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It may sound simple, paint a car. Painting a car with damage from an accident requires more, but we’ll walk you through the basic steps to painting a car that needs some fresh color from scratches and basic things that can minorly damage the paint on your car.

Get it Inspected

The first thing you want to do is have your car visually inspected. The person inspecting your car will catch tiny scratches and dents that you might not have seen. This is important because you’ll want to know where you’ll need to sand or repair before repainting.

Washing your car

Getting your car clean will ensure, just as it would if you were painting a wall, that your car will have a smooth and clean paint job. You’ll want to pressure wash your vehicle, paying close attention to the places where dirt might hide, like under the wheel wells. Included in the cleaning process is waxing and grease removing. You can use a grease remover to get rid of excess grease on your vehicle.

Sanding your car

Part of the smoothing process is sanding your vehicle so that the paint will adhere correctly. Many people will use a sanding machine to make the sanding job uniform. You’ll want to scuff the vehicle afterwards. This is all part of making sure the surface of your car is ready to help paint adhere to it. Next you’ll wash your car again after this sanding process to ensure that any dust or dirt that might have got on your car from the sanding process is removed.

Paint booth

After your vehicle is dry, it will go into the paint booth and will get masked to make sure that anything that isn’t supposed to get painted won’t. The only sections that ought to be exposed in the paint both are the sides of the car and the areas that you want painted. If you want a design for example, you may have to repeat this process twice or even a few times in some instances. After your car is maxed, the exposed areas will be waxed and degreased again. Once again ensuring anything that has become attached to your vehicle, like dust, dirt, or grease will be removed. Then the portions of the vehicle that are exposed might have a tack cloth used to back up the waxing and degreasing process.

Prepare the paint!

This can vary from paint to paint. The type of paint you choose will determine how, and how much to prepare for the first coat on the car. Then the paint will be loaded into the paint gun, which will be used by the technician who will apply the paint evenly, standing at a constant distance away from the car. Most of the time (depending on the type of paint) the technician will wait 10 to 15 minutes for the first coat to dry before applying the second coat. They will then repeat this process for the third coat. After 30 minutes, the final coat will be applied to add shine to the car, and will be applied in 2-3 coats 10-15 minutes apart. After waiting another 15-20 minutes, the car will be “baked” in the paint booth, to ensure drying and adhering of the paint.

If your vehicle is properly prepped and painted, you will end up with a shiny, newly painted car! As stated before, this process can absolutely vary depending on whether your car had major damage and repairs prior to painting, as well as what kind of paint you are applying, but the basic steps of cleaning, sanding, and painting are fairly standard. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at Charles County Auto Body, where we perform repair and paint jobs. Our technicians will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also schedule an appointment with us here: