PAINT PREP – What Parts or Trim Should You Remove When Painting a Car?

Hey, it’ Tony. Thank you for watching my video and checking out the blog. Today we’re going to talk about PAINT PREP – What Parts or Trim Should You Remove When Painting a Car?

How many of you are wondering how far to go when disassembling your car? What parts to take off and what should you do?

Let’s get into our little Daihatsu Mini Truck Project. I’m going to do a quick demo on this truck. We’ll take some parts off the truck and tell you why I’m taking them off and why you need to do the same.

When doing a complete paint job, it all depends on how much of a good job you want to do. Do you want to make an impression or just do a quick paint job?

Since I want to make the truck really nice, I’ll take the out the caps, lights, mirrors, windshield, wipers, bumper covers, and sand these stickers down and get new ones.

I have my little tool which is good for taking out moldings and trimmings. I forgot what it’s called so just check out the video as I start taking out some of the parts. J Sometimes you break some clips, and it happens. You just need to buy new ones.

If you want to custom paint the parts, you can sand them and do primer, then custom paint them with your preferred color. You can put the screws in a little container, but I like to put them back in their holes.

Another thing that I take out are these molding weather strips for the window. I roll the window down and they usually just snap out when they get pulled up. It’s better to take them out so you don’t have to do masking.

Sometimes these things are really difficult to take out, and as you can see in the video, I scratched up some areas, but you’re not going to see these when they get painted.

I like to take these out because when we’re doing our body work and sanding, we can easily mask off from the inside, then tape it, to look nice when we put them back.

Before I put them back, wipe these moldings nice and clean with a little bit of lacquer thinner to look brand new.

The handles are going to stay as well as the glass because I’m just going to mask it off and shoot it. I’m not a glass guy. I have a glass guy that comes to the shop, take the glass out and hold it for me, then install it when the car’s ready, because if you crack a windshield, you’re looking at $25-$350 for replacement.

Continue watching the video as I show you how to take out the wipers. You can get a piece of tape and mark it, so you know which side it is on.  We’ll take out the antenna and then let’s move on to a quick Q&A.

Question: What is the difference between lacquer thinner, mineral spirits, paint thinner and acetone?

Paint thinner is crap. It’s for house paint, so don’t use that stuff for your car. Mineral spirits is also crap. There’s no real lacquer in it to wipe off paint. It’s good to mix this with rustoleum paint, if you want to thin out paint. Then, acetone is used to make ice (LOL!). I don’t use acetone for anything.

Always use lacquer thinner to clean up your spray guns, your hands, and glue on panels. It’s strong and useful.

The parts you want to take out comes down to personal preference. How much of a nice paint job do you want to do? Obviously, the more you take off, the less you have to be tedious when masking, and the nicer your paint job will be. You won’t have to worry about overspray on your trim, or lights or wherever.

That’s just a rough idea. We’re going to work on this mini-truck. It’s going to be an awesome, one-of-a-kind LearnAutoBodyAndPaint Mini Truck.

Question: What is the psi to shoot epoxy primer?

It depends on how thick it is. Usually, you want to see how it’s shooting out. You could be shooting from 18 psi to 28 psi, depending on how thick your primer is and what tip size you’re using.

Question: I’m restoring a 1992 Miata. Everything is stripped. I’m doing a color change and will be repainting the interior. What is the best strategy to paint it?

You have three options. You can do interiors and door jambs on one day, and then do the outside another day. The other way is, do everything at once. You can do your interior and exterior painting all in one day. The third option is just do the outside first and let it dry, then mask it off and do the interior the following day.

If you’re doing a custom color – a metallic or candy paint job, it’s best to have all of your panels on the car. Don’t want paint the car in pieces because you may end up with different colors. You won’t have an even shot. Whereas, If you’re doing a solid color, nothing really custom, you can do it all in pieces.

Question: Lighting is important when painting. What are the lights you are using, it seem really bright?

Yes, it is extremely important because when you’re laying your clear coat, you need to see it laying on glossy.

I have studio-style lights. You can buy a set in Amazon for about $200. I also have a bunch of fluorescents in the ceiling. I’ve heard of people using halogen. You can buy those too.

Question: I have a damaged clear coat due to sun heat. Can I spray clear coat over it?

