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How to paint your car with Rustoleum


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Once you have your bodywork finished, the Rustoleum paint job costs about $100 or so, and can look great if wetsanded and polished.

HOT ROD Magazine even did this on a Ford Falcon to see if it was feasable.

 

 

supplies:

"Rustoleum Professional" Paint of your color choice, or custom mix, as these colors are compatible to mix with no issue. ~$9 a quart, and a whole car takes two or three quarts. Available at Lowes and Home Depot and other home improvement stores.

4" wide high density foam paint rollers, and maybe a smaller one if you need to fit in tight places. Wider rollers promote a more even coating with each stroke of the roller.

paint pan

 

Sand paper: 150 on a random orbit sander or 220 by hand for the base, 400 wet, 600wet, 1000wet(optional), and 1500 grit wet if you are going for a super polish and have lots of spare time.

Some kind of buffing machine with polish, or polish by hand.

 

The KEY to getting this paint job to look great is dependent on two things, paint prep, and sanding between layers and on final polish.

 

 

1: sand entire area to be painted: if clear coat is still present, I would sand down past the clear coat. once clear is gone, wet sand with 400 grit sandpaper, and clean with mineral spirits. Fix any rusty spots and prep them for painting.

 

Roll the first coat of paint and let it sit 12-24 hours, depending how much thinner you add to your paint. It generally takes me about 12 hours in the summer for a coat to dry before its ready for the next step(netting 2 coats of Rustoleum per day). After the coat has dried, sand the paint until a smooth finish is acquired. This may completely remove paint from some small spots, but the next coat will fill in those spots. 400 grit wet sanding should be adequate.

 

Roll down some coats of Rustoleum repeating the previous process(usually around 2 coats) until you can no longer see the base color under the Rustoleum. Sand with 400 grit then move to 600 grit.

 

Roll one last good layer and wet sand with 600 grit, then 1000 grit paper, and polish.

 

I generally leave plain Rustoleum as the final layer, as touch up from rock chips and such are very easy to repair since there is no clear coat.

 

 

Photos:

I am painting My Girlfriend's turbo 2.8 Limited Edition 84 Maxima with a minty green color.

2010-07-07%2013.16.36.jpg

 

84 Maxima trunk lid after first coat of hunter green that is mixed with about 5%-10% gloss white and about 15% mineral spirits.

As rolled earlier today and mostly dry:

2010-07-07%2016.01.00.jpg

 

 

2010-07-07%2016.01.11.jpg

 

 

surface texture:

2010-07-07%2016.01.20.jpg

 

 

I will post more pictures as I get further along with this Maxima painting project.

 

When done, the finish should look something like what I achieved before after polishing:

b92515592.jpg

 

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This is what the paint looks like after an initial wet sanding. After giving some extra work on the lines from the roller, I was ready for a second coat.2010-07-07%2017.43.30.jpg

 

second coat on the trunk lid, much smoother than the first.

2010-07-07%2018.58.34.jpg

 

 

In case you did something like I did, and goof up on bodywork, repairs are easy with the Rustoleum roller paint job.

After painting the hood, I decided that I did not like the front edge left from the bondo shaping, so I took it back down and reformed the front top edge, and will recoat heavily in this area on the second coat.

2010-07-07%2019.03.17.jpg

 

 

2010-07-07%2019.13.06.jpg

 

 

Also had a decent sized dent that I had not seen before painting the hood, so I punched it back out from behind and will use some paint as filler in this area.

2010-07-07%2019.03.36.jpg

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This is for those who don't have the equipment, skills or a place to spray a car. It's cheap but labor intensive, perfect for some of us.

 

 

Master: How many coats total will you need?

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This is for those who don't have the equipment, skills or a place to spray a car. It's cheap but labor intensive, perfect for some of us.

 

 

Master: How many coats total will you need? How long before each coat is dry enough to sand properly?

 

I think 4 coats will be enough, but since I am painting these extra panels off the car, as it is still a driving daily driver, probably 5 coats total.

The plan is to do 4 coats on all these replacement doors, hood, and trunk lid and then to put the car down for a week and paint the roof and rear quarter panels, then do one last coat over all the panels while on the car just to make sure it is all color matched.

 

Today it is hot and dry so I was able to wetsand on the trunk lid after about 6-7 hours of sitting in sunlight. I hope to get a second coat on the hood tomorrow morning before I have to leave for the day.

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The question is why don't you just spray it in the first place so you don't have to sand roller texture all day?

 

This is for those who don't have the equipment, skills or a place to spray a car. It's cheap but labor intensive, perfect for some of us.

 

Elbow grease only costs time!! Ratsun and cheap! the typical combo!

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I love it! i'm very tempted to do this on my 510. i read the hotrod story and they thinned the paint 40-50 %. i think you said you did 15%. have you tried it thinned down more and didn't like it? is this the first car you've painted this way?if it's not, got any pics of others you've done?

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I love it! i'm very tempted to do this on my 510. i read the hotrod story and they thinned the paint 40-50 %. i think you said you did 15%. have you tried it thinned down more and didn't like it? is this the first car you've painted this way?if it's not, got any pics of others you've done?

 

It gets too runny for me beyond 20%.... I like nice thick layers of paint to sand down and make smooth, and fill tiny imperfections in the bodywork. I suppose you can go thinner after the first couple layers in order to speed up sanding, but you may have to add a layer or two to the whole package.

