Step 8: Finish the job

After your paint is nice and dry (it should be invulnerable to you pressing your fingernail into it), you can put all the trim back on. Admire your work, and make sure not to scratch it! I did while carrying the hood, and got rather upset.


There were a few flaws in the paint, such as the occasional fish eye or scratch (a cat decided to use the door as a scratching post, god I hate cats) but overall looked excellent. I plan on putting two 6-inch white stripes down the car later, which I will probably use Rustoleum spray paint to do.

All in all this was very fun, very experimental, but also quite satisfying. The trick is to have a positive attitude about it...since you don't know it's going to turn out well, you have to just assume it will. If the finish looks bad, sand it and try again. The forces of good will prevail.
jr232 years ago
rustoleum is about 10 bucks a quart now 2013
love to see how it held up 6 yrs later
robbs4 years ago
I have '91 Buick Skylark, that I plan on rolling by hand. Between coats, you wet sand to eliminate the orange peel effect and you use different sand paper grit each time. What puzzles me, won't you have the orange peel look everytime?! I guess, what I'm asking, how does the smooth surface appear as though you sprayed it? Is it because of the many layers and correct ratio of paint & mineral spirits. Also, if Rustoleum doesn't carry my color, where do I go to march the color? BTW, I'm a female attempting this task. Thanks for the input!!
I don't know about other brands but any Benjamin Moore store should be able to scan the color of the actual car and mix a can of paint to match. I would however still do the whole car as the finish will most certainly be different.
nenrikii4 years ago
dude, thats really cool, i have never seen any do that before, this sparked my mind tonight, so i went to the hardware store and bought a can of paint, and took out alot of my car's trim, and painted it rich blue, its drop dead sexy XD
You're missing just one very crucial thing: A top coat. Rustoleum is a great paint, but you'll want a two part clear epoxy top coat that is sold at either a car shop or an auto paint store. This will keep the imperfections from appearing such as the fisheyes and easy scratches. Also, it will be durable against harsh things like Gasoline. Great instructable, though! I've been thinking about painting my car and doing something like this.
 The main problem I see with a top coat is making sure it is compatible with the Rustoleum else it may separate and peel off.  Does Rustoleum make a clear coat that can go over their regular coats?
This is all you need to know about paint compatibility:

1. Never paint a glossy surface.  If you plan to paint a surface that has a lot of shine, you'll need to lightly sand it first.  Something like a 1,500-2,000 grit sandpaper is what you'll want after you've completely painted a car.

2. Latex/Acrylic/Water based paints and sealers can go over oil based paints, but oil/alkyd based paints and varnishes never go over water/latex/acrylic.

3. If you're not sure, call up a local paint store and ask if they have an automotive dept to talk to or a separate store you can talk to about automotive info.  They have loads of information and are always willing to help you understand.

Being a guy who has worked in a paint store for 4 years now, I can't stress the importance of a top coat on a vehicle enough.  The paint itself will last for a few years, but the amount of thinning done to the paint weakens the paint and Rustoleum didn't create their product to hold up against all the sand, water, mud, and snow that a car comes into contact with.

I still think this is an awesome idea, though.  To make this project last, I'll buy a top coat created for vehicles.
Regarding the 2nd rule for paint compatibility--  I think the best thing is to stick with the same type of paint (oil vs. water based) you used for the primer and pigmented coat.  Problems can happen when you use acrylic/latex over oil-based paint--it tends not to stick, since the oil paint has a fatty base. 
fillg5 years ago
That close up picture showing how smooth it is looks great. I've seen professional paint jobs that don't look that good.
casino_dave6 years ago
A good tip about spray painting method, technique is: before you reach the object to be painted start spraying, then move your arm while spraying, keep moving your arm past the object, stop spraying only after you passed the object. People tend to start spraying at the object and stop while still pointing at it resulting in two big globs at the start and end of the stroke. Many, many light coats don't be in a rush to lay the paint on and to get it over with, if you're in a rush go do something else and come back later.
drivera87056 years ago
what was the ratio of acetone to paint that you used? i noticed others who have attempted this method of painting experienced orange peels and i do not want to deal with that. Also what is two gallons of diligence and what did you use that for?
DrSimons (author)  drivera87056 years ago
LOL....I was being metaphorical about the diligence. See Mr. Dictionary about that one. Anyway, we started out using just a little thinner, but it turned out to be too thick and caused orange peel. You want the paint to be a little thicker than water, I think. If you add enough thinner, there shouldn't be any orange peel. But add too much, and you'll get a bunch of drips. Sorry I don't know exaclty how much.
Lol that's what I thought you meant but it was killing me cause I kept telling myself "well what if its something else". But thanks for the input, I'm planning on painting my Contour because its pointless to repaint a car with a real low resale value. I'll be sure to post any pictures and ask anymore questions about your experience when it come closer to that time. Thanks!
MrRocket6 years ago
Heh, turning it into a rice rocket?
Celt6 years ago
This looks great! I'll bet you could hit it with a high gloss enamel and bring out an even bigger shine! (I did it to my tractors)... Remember that you can also buy a flexant/paint additive to paint the plastic parts. This will keep the paint from "web" cracking. I thinks I'll try this on my motorcycle ferrings and tank!
mxz3836 years ago
can you see spots or anything? how thick did you lay it down? clear coat?
trgz6 years ago
It IS a tic tac! Will you leave it like this, or do some like cool race car stripe down the middle? Maybe a number on the side too :) Otherwise some giant might find it pleasingly minty...
DrSimons (author)  glossymellonz7 years ago
LOL. You'd get along with my roommate - he thinks it looks like a Mentos. But yeah, I'm definitely gonna put on some stripes...will probably add on those steps once I get around to it. Due to the rainy season that may not happen for a while.
mackamitsu7 years ago
nice paint job. you just have to take your time and do it right to get that pro look to your work. Most DIY paint jobs are done in a rush. Enjoy your blue tic tac.
Great job! I have done some bodywork on my cars and I know it is not that easy to achieve a satisfying result, but Dr Simon made a comprehensive guide, I would just add... be patient, do not rush!! How big was the spray gun nozzle? Would you say that sprayng rustoleum is similar to spraying primer? I hate primers, I have stopped to put this rough things into my gun and use them from cans only!
copter_boy7 years ago
Looks Great! How much did it cost in total?