How to Paint a Truck Yourself – Save Money Doing it at...

How to Paint a Truck Yourself – Save Money Doing it at Home

How to Paint a Truck

If you see your car’s paint is faded or looking dingy and you want to change the color, then there are two options for you. Either you can take help from a paint expert to color your car, or you can do it yourself at home. The first option will make you worry free about the color finish and saves your lot of time and efforts but can cost you more than you thought. While the second option is the money saving for sure but can take some more time and efforts to make, it is done properly. You can take help of any nearby professional car painter if you want to go with the first option. But if you want to save money doing it at home then check this post on How to paint a truck (car) yourself and save hundreds of dollars.

Things you will need

As a DIY painting of your truck is not a job for a few hours, you need to spare some days or a couple of weekends to finish this time-consuming task. But Proper preparations can save some of your time. It includes gathering all the needed things and practicing to get the perfect output.

First, find a suitable location. It can be your garage or an open area. If you are doing it in your garage, then it should be well ventilated and have good lighting, spacious area to work.

Now the tools and equipment you will need (general list)

  • Paint Sprayer (HVLP, airless, or LVLP which suits the most)
  • Sanding pads, Hand sandpapers
  • Air Compressor
  • Solvents to clean the surface
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Thinner and catalyst or hardener
  • Body filler and fiberglass components to do repairs
  • Dust mask, eye protection
  • Masking tape and paper

You can prepare more or fewer things as per your job and requirements. The amount of paint, primer, thinner, etc. depend on the size of your truck (car) and the thickness of coat you want.


  • First, clean the area where you will be doing the paint job. Remove dust, hose down the area. Make sure that there are no trees or any such object above the painting area which can drop contaminants on the wet paint.
  • Now wash your truck and remove dirt, grease, or any road grime present on the surface. You can also use solvents to do this.
  • Mask the areas of the truck that you do not want to paint. If you are using a bed liner for your truck bed, then you should cover it well to make sure the paint is not speeded on that. If you want to change the color of bed liner also, then its fine if you not cover it.
  • Use a mask, eye protector to cover your sensible body parts. Wear comfortable clothes while painting. Keep the dust extractor (Air compressor) at your reachable place.

Process of painting

Now use sanding pads and hand sandpapers to sand the surface, corners, and crevices of the truck. To get a perfectly smooth finish, sand it till the bare metal surface. This is a time-taking process but do it slowly and carefully. If you want to make sure the smooth surface finishing, use wet-and-dry sandpapers to get satisfied.

Use thinners for removing the dust after wiping down the whole area of the vehicle which is going to be painted. Wait for the thinners to dry off completely.

Use masking tape and paper to mask the areas which you do not need to paint and make sure that you have done this properly.

Depending on the paint type you are using, make a mixture of primer and thinners as per the instructions are given in the manual. Practice the paint finish and spraying pattern on cardboard or a piece of wood before you start painting your truck. You can also use the old card panel or a piece of steel to practice and check the exact pattern and thickness of coat on the surface.

Keep the spray gun at least 6-inch away from the surface you are painting. Apply the trigger by moving a side-by-side motion. Leave the trigger when you change the direction; otherwise, you will get thicker spots of paint on those points.

Apply thin coats of primer with an even layer from the roof to the bottom of your truck (car) and do this for two-three coats depending on the covering and surface. Wait for the primer to dry completely (recommended time is 10 minutes between two coats and 20 to 60 minutes after all the layers applied).

Again use wet-and-dry sandpaper to get an even and smooth finish of the primer. Clean the spray gun you have used and use thinners to the rag to wipe down the primed surface. Using only a light amount of thinner is recommended for this.

Now, make a proper mixture of paint and thinners as directed by the paint manufacturer. Use the same technique you had applied when you made the coats of primer. Wait at least 10 minutes between two coats and apply the number of coats you want for a smooth and even finish. Remember to use the sanding pads or handheld sandpaper to remove the any seen residue on the surface before you apply the last coat.

Carefully remove the masking tapes and papers from the surface when the paint is still wet. Make sure that the papers do not stuck in the area which is painted. Inspect the job after the recommended time and if you find any imperfection in the coating, sand back that area with the help of the sandpapers and reapply the paint with the same technique. Use the buffer the buff the paint. Be careful not to hold it for too long at a particular spot otherwise you will burn the paint.

You saved a lot of money

That’s it, mates. The job was done, and you saved hundreds of bucks. Just a few days of preparation, practice, and the final paint spraying and you have got the desired paint finish on your truck. Follow the guidelines given here, and you will no more need to search the web to know how to paint a truck yourself at home by saving money.