tried my hand at auto painting


A couple weeks ago I noticed a plastic piece gone from my garage queen.

It covers where the tow eye would screw into the bumper, a plastic piece.

It only comes primed, so I had to pay $24 for the piece and $54 for paint on eBay, base and clear.

What I suspected is the case.

I always wondered why you can see a nice car on a sunny day, and the repaint/respray/body work is so obvious. I'm talking brand new like a Mercedes S class etc.

At any rate I sprayed this tiny plastic pre-primed piece and put 3 coats on it. It looked really good even in an iPhone pic.

Then I got to the clear coat. It looked like I applied a coat of milk to the piece. Jumped on google and it said clear should not be applied when raining as humidity turns the clear to a milky appearance.

Solutions were to resand it off (oh no) or attempt to use a heat gun to heat it up.

I heated the piece up with a hair dryer and amazingly it cleared.

Once all was said and done? It's about as good as those cars I mentioned above where you can spot the body work. But since it's a small object on the bumper, probably only I will truly know it was resprayed. But I can see painting is an art. Those restos on Graveyard Carz are something.

The name of the game I think is multiple very thin coats, time between drying, and tons of waste to be able to get that thin coat...

Also, I know this spray paint was created with a computer at a body shop. It is in theory perfectly matched. But it is not on a car that was produced 15 1/2 years ago.

Add sanding to the mix

To get a really good paint job, you need to wet sand between coats. This takes a long time to do and is one of the reasons that body shop work is so expensive. But, if you want a good job, you have to take the time to do it right.

With God, all things are possible. ——State motto of the Great State of Ohio


Painting a car is easy. As a kid (20) I painted my 56 Chev with spray paint cans. Did it look good? Well maybe not to some people, but it was good enough for me living on a military paycheck, and it covered the bondo where the dents were....

With today's car paints it takes skill to apply the coats, and prep work is what makes it happen.

I never get lost, but I do explore new territory every now and then.