A car owner can actually spray paint their own vehicle, either after making repairs to a dented or dinged panel, or just to update and refresh its appearance. This job involves a lot of prep work and patience, but it can save you money on a professional paint job, and also result in a car that looks brand new. Before you decide to spray paint your car, note a few mistakes that many car owners make during this work so you can avoid them yourself; this will ensure you end up with a vehicle that looks professionally painted and that it won't need any fixes to that paint once you've applied it.

Not using a spray gun

You can use spray cans to paint your vehicle, but these make it very difficult to control the amount of spray and the pressure of the spray as the paint is applied. In turn, you may wind up with a paint job that is gloppy and messy and looks very uneven.

The paint may also look darker in some areas when you use spray cans, as it's easy to inadvertently add more paint when you can't control the pressure from a can. A spray gun will allow for maximum control over the pressure and amount of paint applied, so the entire job looks even and neat.

Not using a solvent

Washing and scrubbing your car thoroughly, even with a brush and strong detergent, may not be enough to get its surface ready for paint, as a car's body may have waxes and other buildup that can't be removed with detergents and brushes alone. A prep solvent will dissolve waxes, paint sealants, and other layers of material on a car body, so that you have a level and even surface for paint, and so that the paint doesn't drip away after you've applied it.

Not sanding properly

Even with a prep solvent, you should still sand the car thoroughly before you apply paint. However, wood blocks and sandpaper meant for wood are not good choices for car bodies, as you need sand paper that will actually cut through metal. A different grit will also be needed over rusty or uneven spots, to remove rust flecks and smooth down the metal. Be sure you use sandpaper meant for metal, avoid sanding so much that you go right through the metal, and apply enough pressure when sanding to remove rust and roughen up the car's surface for the paint primer and the paint itself.

Contact a car spray painting company for more information and assistance.