Jump to content

How much paint?


Recommended Posts

I have decided to paint my car (2dr 510) myself and i need to know how much paint/clear i need to get.  Being my first paint job, I would also like a list of other odds and ends i may need to get to tackle this project.    If there are any paint guys out there or if anyone has painted there car before PLEASE chime in.


many thanks

Link to comment
  • Replies 15
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

go ask ur local paint shop. They will know better. Also mention if you're doing body work. I suggest epoxy primer, body filler, potty, high building primer for bodywork, a surfacer, a seam sealer(most times the primer can be mixed with thinner? to get a sealer). Choose the colors of each according to the base coat. You want them contrasting with each other ESPECIALLY with the steel. Plan 3 coats of primer, base coat and I would go with 4 coats of clear so you can cut n buff. Each time you get down to raw metal: epoxy. Each time you're satisfied with the sanding: surfacer. Potty is for texture left by filler or MINI spots. Then to be sure sand block again. Once you dont sand thru the surfacer: seam sealer THEN base coat THEN clear. All while wet

Link to comment

That's a very ambiguous question, and if you ask the guys who do paint, you will get a LOT of different answers.  The simple answer is, if it's a driver, just scuff the existing paint, primer, then shoot a single stage paint.  (I am completely ignoring fixing dents, the art of sanding body filler, and blocking out the car)


Datsunfreak had a 510 wagon a while back that they removed most of the trim, did some very simple bodywork, then did a (I think) single stage paint that came out very respectable.


If you don't know what you're doing yet, I would keep it very simple to start.  I would also recommend staying away from metallic or pearl colors.  They are more difficult to shoot than a solid color.


I am only offering my opinion here, and it is worth exactly what you paid for it..

  • Like 1
Link to comment

This is a hard question to give an exact answer to as there are so many variables. For a four door, for the topcoat (2 pack) ill generally look at laying down 4 litres of top coat for a complete respray. Undercoat will vary markedly depending on how much prep work is required.


My two cents worth.

Link to comment

One word of advice, if you don't have access to a painting booth I'd highly recommend paying someone to spray it for you. Dust is F'n evil. 


If this is your first time doing body work use guide coat primer for finding hidden low spots and tiny dents



Best of luck

Link to comment

In the end, you will find that a reliable "One Day Paint and Body" franchise can look over your car, recommend any necessary body work, sanding, scuffing and priming, and do a very good paint job that is compatible with the remaining factory [probably amino acrylic enamel] for less $$ and trouble than if you try to do it yourself. Not all later day paints are compatible [as in the won't wrinkle and peel especially if parked outside where the sun can do it's thing a year later] with original OEM paint. Plus you get some warantee which you will not have if you do it yourself!

Link to comment

Use a good hvlp spray gun. 1.7 needle for primer and a1.3-1.4 for base coat and Clear coats. Have a water separator in line and drain any water from your compressor and lines. Take off as much trim and parts as possible and use high quality tape designed for automotive paints.

USE A RESPIRATOR!! Unless you're trying to get as stoned as willie Nelson. You can make a "booth" in your garage if you ventilate it properly with fans that can exchange the air rapidly.

Just make sure you do not have a water heater or any other source of ignition so you don't get blown up

3-4 qts is usually enough paint.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

i can vouch from recent experience: do not just take a half mask. Get the full face. My garage wasnt vented because it was -25Cs outside and my heater cant keep up. My eyes were hurting like i didnt sleep for 2 days...

Link to comment

I sprayed this last Tuesday with single stage paint.  4 coats on roof, 5 coats on lower body.  Used about 1/2 gallon of paint on it.  With reducer and hardener, ended up spraying about 3 quarts total.


I would guess if the doors, hood, and hatch were on the car, it would take around a gallon or so for the entire car.  Laecaon says he used nearly a gallon on his, so I think that's a pretty good number.  




Link to comment

Also, your list you asked about.


Wax and grease remover to clean the car prior to painting.

Tack cloth

Paint, hardener (or activator) and reducer.

If you go basecoat/clearcoat you need clear, hardener, and reducer.  (Check with your seller as the same reducer can probably be used for the paint and the clear.)

Large size mixing cups

Stir sticks

Paint filters to filter the paint you pour into the gun

I always have a roll or two of the blue heavy duty automotive paper towels.  They're good for cleaning up spills, spray gun cleaning, and anything else that need wiping up.

Blue or Green Painters tape for masking.  Some guys use masking tape, but I think it can stick too well sometimes.

Real masking paper or painters plastic.  DON'T use newspaper.

Of course, gloves and a respirator (at a minumum)

Any water/moisture/dirt trap on the air line doesn't hurt.

Acetone or lacquer thinner for cleaning the equipment when you're finished.


And good luck to you.  It can be very satisfying to paint your own car.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

To add to the above, make sure to get the right "speed" reducer for the temp you expect to be shooting in. Makes a big difference in how the paint lays out. Medium is usually safe but I sometimes mix it with slow or fast depending on the air temp. (I paint in one of those Costco carport things so air temp can change a bit while painting). For example, if you use fast on a hot day, your paint will look like you sprayed it with sand mixed in or real bad orange peel. Too slow on a cold day and you will probably have runs or sags everywhere. Base/clear is easier to fix mistakes, but materials are almost double.

Link to comment

Also, if you can, stuff some masking into the body openings.  (See my taillight cavities in the pic above)  I forgot to do that in my cowel area and wiper holes, and some dust came right out of there onto my wet paint.  I plan on color sanding it, so the dust isn't a big deal for me, but you want to avoid that if at all possible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.