How to Use Spray Metallic Car Paint

silver car
What You'll Need
Wet and Dry Paper
Plastic Putty Knife
Masking Tape
Cover Sheets
Spray Metallic Paint
Spray Lacquer/Clear Coat

Repainting a car with metallic car paint requires the same skills as other forms of paint. If you can use a rattle can or a spray paint gun you can learn to paint a car with metallic paint. It does take some practice to get a good quality result. If you want your new paint job to look like showroom quality, you will need to apply the correct techniques and use the proper preparation before you start.

Step 1 - Prep and Sand

Bondo patch on a red car

If you are spraying the whole car it is a much better idea to use a professional type spray gun or a kit. Aerosol cans of paint are not particularly great for painting large areas or whole vehicles. Make sure you have the correct paint match for your car color. Set the car in a suitable place and mask off any areas which are not going to be painted. If the area you are painting is just a small area, like a fender or back quarter you should begin by making cosmetic repairs, if needed. If the damaged area is small and there is no dent or blemish you can begin sanding. Use smooth sandpaper, like wet and dry and use gentle circular motions to smooth out the area.

Step 2 - Paint

You can then begin applying a two-stage metallic paint. First you paint the metallic paint on, either one or two coats, and then you apply a clear coat lacquer. Metallic paint is made in a similar way as ordinary auto paint but has minute little flecks of metallic substance inside it, which gives it the metallic appearance. Therefore, it should be treated in the same way as ordinary paint. Hold the spray paint about a foot out from the car and use consistent back and forth motions.

Step 3 - Spray Gun

man painting a car

If you are using a spray gun, make sure it is thoroughly clean before you implement it. Begin spraying the area by holding the gun steady and vertical. Hold it around ten to twelve inches from the surface and spray in steady even motions, keeping your wrists straight. Begin on the bottom of the car and work slowly upward, spraying evenly as you progress. When you have completed one area, move to the next, unless you are painting the whole car. Sections are areas that you have either masked off away from each other (like painting a single door) or separate parts of the whole car (door to door or fender). Cover the whole area completely and then leave to dry for at least twelve hours, but overnight is the preferred option. Complete the second coat of paint and then let that dry for at least 24 hours before applying a clear lacquer or clear top coat.

Step 4 - Buff

Use buffing pads and compound polish to provide a protective and highly polished surface on the new paint job. Buff the top coat with the compound, circling it onto the top of the car. Switch on the buffer machine and work until you have a smooth, even shine.