 

I painted my 260z, but it got canned before I could finish painting. I practiced on the hood of that car and got a good system down though.

 

various stages of paint, with horrid bodywork by the young and unknowledgable me:

 

first try ever:

b24889348.jpg

 

b32717205.jpg

 

 

m32294188.jpg

 

 

m36581486.jpg

 

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This is for those who don't have the equipment, skills or a place to spray a car.

 

For anyone using this system,IF you don't have access to a compressor,what are you using for primer and how are you applying it?

Are you rolling/brushing on a primer made by the same paint company (Rustoleum) or????

I was just thinking of hitting my truck with spray bombs for color but I'm stuck at the primer 'cause I've got no way to apply "proper" primer.

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For anyone using this system,IF you don't have access to a compressor,what are you using for primer and how are you applying it?

Are you rolling/brushing on a primer made by the same paint company (Rustoleum) or????

I was just thinking of hitting my truck with spray bombs for color but I'm stuck at the primer 'cause I've got no way to apply "proper" primer.

 

There is no need for primer, just scuff the surface before painting.

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Master-0,

 

This is a much discussed method for the last few years. I've seen a couple of cars (VWs) done this way and they turned out well.

 

But... it's too much work for me. Let me tell you my story on a 72 PL-521, done about 15 years ago. It was my first attempt at spraying with anything other than a can.

 

I bought 2 quarts of white Rustoleum and got a buddy of mine who works in an automotive paint store to tint it to the spec color for my PL-521. Then I scuffed the surface with 220 grit. Using a borrowed 2.5 gal Craftsman compressor and a Craftsman HVLP gun, I sprayed a tack coat (thinned 75/25 using Mineral Spirits), waited 30 minutes and sprayed another light coat from 12 inches. That resulted in about a 80% coverage since I was spraying over the same color.

 

An hour later, using the other quart thinned 50/50 with Mineral Spirits, I sprayed a wet coat from about 10 inches. Then I shut the garage and went to bed. The next morning, the 521 looked really sharp and the paint was still off gassing. Mineral spirits takes a while to dry out. Checked it that night and found two small runs, both on the inside of the bed.

 

A week later, I wet sanded it with 1000 and then 1500 grit and then buffed it out with swirl remover. My buddies thought I had paid big bucks to some pro. I didn't tell them I had about $60 total invested in materials.

 

That paint held up well until I sold the truck about 12 years later.

 

Rustoleum now recommends thinning with Acetone I believe. And, they now offer their own line of automotive paints, including clears and a thinner, that may require their own thinner.

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Master-0,

 

This is a much discussed method for the last few years. I've seen a couple of cars (VWs) done this way and they turned out well.

 

But... it's too much work for me. Let me tell you my story on a 72 PL-521, done about 15 years ago. It was my first attempt at spraying with anything other than a can.

 

I bought 2 quarts of white Rustoleum and got a buddy of mine who works in an automotive paint store to tint it to the spec color for my PL-521. Then I scuffed the surface with 220 grit. Using a borrowed 2.5 gal Craftsman compressor and a Craftsman HVLP gun, I sprayed a tack coat (thinned 75/25 using Mineral Spirits), waited 30 minutes and sprayed another light coat from 12 inches. That resulted in about a 80% coverage since I was spraying over the same color.

 

An hour later, using the other quart thinned 50/50 with Mineral Spirits, I sprayed a wet coat from about 10 inches. Then I shut the garage and went to bed. The next morning, the 521 looked really sharp and the paint was still off gassing. Mineral spirits takes a while to dry out. Checked it that night and found two small runs, both on the inside of the bed.

 

A week later, I wet sanded it with 1000 and then 1500 grit and then buffed it out with swirl remover. My buddies thought I had paid big bucks to some pro. I didn't tell them I had about $60 total invested in materials.

 

That paint held up well until I sold the truck about 12 years later.

 

Rustoleum now recommends thinning with Acetone I believe. And, they now offer their own line of automotive paints, including clears and a thinner, that may require their own thinner.

Now that is an awesome bedtime story!
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Its really hot here, so I got on 2 coats today, and may lay a third tonight. Trunk and hood are almost done, and got 2 coats down on one of the rear doors. Looking really good so far. 3 doors, then gotta do bodywork on the front fenders, and then paint the attached panels

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Lookin forward to seeing this finished out in the sun Master-o! Great thread!

Thanks! It should be finished tomorrow!

 

do you have to use a clear????

 

you can, BUT...

once you clear you can't go back and touch up the paint. I would prefer not to.

 

Progress pics:

 

sanded with 220 grit until 95% flat on an electric random orbit sander

DSCF9680.JPG

 

 

painted, 1 coat to go on the body tomorrow, also painted the wheels with 2 coats of unthinned gloss white Rustoleum and a small brush

DSCF9683.JPG

 

 

Front end painted up, the white trim was painted with a little 79 cent foam brush. Also got in some nooks and crannies with green paint with one of these foam brushes.

DSCF9685.JPG

Should have bought a $26 gallon of the green paint... I have only painted a first generation Z car and didnt realize how much more space there was on this Maxima, over the 260z. will be done or almost done with 3 pints by the time i'm done.

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