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DIY Painting your car with rollers

wilso

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Paint job almost 4 years old (taken 15-1-2012):

http://forums.justcommodores.com.au...painting-your-car-rollers-13.html#post2084085 - See my post

IMG_2601.JPGIMG_2586.JPG


The Paintwork 27 Months On:
P1030282.JPGP1030280.JPGP1030281.JPG


The Paintwork 16 Months On:
P1010430.JPG P1010433.JPG P1010440.JPG P1010446.JPG

The Method:
Firstly if you bag this method out saying it easier to use a spray gun then I would agree. But to be honest I wasn’t in a position to use a spray gun and I did this in my small shed without any worries. I also wasn’t after a professional $3000 paint job but the end outcome is just as good.

My VN Wagon before I started:
SANY0197big.jpg

How it looks today:
P1020072.jpgP1020077.jpgP1020080.jpgP1020094.jpgP1020554.jpg

Some positives about this method:
  • CHEAP
  • Minimal masking up of panels
  • Minimal paint wastage
  • Perfect for someone that has a lot of time and enjoys sanding
  • No need to have a spray booth
  • No need to use special ventilation
  • Touch ups in the future are easy as
  • Paint is tough as
Some negatives about his method:
  • Very time consuming to do it right. Took me 2.5 months to do my car. That was pretty much each night 6pm till 11 or 12pm…
  • A lot of wet sanding
Things you will need:
  • TIME (and lots of it)
  • Lots of 4” high density foam rollers (the white ones)
  • International Brightside Yacht Paint
  • All grades of wet and dry sandpaper, and lots of it (200 to 2000)
  • Bucket
  • Couple of glass jars > 500ml
  • Penetrol
  • Prep Solve
  • Mineral Turps
  • Masking Tape
  • Thick cord to go underneith the windscreen rubbers
  • Newspapers for covering up glass etc
P1010539.jpgP1010589.jpg

You can buy the paint online here: Welcome to Whitworths Marine & Leisure

NOTE: If I refer to "sanding" it actually means "wet sanding". I never did any dry sanding...


Preparation:
Most important step. I won’t go into a great deal of detail because if you are going to paint any car you should already know the basics of repairing body work with bog, priming and wet sanding.
Basically what I did with my car was wet sand all the panels with something around 150 grit to begin with. If you do have rust, scratches or dint you will need to fix these up before you go any further.
Once sanded with 150grit and the clear coat is gone, use the next finest sandpaper and remove any marks left from the 150 grit. Basically keep sanding the panels with finer and finer sand paper until you have hit around the 400-600 grit mark. At this stage you can paint the panel with primer which will help fill in any small scrathes etc or you can move right onto painting the car with paint which is what I did... (If I was to use this method again I would use primer)
P1010594.JPGP1020007.JPG


The Paint:
The paint MUST be thinned down!

After many trials of working on my car I found a sweet mixture that consisted of:
  • 100ml Penetrol
  • 75ml Turps
  • 375-400ml Paint
What I found works best is to make up the paint mixture in one of the glass jars so you can pour it into your paint tray and then reseal the jar.

Before Painting Each Coat:
Basically you will end up doing 3-5 coats before you get full coverage. Between each coat you will have to wet sand, by doing this it will remove any imperfections from the previous coat.
After 8 or so coats you should be upto using 1500 grit sand paper and your panel will be looking pretty sweet.
Let each coat dry for 18-24 hours before attempting to sand and paint the next coat.
Make sure you thoroughly clean the panel before you paint it, wash it with clean water after wetsanding and then wipe it with prep solve to remove any oil/wax or anything else that will affect the paint.

Painting:
Pour some of the paint into your roller tray. Load up the roller and squash any excess paint out. Then simply go nuts on the panel. Trick here is to do it in very thin coats. If you do it too thick you may end up with an orange peel effect in the paint and you’ll have to do more sanding before the next coat. You'll find as you roll the paint on you'll get millions of air bubbles which should eventually pop themselves if the paint is thin enough. If they aren't popping you can gently blow on them which will make them pop and the paint will merge into the surrounding paint. Another method is using a second clean roller in which you very very lightly go over the entire panel which will help pop any remaining bubbles and should dissipate any light roller marks. The paint mixture above is perfect though as the paint should self-level and you should see this happen before your very eyes.
P1010758.jpgP1010793.jpgP1010705.JPGP1010827.JPGP1010981.jpg

