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Old 10-11-2014, 04:04 PM   #1
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Can you paint a car with car paint?

Long story short I am a young female who got scammed by a independent body shop owner working on my front bumper. Instead of a couple cracks and scrapes it it now sanded and primed on the entire side of the bumper with no paint job. Not sure if I will get money back in small claims and don't have much more money to spend. Since the job was halfway done I was wondering what I could do to at least make the bumper the same color as the rest of the car. The auto parts store sells car paint that matches my vehicles model and Ive seen a bunch of articles online about painting a car with rustoleum and mineral spirits is this the same thing?? Would it look terrible if I just got some of the car paint for my model and used a foam roller brush? If I can get my money back in court I will probably just get the entire bumper cover replaced but I need something to hold me over for now because right now with the primer it looks like someone just walked past my grey Corolla with a can of white paint and tripped. Any cheap do-able ideas that will work for a DIY for a female who has zero to no experience with any of this?
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:14 PM   #2
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Re: Can you paint a car with car paint?

The short answer to your question is: No.

Automobile paint is very different from Rustoleum. Trying to apply it with a roller would just create a mess. While I'm not a professional 'body man', I've been repairing and painting my own cars for over 40 years.

The first thing I would do is go to a place like AutoZone or O'Reillys and try to find the color of your car in a spray can. Not all colors are available, but quite a few are. Find the color code on your car before you go, because that's the first thing the clerk will ask you. It should be on a little tag either in the glove box or under the hood. Since the bumper is already primered, all you would have to do is sand it lightly, clean the area thoroughly with clear water; then tape the margins and spray it. If you decide to do this, buy wet-or-dry sand paper in either 600 or 800 grit and use it wet. You should also use a sanding block behind it and let the area dry at least overnight before applying paint. The store employees should know what to sell you. You'll want to spray quite a few light coats and let them 'flash dry' between coats to get the color even and prevent runs.

If you can't find the paint in a spray can, your choices become much more limited because just having the paint mixed is a pretty expensive proposition. Then you would have to buy some other supplies (like reducer) and also have some way to apply it. There is a device made by a company called Pre-Val that allows you to spray automotive paint by attaching small canisters of compressed air, but then again, you're into quite a bit of expense.

My advice would be to simply live with it until you can have it repaired properly. And, I'd definitely either talk to your local Better Business Bureau or check out Angie's List before choosing another body shop!

I certainly hope you can resolve your problem and get your Toyota looking good again...

Dave B.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:45 AM   #3
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Re: Can you paint a car with car paint?

last i heard maaco was offering a cheap price on a bumper repaint
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:10 AM   #4
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Re: Can you paint a car with car paint?

Yes, you can paint your car by yourself. The basic steps to paint your car as mentioned below:
  • Find a appropriate place to perform car painting
  • Gather the materials and equipment you will need to do for painting
  • Remove rust and repair any dents you do not want to be visible when the painting is complete
  • Remove any chrome or plastic trim which can be taken off easily and replace later
  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly; using mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to make sure no oils are on the car
  • Use masking tape and paper to cover all surfaces not to be painted, including glass, window trim, door handles, mirrors, and grills
  • Prime the surface with a corrosion resistant, self-etching primer if you have removed all paint down to bare metal
  • Allow the primer to cure thoroughly
  • Sand all primed surfaces smooth
  • Clean the surface after priming to remove any dust or oil that has accumulated during priming
  • Spray the finish paint on the car
  • Allow the paint to fully cure
  • Finish sanding the car
  • Use a rubbing compound to polish the paint
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:50 PM   #5
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Re: Can you paint a car with car paint?

Some good advice given already! As you say, you just want it to not be an eye sore. I would suggest that you practice a little bit on some masking paper or any flat surface to get a feel for the spray can.
You want to do short controlled bursts with the nozzle while moving. Make sure you mask with plastic or paper any area close to the bumper as you will have overspray.
A little practice goes a long way to a better finish!
Good Luck, it's totally doable.
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