How to Spray Paint your Car in a DIY booth (25 Steps)

How to Spray Paint your Car in a DIY booth (25 Steps)

Welcome friend. In this video we’ll be
painting this van with a water-based base coat and a 2k clear coat lacquer.
I’ll be doing this in the Flowering Elbow workshop which temporarily got converted
to a spray booth, I’m really pleased with the results of this project and I’ll
show you step by step what I did including the mistakes I made. [Intro Music] So what I’m doing now is using some of this panel wipe down de-greaser to get rid of any spots of tar, or grease, on the body work, before I do the orbital sanding. So for this exciting job I’m using a standard panel white that’s a wax and grease
remover solvent. And if there’s any help I’ll try
and leave links to all the materials I use down in the description below. It
doesn’t have to be a super thorough job because we’re hitting it with the random
orbit but getting the tar off first really helps save the sanding sheets and
stops them getting clogged up which in turn hopefully prevents the sticky stuff
from being spread all over the bodywork. Now our vans had an interesting and
varied history and it’s been resprayed in its lifetime, after a serious accident.
This was before we owned it. The respray job didn’t include the roof and so we
don’t need to respray that. But the rest of it it either had very little lacquer
on it or some kind of very cheap non UV resistant lacquer. But either way you can
tell as we sanded, it just came straight to blue so the clear coat’s all worn off.
Which is why it looks so patchy in places as the UV has discolored the base
coat. In contrast the sanding dust on the sliding door is white, which indicates
with sanding clear coat rather than just base coat. So we’ve got some interesting bits of filler, that we have found here, here, all along here. [SIGH!] I don’t know… Let’s plow on regardless and
think about creating a place we can actually do this. The problem with doing
outside is that your then at the whim of the weather the birds,
the insects, all that kind of thing. Even dust can be a problem outside, we think
of it as clean but there’s actually – especially if it’s windy – quite a bit of
dust in the air. As you’ve no doubt deduced I’m gonna try and “spray boothify”
the workshop here. I tried to design things as I’ve been building up the workshop,
bit by bit, to be as flexible and mobile as possible, so most of the machines do
have wheels on and I can move them across. The workshop itself is
approximately equivalent to a two bay garage size type thing even though it’s
very unconventional has straw bale walls and all the rest of it. We’re going to
want to create a through flow of air that’s filtered so it’s not dusty – more
on that later. For now we’re using some cardboard to
protect the floor so hopefully it doesn’t turn completely blue. Cleanliness
is super important so anything you bring in has to be cleaned well and it’s worth
checking your shop vac is filtering to a fine enough level. So I have wiped the area down, now I’m just going to shake this up and give it a coat of primer. Just to sort of seal that area and smooth it down. The original wing
panel on the fan had such serious rust that the repairs I did meant it was
mainly fibreglass by the end. This new panel from ebay was cheap enough and it
came primed and ready to paint. It picked up to scratches somewhere along the line
though and I wanted to sort those out before starting. We can basically treat
this and the bonnet you can see there as test panels for the whole process. Turn
to the spray booth issue briefly: air is being blown out through that big door
and it comes in through this one. We want to filter the incoming air. So we’ve got a very clean sheet. With both doors open the workshop becomes something of a wind tunnel. We
often use that to our advantage with super dusty fumy jobs. Ok i’m going to call that good. It probably shouldn’t have been, but this was all a bit of an afterthought. Umm, the filling of the gun itself! So I’ve just made this mount here. There’s a funnel with an old tea bag, well a new tea bag (removed of the tea!) just to be a strainer/ filter thing there and I’ve
got the gun here held and that’s just elastic banded in this kind of weird
way and then it pops out of this little gap thing here. This is very exciting
I’ve spent a long time prepping for this! We’ve got our (spray) gun setup ready,
we’ve got compressed air piped in – that should be conditioned and oil free, we’ve
got our paints ready to mix, we’ve got the fans blowing the air through, we’ve got nice cleanliness, we’ve got our masking down, There was something else, but I can’t remember… Enough chit-chat, lets give it a try! This bit of wing actually seems to have dried quite nicely. As this is just something of a test piece I
wasn’t sure if I was gonna put this in the video so I haven’t got footage of
the actual spray of this. But here I’m using the tack cloth, this is after the
