I've never painted a car, but I'll share a little story, and my own
. . . . . . . . .
A friend of mine had a 1965 Mustang. It was always various shades of
primer. One day I dropped by his place and in the driveway was a shiny
red '65 Mustang. I looked inside and immediately realized it was the
same car, with the old interior.
So I asked him when he'd had it painted. He said, "I haven't had it
'painted'... I did this with the $.49 spray paint from K-Mart."
I was in disbelief, because the car looked new. He had applied coats
of cheap spray paint in his driveway, and wet sanded between all the
coats. The point was to make the car as shiny as possible, that way he
could look down the long length of the body and more easily spot the
minor surface imperfections that needed to be filled before the "real"
paint went on there.
Now, granted, that cheap $.49 spray paint wouldn't have lasted long
with regular exposure to the elements--he never intended to leave it on
there long-term. However, I came to quickly understand that taking
your time, doing the proper prep work, spending time wet sanding
between coats, and properly buffing the paint could yield pretty dang
good results--even with the cheapest paint available. He didn't even
have a clear coat on there and you could see yourself in the paint!
My advice, if you've got the time and the determination, do it. My Dad
used to provide point of sale software and hardware to a few paint
stores, and many would not only mix up the color of automotive paint
you wanted, but put it into aerosol cans as well. He'd had them match
the paint on his Saab to do some touchup on the hood.
Personally, I'd invest in a GOOD airbrush kit and small compressor.
YES, it's gonna take longer with an airbrush vs. a real spray gun, but
if you're willing to use canned spray paint, doing a quick job (laying
down a lot of paint in a short amount of time) is obviously not a huge
consideration for you. A good airbrush kit will let you control the
paint, and you can lay down really nice, thin coats.
There are books available on auto body and paint. I'd suggest picking
one up. In the end, the cost of the tools, books, and supplies will be
a lot less than paying someone. If you pull it off, you'll not only
save a LOT of cash, but you'll have gained some new knowledge, and will
have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself.
I love the DIY spirit, so good luck, and if you decide to do this,
please post pics so we can all check it out.
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