How to Use a Spray Gun to Paint a Car ?

Spray Gun to Paint a Car

A car is a very expensive investment and so it is important to take care of it by maintaining and repairing all damages, scratches etc. A damaged or scratched car gives a bad impression and so you need to paint your car with the best quality paint materials because if you don’t do this job properly then your entire hard earned money will be wasted.

Though you can choose to go for a professional job of painting your car but the problem is that they charge too much money and also some locations are not easily accessible. So, it is recommended to learn how to do this process on your own by yourself. This will not only save you money but also give you an opportunity to be creative with the colors which you want to paint your car with.

What is a Spray Gun?

A spray gun is a tool which is commonly used by workers to paint large surfaces such as cars. Though the standard size of a spray gun can be around 9 to 14 inches but you can also buy compact models which are portable and easy to carry around, for small projects.

The working principle of a spray gun is that it uses compressed air from an air compressor to push the paint through a nozzle at high speeds, forcing a coating on a particular surface. However, there are some more modern tools known as airless paint guns which don’t use compressed air instead they use mechanical pressure. But these types of painting techniques are not commonly used by amateurs because they need an expert touch and this kind of work should be done only by professional painters because if you make one small mistake then the entire surface could get ruined.

So, the best choice for people who want to paint their cars are spray guns because they are easy to use and can be carried around easily for small projects.

What are the Basic Parts of a Spray Gun?

Spray Guns have got four basic parts which include:

  1. A handle
  2. An air valve
  3. A trigger
  4. A nozzle

The handle is used to hold the gun in your hand while painting and also helps to control it while moving or rotating it around an area. You must choose a comfortable grip so that you don’t feel any fatigue after using the gun for long hours. The air valve has got two types- an on/off valve which helps to release compressed air and a fan adjustment dial which you can use to increase or decrease the flow of paint by controlling the airflow. The trigger is similar to that of a spray gun used in kitchen pest repellents or bug killers, this part of machine is used by workers to control the movement of paint through the nozzle.

What You’ll Need? 

To paint your car you will need the following equipment:

For self-protection: 

  • A pair of goggles and a respirator (optional).
  • For cleaning.
  • An air compressor, an airless sprayer or a masonry sprayer.
  • Paint, thinner and stirring sticks.
  • Painting accessories like gloves, brushes etc.

For painting the car: 

  • A paint gun or airless sprayer.
  • Car Paint – Acrylic Enamel
  • Car Paint Thinner – Mineral Spirits

For surface preparation: 

  • Cleaning solution, degreaser and a tack cloth. (optional)
  • Sandpaper (medium grade).
  • Wire brush (optional).
  • Rubber gloves (optional).
  • Plastic sheeting or drop cloths to cover up the ground below the car.
  • Any debris like dirt, pebbles etc can damage your car when you are painting it.
  • Make sure that your surroundings are clean before starting this process.
  • Turn off any appliances which use compressed gas to avoid any sort of explosion inside your garage.

It is recommended that you read the instructions provided on the paint can, as it contains all necessary information about how to prepare your car before painting and what types of coats are needed for best results.

Let’s learn about spray painting in this article.

1- Prepare work area

You will need a spacious garage or driveway for this purpose because it is important that all areas where you are going to paint gets covered properly so that there are no spills or any other accidents during the entire process. You will also need masking tape, drop sheets, top view mirror, paint gun, spray gun and other things that are required for this process.

2- Mask the car

Now you need to mask all areas of your car which you do not want painted like windows, door handles etc. You can attach the tape with the help of a rubber band or any other thing that is available in your garage so that it stays attached while you are painting. This will retain its original color effectively but make sure to use high quality masking tape so that there is no sign of leakage after removing it when the entire process gets over. Also use drop sheets on floor under your work area so that everything remains clean and tidy because if dirt accumulates then it will mix with paint and spoil your car again.

3- Prepare a suitable place

For spraying paint, you need to have a specific atmosphere where the temperature is around 30 degrees and there should be no wind either blowing from any corner or coming from outside. You can use certain heating devices if the atmosphere is not prepared accordingly which you will find in car repair shops easily. Also apply several coatings of varnish on floor so that it does not get dirty because this area needs utmost care else entire efforts spent would go waste.

4- Start painting

Now you are ready to start the process of spray painting your car using a color gun as well as a spray gun which gives even coverage for your car’s body without having bubbles or spots left behind after covering all areas properly. Use thin coats of paint to avoid any dripping or spilling because if this takes place then you will face problems when the paint dries up.

5- Cleaning procedure

Once you are done with applying all coats of color on your car, wait for it to dry and then use a fine brush to remove all residues that might be left behind after removing masking tape etc. You can also use an air compressor to clean the surface properly before moving on to next step in the process.

6- Apply clear coat finish

Now is the time to apply a clear coat finish so that it gives your car not only new look but also protects it against harmful elements like dirt, dust etc which makes your car prone for scratches and damages at times. Apply several coats of clear coat to give your car a shiny surface which is not only good for appearance but also for protection.

7- Care and handling

Now that you know how to paint cars by yourself, it’s time to take proper care of them after completing the job. Do not park them under direct sunlight because this too can result in damages apart from normal wear and tear. Also clean them regularly with fresh water and high quality detergents specially made for vehicles so that they stay protected throughout. You can share your ideas about spray painting below. We would love to hear from you!


Spray paint cans are available in different colors and finishes, some of which provide better results. You can make your choice accordingly after knowing about spray painting types as well as the ways to prepare car for this purpose. Spray painting is an easy procedure nowadays but still needs plenty of preparations beforehand so that there are no issues left behind after getting the job done perfectly. Once you have a clear idea about how to paint cars by yourself without any professional help, you can save a lot of money on car repairs which come up at times unexpectedly. So go ahead and discover more spray painting tricks now!

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