Finally:
After you have finished let the paint cure for a good 30-60 days. You can now polish it up which will remove any fluff, hair and grit stuck in the paint from the last coat. I’ve half polished mine so far and it comes up so well you’d never know it was done with a roller…
Pic of the roof after a little polishing:
P1020532.jpg

To sum this method up:
Sand panel with 150, 200, 360, 400 then 600. Clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint first coat on. Let dry. Wet sand with 800 grit, clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint second coat. Let dry. Wet sand with 1000 grit, clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint third coat. Let dry. Wet sand with 1200 grit, clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint fourth coat. Let dry. Wet sand with 1500 grit, clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint fifth coat. Let dry. Wet sand with 2000 grit, clean panel thoroughly, prep solve. Paint sixth coat. Let dry. And so forth. Let paint cure properly for 30-60 days then polish and wax.

I will add though that you will soon get a feel of what grit sandpaper you’ll need to use because not every coat will go down perfectly. You may need to go right back to 800 grit on the 7th coat or something because of orange peel.

I have probably left a lot out of this but you hopefully get the general idea.

I’ll be happy to answer questions anyone has but I also suggest trying this on a spare panel first and get used to the method.


Other Tips:
  • Use rubber gloves when doing all the wet sanding otherwise you will loose the tips of your fingers from the constant skin+sandpaper contact.
  • If possible, paint your bonnet and front guards while they are off the car, but it helps if you have spares to put back on the car so you can still drive it. I was lucky enough to have a red bonnet and front guards. I drove around like this for a couple of weeks. Looked totally bogan...
  • P1010560.JPG
  • Straight after you have painted the panel you can use a clean roller to go over all the air bubbles and pop them using just the weight of the roller.
  • Use thick cord and work it in under the windscreen rubbers and go around the whole windscreen, by doing this it'll allow you to get paint under the rubbers, when finished carefully take the cord out.
Facts:
  • I used a total of around 86 sheets of sandpaper
  • Used about 3.2 litres of paint all up to do my car
  • Bonnet had 10 coats, Roof 9 coats, passenger side 7 coats and drivers side 5 coats. I got better longer I did it…
  • More progress pictures on my website here
 
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CANYONERO

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i was skeptical when i read the subject but man that is an awesome effort.
 

vlv8vic

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agree with both the comments above. When i read the heading i thought "what is this guy on?"

sensational finish! well done! specially a darker colour!!!
 

NickVR

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Thats an amazing finish. Well done. I thought this can't of turned out too good, then I looked at the photos and thought DAMN!. This looks like my paint job and probably cost a hell of a lot less too.
 

wilso

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Thanks so much for the comments guys, I'd be more than welcome to show anyone it for real if they ever get the chance.

needwork2-4fillhabbit said:
WOW!! nice job nice finish to. What did it cost you all up?
I don't know the exact cost, paint was $160, and sandpaper would have been the next expensive cost. Probably another couple hundred on all the other bits and pieces...


Joey_19 said:
done a nice job but how did u go about getting into the tricky spots ? with a normal paint brush? but it came out awsome mate must have takin a lot of labour hours by urself though
I used those small 1" or 2" wide foam brushes that you find in craft shops. It sure did feel like forever, I got to the 2 month mark and I was over it so you really have to be focused on finishing it before you start.

You'll see in my pics I also polished up the aluminium window surrounds, I love how they came up and it really sets the color and rims off.
 

Tom_1569

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LOL, that turned out heaps better then i expected. Is their no need to clear coat?

Though it doesnt seem much cheaper then painting a car with a spray gun, besides the cost of equipment.
 

wilso

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LOL, that turned out heaps better then i expected. Is their no need to clear coat?

Though it doesnt seem much cheaper then painting a car with a spray gun, besides the cost of equipment.
Yeah no need to clear coat it. The paint is a single stage polyurethane enamel, so once its cured its rock hard (im yet to see a stone chip on my car) and it has unbelievable gloss as you can see in my pics.

Also, becuase it has no clear coat it makes for touch ups in the future easy as. ie: sand area, paint and polish...

Costs aside, this method may suit a lot of people, I mean you can even paint outside if you really had to. I took a lot of time and effort in this, so I'm sure if I did a quick and nasty job it would have reduced the costs alot. But yeah, once polished there's no way you can tell it was done with a roller. :D
 
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