There are some DIY jobs that are pretty easy – changing a light bulb can be done by anyone above the age of ten, and if you want to change the hardware of your bathroom, you can probably do this yourself without going through too much hassle. But when it comes to painting your truck, this is another matter altogether, and for this, you need to put in much more time and effort. Know that the job is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but if your mind is set on doing it, the good news is that you can probably do it with ease – but only if you know what you should expect and what to do. Here, then, are the top three things to consider when painting your truck yourself.
1. Know what you need
First and foremost, painting your truck and painting a house wall isn’t the same thing. When you paint a wall, all you need are a few rollers and your can of paint, but if you paint your truck, you would need a whole plethora of products and sprayers.
Painting your truck will take time, so it’s best if you can find a garage or shed where you can do the job while protecting your truck from the elements. Some essential prep is required, and you need tools like sandpaper (1200 and 2000-grit sandpaper is ideal), masking tape, an electric sander, a spray gun or an air compressor, safety glasses, face masks, paint thinners, and newspapers. If you can, buy a dust extractor, which will help keep debris from floating around.
Your large truck will also require about 1 and ½ gallons of base coat, 4 gallons of topcoat, and clear-coat lacquer (about 3 – 4 gallons).
2. Educate yourself on the procedure
When you have all you need, prepare the work area. Make sure it is clean and free from obstacles; wash your truck and remove contaminants on the surface like dirt, grime, and grease. Decide which areas you want to paint, because if you want to paint the truck bed, doorsills, and so on, this will take a longer time. For the truck bed, a good liner such as Durabak is ideal so you can protect the bed from scratches. Once you decide what to paint, use masking tape on the areas you don’t want to include in the paint job.
When it comes to stripping, best results come from an electric sander, but you can do the crevices and corners by hand. Once your truck is stripped, wipe it down with a piece of cloth and paint thinner. Priming is also essential, so work downwards from the roof and apply the coat in thin layers. About two to three primer coats will do it. When you’re done with priming, smooth it out with sandpaper and then wipe it down with a cloth dampened by a little paint thinner.
3. Learn how to perform the paint job – and do it well
Make sure you practice using the spray gun while priming the truck so you will be more used to handling it before you paint. It would usually take ten minutes for each panel and about 20 minutes to up to one hour for your paint to adequately cure in between applications. Apply around three to four coats of paint, and before you paint the last coat, remove any residue using sandpaper and wipe it down with a cloth. Then repeat the process with your clear-coat lacquer. Good luck!