much have you spent so far? Just the sandpaper right? And maybe 50 cents for the newspaper? Oh, and less than $10 for the tape. Go ahead and splurge on the tape. You do NOT want this coming off until you are ready.
5-paint. Buy the paint well ahead of time, and be sure all of this is done on a DRY and MILD day. We used three quarts, but we had a pretty hard job needed on the car. It was the metallic emerald green from Advance Auto. You could easily get it online for cheaper I’m sure.
Tools you will need:
regulator valve $35
air compressor-I honestly don’t know how much these are. I’ve just always had one. Yours may already have a regulator with it. I suggest every house have one for cleaning and airing up tires. They’re handy as can be, and I would feel vulnerable without one. Therefore, I did not include it in the pricing.
Gloves-I just knew I had gloves, but I didn’t. So, I made one with an old sock. It worked great!
Oh, and the painter thingy. My dad bought this touch-up paint gun on sale at Harbor Freight for $18. Now, first of all, never buy from Harbor Freight. I have yet to get anything from that store that wasn’t made backwards or didn’t fall apart. But he did give it to us, so we don’t complain. In this instance, the canister screwed on backwards, the vertical/horizontal control was backwards, and there was no fill line. It also plopped out paint at the end leaving a few spots. Secondly, a touch-up gun is not made to paint a whole car, and you will spend more time filling the canister than actually spraying paint. Thirdly, spray in an arc. Start spraying before you get to the car, sweep it over and away, and continue to spray as you swing back on your next swipe. That way, you get a gradual addition/removal of spray paint and less “steps” as my husband call them (points where you obviously started spraying). You will also want to do a final coat about 12-14 inches away as opposed to the normal 8 inches. This wastes a great deal of paint, but smooths it all out. Give 15 minutes between coats. Once you’re done, you’re done. You’ll have to sand again to paint another day, so do it all at once.
Clean up with the correct solvent, remove your tape and….
So, how much was it? About $130. If you bought a decent paint gun, it could still be under $200. In fact, you would probably get cheaper paint than we did too, so that would really be a great price for the poor man’s paint job!!!
PS-Be careful the hose doesn’t hit the car while you’re spraying, and be on the lookout for loose tape. You also want to angle your spray with the car-aka, spray up to get under the rims of things, and back to get in gullies, etc.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!!! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!