I don’t know why everybody asks this question. You’re already doing all the hard work, you might as well spray a fresh base coat on it, then do your clear coat.

As you are feathering that chipped clear coat, you’re going to be digging through the paint, and sanding through the metal in some areas. It’s not going to come out nice.

If you’ll be sanding down your fading clear coat, prepare to give it a brand new paint job. The LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Program has all the information and videos on how to do that, so check out VIP.

Question: How do spray clear coat without the runs?

It’s always better to run than to spray dry, because it’s harder to buff out and sand to get glossy. Whereas, if you run it as long as you’re not running candy, pearl or flake, you’ll be able to block sand it flat, color sand and buff it out.

To avoid runs, you should know your gun and your speed. You have to be consistently spraying the same distance across your panel, at four to six inches with the same speed. Keep watching the panel to make sure it’s glossy.

Question: How do I determine if an existing paint on panel is enamel?

If you sand it and the color comes off, it can either be single-stage enamel, synthetic paint enamel, acrylic paint enamel. If you sand it and it looks milky white, that’s the clear coat.

Question: If I have no experience and want to learn auto body and paint while doing your program, do you recommend working for an auto body paint shop?

I think that’s a good way too, but you can just work on your own projects. You can pick up a motorcycle and learn on that.

Question: What’s the best way to spray chrome rims?

You have to sand it down with a 150-grit, prime it and sand it again with 400-grit then, spray it.

If you are brand new in auto body, I urge you to check out the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP Course. It teaches you everything you need to know to help you out with your car project.

Question: What’s the tool you used in The Godfather Project, to pull a damage dent in front of the hood?

It’s called the come along. It’s just a jack you hook on one side, jack it and crank it, then it pulls out. Or, if it’s not this tool, it’s probably my stud welder.

Question: What is the best way to apply primer on bare metal?

Make sure that it’s sanded with at least 150-grit. And then, lay epoxy primer on top of it and use a 1.8mm to 2.0mm tip.

Question: Can I use rustoleum or body paint for the frame of my truck?

I think rustoleum is okay, but I don’t know why a lot of people are crazy about it. For the same price, you can get automotive paint that will probably last a lot longer. They dry harder because of the hardeners you are mixing in and a better finish.

You might paint more for automotive paint, but it’s worth it.

Question: What sandpaper grit should I use to buff a black paint job?

I would start to 200-grit, go to 2000-grit, and may even be up to 2500-grit. Sometimes I start with 1200-grit. However, you have to make sure to finish off with 2000-grit.

Question: What’s the best tip size spray gun for clear coat?

Use a 1.3mm or a 1.4mm tips for all automotive painting. Even for cabinets, automotive paint single-stage, dual-stage paints or base coat clear coat.

Question: How many days should I wait before I wet sand and buff?

It depends on the situation. If you’re doing a customer job and you need to get the car out in a few days, you could buff it the day after, then get it out. But, make sure not to wax it because you need to wait for at least two weeks for the paint to cure.

I like to wait for one month before I color sand and buff it because I’m not really in a hurry to finish it.

Question: What paints do you recommend? Do you recommend Omni?

I still use Omni base coats, but I like to use more expensive clears for my clear coat, because it makes a big difference.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. If you’re new to auto body work and would like to know more, download the FREE 85-Page Auto Body And Paint Manual and start working on your long overdue car project.

Thank you everyone for getting on tonight. I really appreciate your support. Meet us on next week, same day and time, Thursday at 9pm Eastern. Don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe to my videos.

Have a great day! Cheers!


Other Helpful Links:

Detailing HACKS and Buffing Old Paint To Match New Paint!

Quick and Easy Cheats On How To Use a Stud Gun Welder

How To Remove Waterspots With Compound With No Tools Needed

House of Kolor Pearl, Kandy, Clear Coat Demo – Jon Kosmoski & Tony Bandalos

Are You Spraying Primer? Spraying a Filler Primer Over a BMW Body Kit

7 thoughts on “PAINT PREP – What Parts or Trim Should You Remove When Painting a Car?”

  1. I love reading your blogs. It motivates us every time. You have a lot of information about everything. you have great knowledge. I also remember a blog that is related to the car door trim. You must visit the site once.


Leave a Comment