Tools You'll Need When Car Painting Tools You'll Need When Car Painting

Carrying out your own car painting work requires an advanced level of skill, especially as the preparation and refinishing techniques used within the trade itself can take many years to master. However, the task can be made significantly easier by using the correct tools for the job

Random Orbital Sanders

Random orbital sanders are perfect for preparation work. When used with the correct grade of sanding disc, it is significantly easier for the user to feather out awkward paint edges from previous work as well as helping provide an effective key for maximum paint adhesion.

Sanders can also be used as a starting point for rubbing down filler although a flat block should be used for finishing to a flat, even surface.

Sanding Blocks

Sanding blocks come in different styles and lengths and should be chosen in relation to the size of a repair. They are perfect for rubbing down filler when used with the correct grade of sanding paper.

Rubber blocks are also ideal for rubbing down primer and should be used with fine grades of wet-and-dry paper to produce an ideal surface for refinishing.

Spray Guns

Although it is possible to use aerosol paints and primers when working on your own vehicle, it is highly recommended that a professional spray gun is used to complete paintwork operations. Although these can be very expensive, they are custom designed to allow for the flow of today’s modern water-based materials and come with a pre-determined fluid tip set-up and air cap.

Always try to use separate guns for colors and laquer to avoid the risk of cross contamination. A separate gun for primer is also recommended.


The majority of tools used in the process of painting a car are air operated and a good quality compressor will be needed. You should try to make sure that the compressor has the capacity to cope with painting several panels at a time as well as having the strength to deal with continued use of other air tools during the preparation process. Air lines are also essential.

Air-fed Masks

Many paints on the market are still highly toxic and you should not consider painting anything without the use of effective respiratory equipment. Many materials still contain high levels of polyisocyanates and the effects of painting without adequate safety equipment can be life threatening, particularly for those that suffer with asthma.

Polishing Mop

It is highly unlikely that a privately painted job will be completed without dust or speckles of grit landing in fresh paint, particularly if the vehicle is being painted outside of a low-bake oven. Use P1500 paper and a rubber block to rub out any blemishes before polishing the paint back up to a shine with a professional standard polishing mop.

There are some particularly good compounding and polishing materials available that make polishing a fairly easy task.


No effective car painting job would be complete without a comprehensive range of consumable materials. Make sure you have a wide range of different graded sanding discs and rubbing down paper. You will also need a good supply of making tape, masking paper and degreaser as well as some lint-free cloth for cleaning down panels prior to painting.

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