Common DIY Car Paint Mistakes

I’ll never forget my neighbour’s car when he tried to touch up a few scratches and dents on his Blue Toyota Yaris. One dent was from a ding from a golf ball on his trunk.  Most of the scratches were on his door from shopping carts lost in the wind, as well as a few scrapes from parking lot incidents involving a few careless drivers opening their car door too close to his.

DIY Auto Paint

He was planning on selling his Yaris for a good price (as Toyota is often a brand that retains a good selling value) and wanted to clean up the outside of his car before the scratches and dents began to rust.  The golf ball ding was in an awkward spot, but he managed to hammer it out without creasing the metal.  Unfortunately when it came to touching up the scratches, chips and dents on the the car he botched the job in that the paint job was not overly attractive or well done.  In fact, if you looked at the car in any sort of daylight, you could see that the colour did not even match.  Had I known he was planning on touching up his car I would have offered him these several Auto Paint Tips.

Common Car Paint Repair Mistakes

Using the Wrong Sandpaper

Perhaps the biggest mistake my neighbour made with his car was that he did not properly sand the scratches.  He knew he had to rough up the spot a little so the paint would adhere, however he used sandpaper meant for wood.  This just ended up scratching his car even further.  He also failed to wash away the area he sanded, meaning he was painting over grime, dirt, dust and road grease.  We always recommend you use a prep solvent so that you’re always painting over a clean surface.

Painting in the Summer Heat

My neighbour decided to touch up his car with paint on one of the hottest and most humid days in Waterdown that day.  The problem with painting on hot days is that the behavior of the paint changes, which results in blotches, bubbling and discoloration.  You never want to paint out in super cold weather either for the same reasons.

Using the Wrong Paint

My neighbour found out the hard way that it is incredibly difficult to select the right type of paint with the human eye.  When he went to the hardware store to buy paint, he was presented with a dozen spray cans of various types of blue.  He ended up buying three different colours hoping one of them matched.  He tried a few different test areas on areas that were not very visible and thought he found the right colour of paint.  He didn’t realize that wet paint drastically changes its shade after it dries.  This left my neighbour with dozens of multi-coloured patches all around his car.

Applying Car Wax Too Soon

Auto Paint from a spray is quite fussy.  Manufacturers often add solvents to thin out the paint so it can easily be applied with compressed air.  The issue is that these thinners take a month to evaporate out of the paint.  When you apply wax before the 30 days is up, you actually lock in those solvents, meaning your paint never completely dries.  This causes all sorts of issues, such as the paint rippling, thinning out and discolouring.

There are a few other DIY car painting mistakes you can make as well.  One we often see is that people use paper towel to wipe up excess paint.  The paper towel tends to stick to the tacky paint, leaving tiny bits of it behind, which causes imperfections in the paint.  We’ve also seen people use nail polish as a clear coat substitute (not a good idea, as nail polish isn’t meant for the stresses of your vehicle traveling at a high speed).  A final error we see are people who use very old paint (paint that is six months or older) on their car.  You have to remember that car paint is a highly specialized product as it is meant to withstand the elements such as the hot sun, high winds, blowing debris such as pebbles, salt, and the extreme winter cold.

Waterdown Collision’s Auto Paint Services

Had my neighbour moved next to me just a few months sooner, I could have saved him a lot of headaches.  While from a distance his car didn’t look all that bad, up close (twenty feet away), you could see the mismatched paint on his door, and the spots where the paint had become hazy and bubbled on his trunk.

Waterdown Collision has the skill and expertise to handle all of your Auto Body Paint work properly.  No matter what the size of the area is, we can match the right colour of paint with our computerized paint matching system.  Your paint will look right no matter what time of day (as paint can look different at different times of day due to the natural light).  Waterdown Collision uses paint that is eco-friendly, durable, fade resilient and guaranteed to match the current paint on your vehicle.