first coat. [Laughs] OK wet patch there! I made two blunders on this same panel: there’s one there and you can
just about to see another one at the front of that wing. The bonnet went okay,
the underside of the bonnet and I’m just waiting for that to flash off and then
I’m just spraying on a second coat and kind of crossing my fingers and hoping
that’s gonna cover up that little blemish. What he saw happening there was
me holding the gun at too steep an angle and the paint just sort of ran out and
wouldn’t travel through. So I had to spray it on that little scrap down the
bottom. As far as I can tell it’s quite unusual for DIYers to use water-based
paint for the base coat. I really wanted to because it’s so much better environmentally.
It has some other unique features as well and here’s one: It looks mega orange
peely at this stage. With the first coat that just sort of fell away so I’m
hoping the same will happen. As a novice to this whole process when it went on
fresh it was worrying to see how it looked but when it dries it just looks
really good! I’ve heard accounts from a few other
people saying just the same thing so I think that’s probably quite
universal for water-based paint. To recap so far then, although I screwed up the wing by tack clothing too soon I was actually quite encouraged
by how the underside of the bonnet went so here I am preparing some more paint.
I’m just mixing in a touch of water to dilute it – which is a cool thing about
water based paints – this gives it a consistency that will just about go
through the tea bag strainer thing I’m using and seems to go through the
gun well. Now if A you’ve got experience with water-based paints and B you’re a
professional a spray painter and C you haven’t destroyed your computer in
frustration yet, you could leave us a comment below saying what I should be
doing to mix up these paints well and I’m sure that be useful for our DIY
watchers here as well. Okay let’s move on to the next big lesson I learnt or
big mistake I made which is a nice compound mistake which started with ill
preparing the top of this bonnet. Water-based paints are notoriously fussy
and really require a completely clean starting surface. Part one of this
mistake was not getting that completely grease free surface by not using enough
solvents to wipe down the panel. There’s various fish eyes and other blemishes, I
think caused by that, and what I should have done was just started again but
instead I tried to crack them the sandpaper and overcoat. Turned out this
was just a waste of paint and time! Some of those blemishes were still there
after the second coat had dried and trying to fix them with the random orbit
sander actually just led to the paint kind of peeling off completely. This is with, I
think, 700 grit paper and it’s leaving behind the primer slightly roughened up
which should be a nice surface to paint on. If we say part two of this mistake
was ploughing on and doing that extra coat, part three of the mistake was that
I didn’t actually do a proper first coat! The first coat is supposed to be 0.5 of
a coat. I expect and hope some of you are going to tell me the various wrongs or
rights of that but as I understand it this is a very thin coat, that’s kind of
sprayed from a bit further away than a normal one. A sort of dusting
that just provides the water-based paint with a good foundation for the next coat
that goes on a lot more thickly. As you saw before during that I had to put on some more primer paint because in some places when I was sanding I went down to bare metal.
I know I can basically hear lots of you slapping your own foreheads here and rolling
your eyes. it’s quite time-consuming because each time you do that you have
to wait for that to dry. Looking at the video I think I probably overdid it
slightly on the bottom right corner of that bonnet for the 0.5 coat but
apart from that I’d call that first half coat done! Because it’s a half coat that
flashes a little bit quicker than normal it’s taking about 40 minutes here and
that’s at 22 degrees C in the workshop. Now we’re on to putting the first full
coat on and you can see how much closer I’m doing that and how much more
full-bodied a coat it is. I think the flash off time is a really big consideration
with water-based paints, where as the solvent evaporates really quickly even
in quite cold conditions. But for water-based I think it’s probably
important to have the ambient temperature at least about 20 degrees C
or you’re going to be waiting really long time between coats. The difficulty
in making a “spray booth”, is that, in the UK at least, it’s hard to get
the air flow required and control the temperature at the same time. In my case
I’ve got air rushing in through that bed-sheet which means it’s slightly
filtered but not heated in any way. With the supplementary fan heaters you’ve
seen, I’m just about pulling this off. This last of the 2.5 recommended coats
of base color paint is going on much better now after those earlier mistakes.
