How do you apply lacquer car paint?

I have a pretty junky used car and I think a new coat of paint would make it look a lot better. I really want to do it myself. I heard that lacquer paint is a bit cheaper than the other stuff, so I’ll probably go with that. What’s the best way to use lacquer paint?

Chloe Jenkins · Answered on Nov 11, 2021
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Lacquer car paint provides a glossy look and is definitely less expensive than other types of car paint. Applying lacquer paint doesn’t differ much from the process of painting your car with any other paint product.
However, lacquer is prone to fading and chipping over time. It has fallen out of favor among automakers for this reason. Plus, it is actually illegal in some places due to its high VOC content, which poses a health hazard. So, be sure to check your local laws before proceeding.
If you’re set on using lacquer car paint, start by finding a well-ventilated area to work and using the proper protection for your skin and eyes.
When you’re ready:
  1. Remove the original paint with 400-grit sandpaper or a power sander.
  2. Shield any parts of the car that are not to be painted, such as windows and mirrors.
  3. Apply lacquer primer, then sand down the primer using 320-grit sandpaper.
  4. Spray the paint evenly across your car’s body in at least two coats.
  5. Finish with three coats of lacquer clear coat, and allow 25 minutes to dry.
  6. Buff the surface, preferably by hand.
Alternatively, you could pay to have your car professionally painted. Make room in your budget for a pro paint job by saving on other car expenses—like car insurance. The Jerry app can help!
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