How to Avoid Paint Drips when Using Car Paint Spray

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Car paint spray
Drop cloth
Masking tape

Using car paint spray can be tricky. It’s not easy to avoid drips when you’re using it and these can be difficult to remove properly. They can even end up marring the final finish of your car. To avoid drips when you use car paint spray, it’s important to know how to refinish correctly.

Step 1 - Preparing the Car

You’re going to have far fewer drips when you use car paint spray if your spray onto a properly prepared surface. This means that it’s needs to be filled, sanded and fully primed. You can’t just paint over normal paint or even lightly sanded paint and expect it to adhere well. The better the paint adheres, the smaller the possibility of drips. Take your time over the preparation. Follow all the steps and apply several coats of primer in order to have the best bond with the paint.

Before painting, have drop cloths laid around the car. You also need to mask off the area of the car where you’ll be working as this will stop drips in other areas.

Step 2 - How To Paint

Make sure all the primer is fully dry before using car paint spray. When applying a finish color to the car, start from the top and work your way down the body. In practice, this means beginning with the roof. Mask off the roof and cover the windshields. The best way to avoid drips is by applying a number of thin even coats of car paint spray. You should expect to use at least three coats of paint to do a good job. Thin coats will ensure that the area is covered but the paint is less likely to drip.

If you’re spraying from a can, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about the spraying angle and the distance for spraying. Don’t spray from too far away or you won’t achieve proper coverage with the paint. If you’re too close, the paint will be too concentrated in a small area and is far more liable to drip.

Step 3 - Avoiding Drips

Using long sweeps with the car paint spray will help you avoid drips. Try to cover the length of the masked-off area in one long stroke. Allow the strokes to overlap slightly but always spray in a single direction. When you’re spraying vertical areas, such as the doors, spray from side to side rather than up and down, always working from the highest point. Make sure the spray is light and even and you should have no problem with the paint dripping.

Step 4 - Spray Gun

When you’re using a car paint spray gun, rather than a can, you’ll be able to avoid drips by making sure that the paint is properly mixed before you spray it. This eliminates clogs which can be a big cause of drips. Make sure that you have a clean filter on the sprayer.