Here’s a top tip view I haven’t seen anywhere else: you can use one of these
cheap laser thermometers, and it really clearly indicates which patches are dry
and which are still wet. So before you tack cloth you can have some certainty
about that. There’s a fairly distinct 2 degrees C difference between
drying areas and bits are fully dry. Now we are mixing up to the 2k clear coat
I’ve just got marked on the jar there correct proportions. I’m putting about 5%
thinners into it just to make it go through the gun and atomizer really
nicely. This is the last tack clothing thing I’ll
be giving these panels. You don’t tack cloth between clear coats – more on that
later. As this is the first clear coating I’ll be doing, I spend a little while
dialing the gun settings in on that little scrap. It’s a good time to talk
about safety now we’ve moved on from the water base to the truly brutal 2k clear
coat chemicals. The activator our hardener in them contains isocyanates,
which you don’t want to be snorting up or getting on your skin in any way, and
they can travel through latex. So a tip here is to wear nitrite gloves rather
than latex ones. You can see the mist from this goes absolutely everywhere and
having any kind of exposed skin is a terrible idea.
As is having your ears or eyes exposed. Rather than going on about it too much
here, I’m gonna leave the details of the respirator face shield that I use down
in the description below – it’s been a game changer for me for loads of
workshop tasks especially chainsaw milling.
Judging when the first clear coat is ready to be over coated is something of an
art form. The rule of thumb that’s been working for me is to test it with your
gloved thumb and see whether it’s sticky. It’s ready to over coat when it feels a
bit like the back of a postage stamp before you lick it. It shouldn’t be wet
and slippy but neither should it be completely dry. For me in these
conditions it was taking about 10 to 15 minutes between coats. It’s worth knowing
if you leave it dry too long the next coat won’t adhere properly. Another
advantage of the water-based paint is that you can use just plain water to
clean the gun and your tools. In this case after the clear coating we quickly want
to get the solvents in there. Get everything clean and dried out ready for the next
time. Incidentally I’m using an ANI spray gun
with a 1.3 millimeter tip. I don’t have loads of experience with spray guns. I
think this one’s a sort of mid level kind of gun but it’s worked for me just
straight out of the gate really well! I’m looking forward to seeing how it does on
some of my other projects especially with woodworking finishes. So friend,
that work quite well let’s see what happens when we can actually get the van
in! [Music builds] The primer really highlights these little cracks here that are some kind of filler. Obviously I have that drip to sand down anyway. And there’s some more
of those cracks around this side too, down this wing area here… [Music] [Music] At some points the spray mist got really
quite thick. To help filter this somewhat I turn the dust extractor on, and you can see here how much it’s filtering out. It’s just got a HEPA filter bag from a Hoover over the exit, Just to make sure it’s not blasting it through… [Music] So, it’s the day after… It looks pretty good, there’s definitely some… Bits of… insects, in it. It’s got a bit of orange peel-ness. It’s kind of like how a factory paint is
normally, so I’m pretty happy with that! When you compare the bonnet which was
unprepped un-sanded, didn’t do much tack clothing or anything like that
but it’s also a flat surface so presumably more dust and stuff would settle on that – that’s a lot worse in terms of gubbins on it than the rest of it.
Okay it’s time to get this masking tape off and see what we’ve got under here. This
should be a cool moment. I’m a little bit worried because I probably should have
done the de-masking before the clear coat had chance to completely set, but we’ll see how it goes. The masking tape seems to come away okay. The only downside is the shiny new paintwork
casts the shoddy handles and plastics in quite sharp relief. But that’s okay I’m
not really want to be preening over the looks of the van. This is much more of a
work vehicle – so long as it looks respectable kind of close up and keeps
the rust away, I’m happy! And off it goes! I don’t know how I managed that but… it’s OK. If you’re interested in the cost of spraying your own vehicle
versus just putting it into a paint shop, I’ll try and leave a list of expenses in
the description below. It might be possible to save money doing this, but
not if you factor in your own time. Personally I really love exploring new
skills and was keen to get set up for spray-painting other projects so I’m
really pleased I went ahead and did this. Well friend, there it is, back to being nice
and dirty, as it always it. Hopefully some of that was useful. Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you in the next one. 🙂 [Seagulls] [Engine noise]


