Step 2: Paint

Picture of Paint
Clean the surfaces. Remove any dirt, dust, or oil from the edges of the doors.

Tape off the gaskets, the latches, any screw heads, whatever else.

For a newer car, I would mask off both the outside of the door AND the inner panels to avoid overspray. This was not a newer car, so I didn't bother.

Spray on white paint as undercoat. The white helps the orange to cover and show up brightly. If you spray on orange without the white undercoat, it either looks dull, or it takes a LOT of orange. 

Don't close doors. Let the white dry.

Spray orange over the white.

Don't close doors. Let the orange dry.

Pull off masking material.

Done. Doors may be closed now, and vehicle is safer.

Seems to me that putting bright paint, or perhaps reflective decals, on door edges would be an inexpensive way for car manufacturers to increase the safety of their products, in case they were so inclined. I recall seeing some car doors with safety lights on the edge, and that's an excellent idea. Especially good at night.

If this little paint job averts one mishap, it has paid off. More than.
asteidl3 years ago
Very good idea, milesfromneihu. Motorcyclist-awareness is something 4-wheeled drivers in my area lack. Lots of crashes and fatalities. Though my town has very little street parking, ya never know where ya might go. Definitely keeping this 'ible idea in mind.
vwmadman3 years ago
Way to go with a simple solution.
Consider adding a step in the beginning to lightly sand the original car paint. Eventually, the spray paint should peel and flake without a roughed surface to adhere to. A cheap paint job (whole body/touch up) sometimes doesn't use a primer coat for paint adherence and instead relies on light sanding of the original paint. Most spray paints, purposes for vehicle coloring or not, will flake with time.
milesfromneihu (author)  vwmadman3 years ago
Light sanding would doubtless improve adhesion. I didn't do it. We'll see how my paint job holds up.
MrFixItGuy3 years ago
There are a lot of bright colored fluorescent paints available. Why not use them?
milesfromneihu (author)  MrFixItGuy3 years ago
I agree. Fluorescent paint would be better, with white undercoat of course. Also, in the comments people have been promoting reflective tapes and LEDs. All have their benefits.
  • LEDs throw more light than paint, tape, or reflectors, especially at night.
  • Reflective tape is easy to apply, and more reflective than paint per given area.
  • Paint is durable, and will still be working decades later.
A good combination would be reflective tape or bright paint plus LEDs.

My cousin points out that nothing really makes up for caution and awareness on the part of the person opening the car door. Many people here not only first look carefully, but open a car door an inch or two and hold it there for a few seconds to alert oncoming traffic. Then they ease the door open.
jmcgarey3 years ago
Good thinking....
Great for pizza deliveries.
Meanwhile, I purchased a roll of red and a roll of white reflective tape and alternated stripes on the flat surfaces. The reflective tape works better at night and it can be removed if necessary.