Steps to Repainting the Outside of a Truck

by Delialah Falcon
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brush in paint image by Vladislav Gajic from

Instead of purchasing a new truck, it is possible to restore the exterior of your truck by repainting it. Rather than send your truck to an auto body shop to perform a pricey paint job, you can repaint the truck yourself if you are willing to invest your time.

Step 1

Remove all of the door handles, trim, emblems and chrome from the truck. Wash the truck with warm water and soap. Rinse well. Dry well with a large cloth.

Step 2

Sand the existing paint down on the truck. Pay close attention to any areas with paint chips, making sure they are sanded well to blend into the rest of the truck. Apply primer and allow to dry completely.

Step 3

Use a soft rubber block to wet-sand over the dried primer. Make sure it is sanded enough that you can see a shine on the truck from any side angle. Apply dent filler to any dents in the body of the truck.

Step 4

Use a 16-inch file board to sand the filler on all flat panels on the truck. Use a 36-grit file strip to sand down any larger dents that have a heavier application of filler. Continue applying more filler and sanding it down until all surfaces are equally smooth.

Step 5

Apply a coat of epoxy primer or lacquer to prime the sanded truck.

Step 6

Use a leaf blower to blow off any remaining dust or debris. Wash the truck with warm water and soap. Rinse well. Dry well with a large cloth.

Step 7

Clean the work area in the garage well, removing all traces of dirt and dust from the surrounding walls and the floor. Use a household broom to sweep the ceiling to prevent dust and dirt from landing on your truck while painting.

Step 8

Wash your hands thoroughly, removing any traces of grease or oil. Apply masking tape to the truck windows, wheels and any other parts that you do not wish to paint. Use a clean, dry rag to dry dust the truck. Spray the ground with water to attract any remaining dust particles in the air down to the ground.

Step 9

Use the paint gun to begin applying paint to the truck. Paint using long, steady strokes in a horizontal direction, from front to back and then again from back to front. Paint slowly but steadily to avoid paint drips.

Step 10

Use a ladder to paint the roof. Lie on the floor and spray upwards to paint under the door and the runner. Allow the paint to dry and then apply a second and third coat. Use a commercial grade automotive buffer to buff the truck after the paint has dried, to produce a clean, shiny finish.

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