In the final installment of our “paint your car at home” series, we finally come to laying on the color. Body and paint prep is a long process when done correctly, and cutting corners will show in the final results. While by no means a fully inclusive series, hopefully you’ll have an idea of what goes into such a job, and feel encouraged to tackle painting your next project yourself.

Summit Racing’s two-stage urethane basecoat/clearcoat system certainly makes things simpler, takes a lot of the mystery out of the process, and is formulated to meet National Rule VOC emissions standards. However, some areas, such as California, have more stringent regulations, for which low-VOC paint is available. Summit’s sales reps can help you with this. As with the primer stages, personal safety is paramount, though for topcoats, in addition to a good quality respirator, a spray suit is recommended (which features a hood), and though I didn’t use them, latex gloves too. The chemicals in paint can be absorbed through skin, so covering up isn’t just to prevent dust coming off your clothes while painting! For more details on the Summit paint system and related products, check out the company website, which is far more inclusive than the catalog. The paint guns, for example, don’t appear in print, but are listed online.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of painting, let’s mention a couple of other things. If you’re painting at home—or anywhere other than a dedicated paintbooth to be honest—preventing dust and debris from falling or being blown up onto wet paint is going to be tricky, but much of it can be eliminated by lining the garage with polythene sheets, Dexter-style, and wetting down the floor prior to painting. Don’t soak it, just wet the floor and brush it around and under the vehicle uniformly. It’ll stop the overspray sticking to the floor too! While painting, ensure you hold the air hose with your free hand, preventing the first 6 or 8 feet of hose from dragging on the wet floor, and to stop it hitting the lower portions of the bodywork as you work around the vehicle.

Then there’s the subject of removing airborne overspray from the garage. Paint booths have very powerful fans to do this; I used a couple of $10 plastic box fans, one in the open doorway (there was absolutely no wind throughout this job or I’d have shut the door), and one in a window. I also have a small one built into the roof of the garage too. If you have close neighbors I’d recommend rigging up a water mist system directly in front of the fan, so the overspray is caught by the water and carried downward into a receptacle, not over the fence and onto a neighbor’s car or house windows. Just because it’s possible to paint at home doesn’t mean it’s not anti-social!

SOURCE
Summit Racing
Akron
OH
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
www.summitracing.com/
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com