How to Spray Paint a Car at Home: Step by Step Guide

For different reasons people want to paint their car at home. Whatever be your reason is, If you want to spray paint your car and of searching the process of how to spray paint a car at home like a pro painter, then this article will help you to learn and understand how to paint a car at home.

how to spray paint a car at home

We often paint our car for better look and lucrativeness. Getting the car painted by the professional will not only cost you a lot, but it is not easy to always find a good painter in your locality.

You will be amazed to know that it’s a very easy job, and you can even painting your own car right at your home by yourself if you know how to spray paint a car. It will not only save you a few bucks buy you will also have the freedom to paint your car as your wish.

The most popular painting process regarding how to paint a car at home is using the spray gun. With the assist of a good paint sprayer and few other things, you can paint your car in your home. Because using the spray gun reduces time.

Also, it ensures that the color will spread at all over the car with the same thickness. Now we will discuss the process how to use a spray gun to paint a car.

It takes the tremendous time to paint a car. The whole process is very lengthy and also time-consuming. So first of all, make sure that you have some free days for painting or, at least, two or three weekends.

Guide on how to spray paint a car

There are some steps to painting a car. Follow these instructions properly for cheapest way to paint a car.

Before painting a car at home you need to do preliminary task.The better your preparations is, the better results you will get.

At first, pick the place where you will do the paint job. The best place to do car paint is under any shade. It assures that there will not be any dumping of unwanted elements on the car during the paint job. The place can be your garage. But you can do the paint job under the open sky as well.

Garage Insights

A few things are needed for painting the car at your home as follows. Along with the following things you might need a color remover too if you want to redo your previous color.

Next big question should come your mind that how much paint to paint a car you need. As you are not a professional painter you will need some more volume of pain than an expert.But if you are a quick learner you would definitely identify the way of not wasting the color.

Volume needed for different cars

For a medium or small size car, you will need

  • 1-gallon base coat.
  • 3-gallon topcoat.
  • Approximately 3 gallons or 4-gallon clear coat.

For a big or large size car, you will need

  • 5-gallon base coat.
  • 4 gallons top coat.
  • 2 to 3 gallons clear coat.


Professional painters typically need a less than the volume listed above. But for practice runs and corrections, it will be better for you to have some extra. Also, it will help you to avoid too little painting.

After sorting and collecting all the above materials, you have to follow the following steps one after another to finish the painting process. Once you have understood all the four steps properly, then you will have all the answers to the question how to spray paint a car at home.

To match the original color. First, you need to find the color code of your car. You will find it on the compliance plate of your car. Then give it to any paint shop and they will match it for you.

Match the Color Coating

Finding the best paint sprayer to paint a car

Finding the best paint sprayer is very important to paint a car as you are not professional.By our comprehensive Paint Sprayer Reviews, you can find your answer.

Top Paint Sprayer For Painting a Car
  1.  Read the Best paint sprayer reviews from and make your own choice.

  2.  Compare the Top 10 Paint Sprayers for 2017 and choose that suits you and your budget.

  3.  Follow what we recommend for you.


Graco magnum X5 reviews

We recommend to our readers to use “GRACO MAGNUM X5” Because it is the best airless sprayer which can be used like a professional by any amateur user.

Final steps to painting a car at home

You don’t have to be a professional regarding how to use a spray gun to paint a car so far. Some final preparations regarding how to spray paint a car at home are –

  1. At first, clean the working area properly. Make sure that there is no dust.
  2. If you work outside, clean the entire sector.
Do not paint under a tree. There is a chance that contaminants, leafs and other things will fall and ruin the whole paint. Now wash the car properly. Make sure that there is no dust, road grime and grease on the car.

After that before start the painting, you need to decide which parts you want to paint. If you want to paint engine bay or trunk than you need to striping down the car. Also, you need to remove the engine. Remember this will increase the time a lot. But if you want to paint the body only then just mask those areas which you do not need to paint.

If you do this in winter check this Spray Painting in Cold Weather.


Now you have to put the dust mask on. Also, wear the eyewear for protection. Turn on the dust extractor and clean properly.

