Today's cars frequently have very long lives, and often run well past 100,000 miles, and last well past for 10 years old. For those cars that do not get garaged frequently, the paint ever develops what is known as "sunburn". In order to make your car look years younger, it may be a good idea to repaint the car. There are a number of professional shops that will do a good paint job, and this is one possibility to look into.
However, it is not that difficult to paint your car. Especially for those people that have replaced a bumper or other part of their car without damage to the rest of the car, doing a home paint job is a really good option. Painting some or all of your car can be done quite successfully, as long as you have the proper materials and do not rush.
The three basic steps are to remove the old finish, mask off the parts that should not be covered by paint, and then paint the car. The car will get at least two coats, the primer coat and then the finish coat. Many cars also have a third coat called a clear coat, which is a glossy finish to protect the color coat.
It is important that you use a spray applicator to paint the car, because using a brush does not make a smooth enough surface for a car. Air compressors can be rented or bought and can be used to apply the paint to the car. Auto paint also comes in compressed air cans, and these can also be used, but the range of colors is limited.
It is also important to wear a respirator while painting the car. This is any device that keeps you from breathing in the paint fumes as you are painting the car. Paint and auto supply stores have a variety of respirators to select from.
It is a very good idea to visit an automobile paint supply store in order to talk to the clerks, and also to see the kinds and colors of paintings that they have available. A discussion with a knowledgeable clerk will help you choose either lacquer or an enamel paint, and also to make sure that you have the right supplies to do the job.
Once you have the equipment, the paint, and a respirator, assemble all the equipment in a clean, dry, well ventilated area. Make sure that any rust has been cleaned and sanded, and that all the body work is done. Use masking tape to cover over those areas that should not be painted. Apply primer on the car, while making sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for any sanding or second coats. After the primer is applied and dry for the recommended amount of time, paint the car. Lightly apply the paint in long back-and-forth swipes, making sure the edges overlap. Start in an out of the way place to practice your skills, or even practice skills along a piece of plywood if you are unsure. Go slowly and carefully.
Applying a clear coat is often a good idea, though it is not necessary for all cars or for all types of paint. However, if you are only painting one panel of a car, and the car already has a clear coat, it is important to also apply a clear coat to the part that you are currently painting. These tips should give you encouragement and enough knowledge to make your old car look beautiful once again.