  • Leslie Austin says:

    Thanks for this, instructive even though I’m not likely to spray paint anything unless with ‘rattle cans’. But you really need to sort the sound. I have considerable hearing loss, so am not typical, but the sound goes up and down to the point of needing me to struggle to hear anything. Thanks for the efforts, and I learned something from it. Regards, Les

  • Kol Root says:

    Отличная работа. Все ошибки были исправлены )
    Кадди выглядит как новая.
    Самый ответственный момент это укладка лака чтобы не было подтёков.
    Выглядит отлично.
    для улучшения вида можно отполировать 😉

    Спасибо за видео.

  • Lucas Richard Stephens says:

    There is an argument for using what seems to be more environmentally noxious paint if it lasts a lot longer. My car is 30 years old now and the cars ( of the same model) painted the year after with water based paint, are very rusty and most get scrapped, mine has no rust and can last many more years. Remember the cars of Cuba are the most environmentally sound because they are very old. Waisting the first batch was also an environmental burden. Sorry for ranting, I am going to continue enjoying the film now that I got that off my chest.

  • Lucas Richard Stephens says:

    Excelent film thanks for posting, I will definatly have use for this film in my own work. Seasons greetings, Lucas

  • FloweringElbow says:

    Greetings Friend! Thanks so much for watching, I hope you can learn from some of my blunders 🙂 if you have any questions or feedback for me on any aspect of this project, just comment below, I love to hear from you 🙂

  • BillyFromAHillyPlace says:

    There are a few channels I watch as soon a video is up. Your's is one of them. The mistakes teach you way more than the smooth sailing camera perfect recipes. One question I had after watching this video is: what are the most "popular" other options for car painting. I am sure those came up during your research, and it will be nice to summarize what they are.

  • patrick Murphy says:

    Great vid! Do you think you might make some more tips and trick videos for chainsaw milling this year?

  • Jacob Jackson says:

    OMG do you hate your van? I would leave auto painting to the professionals with proper spray guns and booths mate!

  • Jamie Thompson says:

    pretty sure you HAVE to have an air fed (fresh air ) mask and air tight chemical suit to be in the middle of that fog of 2k cyanide???!!!

  • James Peterson says:

    Nice one for using waterbased colour. Looks great!

  • Kyle says:

    You should of scuffed the panels before spraying when the paint flys off that fender don't get upset it will be easy to remove the rest with compressed air lol

  • Timothy Roche says:

    First coat is a tack coat I believe

  • .a. .ko. says:

    Very well filmed!! very informative!! just as a suggestion: use a directional mic so we can hear you better 🙂

  • Darren Heading says:

    Thats why it takes years to be a good auto painter.

  • Darren Heading says:

    You sand the black E coat flat and remove all shine. Three coats of 2 pack primer filler . Allow to dry. Start at 400G then 600grit wet rub. Use guide coats. Three coats of color and three coats of 2 pack clear. Wet sand and polish.

  • Steve Riley says:

    I like what you did, next time you paint put the air hose behind your body and have slack to your paint gun hand. it will eliminate the accidental hose bumping the car body. not that you had the issue but its a big issue when it does happen. . Awesome job

  • jim gaffney says:

    wow, you really don't know do you?  if you don't clean surface WELL before you start sanding, you will push wax deeper into the paint

  • Jeff Barker says:

    thumbs up from me for doing it! i could pick apart step by step how you done this but i just want to tell ya,you did good ! learn from mistakes and move on,takes time and patience…

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