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How to Repair Auto Paint With an Airbrush

by Tom Becker

No car goes through its whole life without some kind of paint damage. Whether the damage was caused by a minor collision or an object scraping against the paint surface, knowing how to repair it yourself can save you time and money. If you're handy with an airbrush, you may want to use it to assist in the application of the replacement paint. With the right materials and technique, you can repair auto paint with an airbrush.

Step 1

Wash the damaged area of the paint surface with car soap applied with a moist sponge.

Step 2

Rinse off the soap with a spray hose.

Step 3

Sand down the damaged area of paint with 1,200-grit sandpaper. Keep the sandpaper wet during sanding to prevent excess scratching of the paint surface.

Step 4

Spray off any excess debris created by the sanding process with a spray hose.

Step 5

Dry the area of the paint surface to be repaired with a clean towel.

Step 6

Screw one end of a pneumatic airbrush hose into the outlet of an air compressor. Screw the other end into the nozzle on the underside of the airbrush and turn on the air compressor.

Step 7

Put on safety glasses and a respirator with working seals and fresh filters.

Step 8

Fill the airbrush's paint reservoir with automotive paint that matches the vehicle's existing paint. Most airbrushes have a jar that is filled with paint and then screwed into the underside of the front of the airbrush, or an opening at the top of the front of the airbrush where the paint is poured.

Step 9

Apply paint to the damaged paint surface with the airbrush in broad strokes. Continue until the damaged area is painted. Allow the paint to dry fully according to manufacturer's instructions before continuing.

Step 10

Sand the newly painted area of the paint surface with moist 1,200-grit sandpaper. Spray away any debris created by the sanding process and dry the area with a clean towel.

Step 11

Apply a second coat of paint to the area with the airbrush and allow it to dry.

Step 12

Pour a few quarter-size dabs of rubbing compound on the newly painted area.

Step 13

Rub the rubbing compound into the area with an orbital polisher.

Step 14

Spray away any remaining rubbing compound with a spray hose and dry the area with a clean towel.

Step 15

Pour a few quarter-size dabs of polishing compound to the newly painted area.

Polish the polishing compound into the paint surface with an orbital polisher.

Items you will need

  • Sponge
  • Car soap
  • Spray hose
  • 1,200-grit sandpaper
  • Clean towel
  • Air compressor
  • Pneumatic airbrush hose
  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator
  • Automotive paint
  • Rubbing compound
  • Orbital polisher
  • Polishing compound

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