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4x4 Truck Basic Paint Jobs - How To Paint

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on May 1, 2008
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If There's One Project Not Many Enthusiasts tackle, it's painting their vehicles. Most do-it-yourselfers think it's complicated and messy, and if they screw up, their work is final. While it's true that painting can be tedious and frustrating, if you follow a few simple steps and basic rules you could possibly crank out a basic paint job your friends will envy.

A garage paint job will turn out as well as the amount of effort you put into it. We're not talking about a showstopping paint job here (which of course you can achieve with some work); we're talking about a good, quality paint job you can do yourself, even if you have never painted a 4x4 before. think of it this way: you paid a nominal amount for that old rig in your garage; do you really want to spend thousands for a halfway decent paint job? Heck, have some fun and do it yourself!

Let us put a home paint job in perspective for you. Depending on your skills and ambition, you could paint your vehicle and do an amazing job for about $300 to $500. Also keep this in mind: More than likely you're going to take your 4x4 on the trail and scratch it up anyway. Maybe you are building a buggy and would just like to paint the sheetmetal panels. it's really no big deal, just paint it! We'll get you started with the basics-it's up to you to do the best job you can and make a masterpiece out of that jalopy.

A. HvLp spray gun with regulator.
B. Flat-faced sanding board (hand file).
C. Wet-sanding sponge block.
D. Body filler applicators.
E. Dolly for bodywork.
F. Chemical degreaser and cleaner.
g. nason paint catalyst/hardener.
H. nason paint.
I. Body filler. use a good quality body filler, not the cheap stuff.
J. thinning the paint requires use of virgin acetone. Do not use the lacquer thinner or acetone you find at the hardware store.
K. Seam filler. this is a flexible, paintable material used to fill seams.
L. Wet or dry sandpaper. you will need 36-grit up to 1,500.
M. Compressor (not shown).

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As a home-based painter you are still required to follow the same local, state, and federal laws as a commercial paint shop. the laws apply to all commercial and noncommercial coating applications. if in doubt about local regulations ask the professionals at your paint shop or local fire department. if you can't find a clear answer, check with the air quality management district in your state. Keep in mind that there shouldn't be anything the automotive paint suppliers are selling that is illegal for you to use at home. Any paints that had high levels of volatile organic compounds (vOC) in them have been discontinued as mandated by law. in fact most paints in the future will eventually be water-based. Don't let that concern you; one of the best paints on the market today is a german water-based paint. However, you still need to be safe around all paints and chemicals. Make sure you wear all safety equipment, especially a respirator.

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