Ideal temperature for spraying is 70-80F. Ideal humidity should be 50% or less (read entire section before you start). Watch our how-to videos for even more spray paint application guidance. Test the color on the provided test match card before doing any work to your car. We cannot do anything once paint is on the car.

Surface Preparation

Thoroughly clean the area to be repaired with dish soap (Joy, Dawn etc.) and water. Then dry completely. Use prep solvent and a clean lint free towel to assure the surface is free of wax, oil, and other surface contaminates. For better results do not apply paint in direct sunlight, high humidity, or where silicone waxes and tire dressings are present.

Basic Sanding

Sand out rust, scratches, or bad surface damage with 180-320 grit sandpaper. Primer will cover over 180-320 grit sand scratches. Use 600 wet sandpaper to sand the area you will use basecoat. Wet sand the blend panel (area that might get some basecoat and will get clear coated) with 1000-1500 grit wet sandpaper. Entire area to be painted should be dull and smooth.

For new plastic parts lightly scuff the area with a grey fine scuff pad. For new metal parts you may lightly use a red (medium) for top-coating with solid colors or grey scuff pad (fine) for metallic and pearls.

Masking Off Adjacent Panels

Mask off adjacent panels to prevent over spray. Use 3M automotive grade 3/4" masking tape and masking paper or pre-taped film. Never tape off mid-panel, or you will see a tape line. Make a line with tape first, then tape paper to your existing tape line. Doubling up newspaper will work fine but paint has a possibility of bleeding through with excessive heavy coats. Use 1 1/2" or 2" masking tape for small areas like tail lights and reflectors. In the case of painting in an enclosed area mask the entire car with plastic sheeting to prevent overspray.


Use plastic parts adhesion promoter over bare plastic. Spray 2 light coats over lightly scuffed plastic.

Shake primer well. Apply aerosol primer spray paint over clean sanded metal or plastic treated with plastic parts adhesion promoter. Many primer colors are available for better paint coverage. Primer will fill 180-320 grit wet sandpaper scratches. Apply 3 or more coats waiting 5-10 minutes dry time in-between coats. Sand the primer in 30 minutes with 600 grit wet sandpaper. Use regular water to clean off sanding dust and dry the area and then replace the dust contaminated masking tape and paper. Do not use prep solvent over the fresh primer. Use a tack rag to pick up lint and dust particles.

Spray Paint touch up application

Thoroughly shake the basecoat color spray can before applying. Spray a test panel with base coat and clear coat first to compare color match and coverage. Apply as many medium coats necessary to cover the area waiting 5-10 minutes between each coat. Each coat should appear uniform and dry between each coat. You may gently use a tack cloth between each dry coat of basecoat. Spray light dust coats if a metallic or pearl color looks too dark. Wait 30 minutes before using clear coat.

Tri-coat paints are different. You spray the ground coat color first, one coat at a time until the area is covered. Then you use the mid-coat pearl color. Apply one coat at a time until you achieve the pearl effect of the factory color.

Clearcoat Spray Paint

Shake aerosol clearcoat well. Allow 30 minutes after base coat color has been applied to apply the clear coat. Apply 4-5 wet (but not dripping) coats waiting 10+ minutes in between coats. Each coat should be dry to the touch (not tacky) before moving on to the next. Do not touch the freshly painted panel to test, you can touch the tapeline. Hot weather will shorten the dry time, cold weather and/or thicker film build will extend the dry time. Skipping the dry time may result in a color mismatch, heavy orange peel texture, and/or a loss of gloss. Wait one day to use rubbing compound. You may wet sand out orange peel and light texture, or dust embedded in the clearcoat film with 1500 wet sandpaper and then use rubbing compound to bring out the gloss. Do not wax for 30 days.