Use circular motions for sanding with the sandpapers. Use your hand to sand the corners. Take extra care for sanding the crevices area.

Make sure that the sanding you did is smooth. Also, the surface should be even. It will make sure that the paint will sit properly. Use good quality wet sandpaper and dry sand paper to get the best result. Now take a rag. Wipe out the whole surface very gently. Use the thinners to remove dust. Wait for some time until the thinner evaporate completely.

Stripping a car


Priming with a spray gun

It is one of the major steps of how to spray paint a car. Mask the areas which you do not want to paint. Use newspapers, plastic sheets and masking tapes for a proper masking. Then mix the primers and thinners together. Use the instructions on the paint can for maintaining the ratio.

  1. At first practice the spraying techniques on a board or sheet. It will make your hand more stable.
  2. Try to maintain 6 inches gap between the sheet and the spray.
  3. It’s better to move the spray in a vertical way.
  4. Do not hold the spray in the same position. Otherwise, the paint or primer will be thicker in those parts.

Now start priming or spraying the mixture on the car panels. Make sure that the coats are even at all places. Do at least two coatings for a good result. There must be enough drying break between two coats.

Color coating


Now before the start, the painting, make yourself comfortable with the spray gun. There is a chance that you will ruin the color during painting. Also, you need to learn the painting techniques. So at first, find a car panel from a salvage yard or something like that.

A piece of steel will also do the work. Now practice with the spray gun on the panel.

During spray follow these instructions-

  1. Continue to hold 6 inches distance between the panel and the spray gun.
  2. Spray side to side.
  3. Do not spray up to the bottom to bottom to up.
  4. Press the trigger of the spray gun only when you move it one side to another.
  5. Do not hold the trigger continuously. It will make the paint thicker at some places.

Once you are done with the practice, start priming the car with the spray gun. Try to work out from the roof to the down. Give three or three coats for the good layer. After finishing one layer wait for the recommended time before starting another layer. Typically a coat takes 10 to 12 minutes to dry.


 Painting with the Spray Gun

You are at the end of the process of knowing how to spray paint a car at home. At the finishing part there are also some guidelines. Those are

  1. First, clean the spray gun properly.
  2. Now mix the paint with the thinner. Follow the ratio given by the color shop.
  3. Now start painting the car with the spray gun. 
  4. First, spray the top coat paint.
  5. Press the trigger of the spray gun only when you move the spray.

It will take almost ten minutes to paint a panel. Before give another paint coat, wait for at least 20 minutes.It will make sure that the paint on the panel will dry. Otherwise, the new paint coating will not hold properly.

Apply at least three to four coats. Also, use the final time which is recommended. You will find proper instructions on the paint can for different coating and color. Now before the last coating of paint, remove any powderly residue which is very important steps of how to spray paint a car. Use the wet sand paper and dry sand paper (200 grit) to do this. Later wipe down the whole car with a clean rag. Once the clearing is done, now paint for the last time for coating.

car polishing

Once the painting is done, remove the masking from the car. Remove it from the paint clear coat become dry. Now leave the car for enough time so that the paint clear coat cures properly. Inspect the painting properly for any flaws or imperfections. If you find any flaw, then use the sand paper for smoothing and repaint.This is the end of learning how to spray paint a car at home.


Hope this article will help you to understand the process about how to spray paint a car at home.Using a spray gun to paint a car is a very smooth process. You already know how to use a spray gun to paint a car. If you have enough patience and skill, then you will able to save a lot amount of money by painting your own car.If you will like our guide to how to paint a car at home don’t forget to share with your friends. Goodbye & Happy Painting.

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  • Emma Green says:

    I’m a huge fan. I’ve seen time and time again in blogland how so many can transform something really ugly into something completely different and beautiful with spray paint.

  • Dominic Greco says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of spray paint. I tried it on my car and it’s very cool. It’s completely new and different.

  • Tobias Armstrong says:

    If I’m being honest, I had no idea that so much went into painting a car. I really liked your approach to walking through the whole process though. It really helped me understand what I was looking at a lot more, and made me think that I may be in a little over my head. It may be fun to try eventually, but for now I think I’ll favor taking it to the pros for work. Thanks for sharing!

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