How to prep a car for a paint job

Has the paint on your car faded due to everyday wear and tear? Before deciding to get your car resprayed, it is best to inspect its condition. Spontaneity isn't practical here because car respraying is a costly process. If you're unsure about prepping a car for paint, here's what you need to know:

Signs that your car needs respraying 

a car hood with fading paint

When your car paint rubs off

Cars are like people; they age, too. Car aging results in worn-out interiors, rusty parts, and chipped-off paint. Uneven car paint isn't a beautiful sight (unless it’s your style). So if you're thinking of not letting go of your car just yet, take it to the car repair shop to have it fixed. 

Note that minor paint chipping isn't enough reason to bring it to the shop. Unless it’s super obvious, it’s best to wait it out until more paint comes off before hiring a respraying professional. 

See also: Car Respraying Cost Guide


When your car has scratches

Ignoring scratches can lead to more significant issues, such as corrosion or rust buildup. Minor scratches can sometimes be polished. If that doesn't work, it's time to schedule a paint job. Small scratches on your car's body can be repaired with corrective paint correction, but big or deep ones need complete repainting. A simple way to test scratch severity is to glide your fingernail across the scratch. If your finger meets much resistance, the scratch indeed requires immediate repair. 


When your car starts to look dull

Quality cars can last for decades if you maintain or service them well. But if your car has been with you for a long time, you might eventually tire of its colour and want something different. Car respraying is an excellent way to make your vehicle seem brand-new again. It can even make vintage cars look like their modern counterparts!

How to prep a car for paint

To ensure a successful paint job, preparing well is essential. Impulsively deciding to have your car painted without reviewing the state of your vehicle could affect the quality of the paint job. If you're not sure what to check, here are some pointers:

Step 1: Differentiate scratches and dents

Remember, you’re coming in for a paint job, not a car repair job. While car respraying can cover up scratches, it's more for cosmetic purposes. It's wise to visit a repair shop and fix your car's damaged areas first. Then when you finally book a respraying service, the professional won't have to be mindful of painting over dents.

Step 2: Research your options well

One five-star review in a sea of average ratings shouldn't make you complacent. Before bringing your car to the nearest shop, do your research and pick a professional who best suits your needs or preferences. One helpful tip is to post a task. Airtasker has professionals who can respray your car with care.

Step 3: Prioritise quality

You’re probably itching to take your car out for a spin. But don't seek instant gratification at the cost of a mediocre respraying job. Car resprayers follow several steps before they even get to mixing the colours you want. Priming, etching, and lacquering all take time. With that in mind, it's best not to rush the repainting work.

a woman checking a scratch on her car

Can I respray my car by myself?

Car respraying is best left to professionals because DIY projects might void your car's warranty or insurance policy. Perhaps you could save money by buying the materials yourself, but the respraying process can be risky if you don't have the right protective equipment. Some paints have toxic fumes, so you have to use them with the utmost care.

Preparing for a car respraying project

Overall, car respraying is an appealing endeavour, especially if you want to restore the shine of a beloved car. But since it mostly addresses surface problems, it's best to check if your vehicle needs major repairs beforehand. If you need help spotting signs of damage, feel free to consult a professional in car body work. Then, you can finally have your car resprayed and enjoy its brand-new look and feel.

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