How to Apply Racing Stripes to an Older Car

If you have an older car that has a not so great paint job, and don't want to spend $4000 for a new paint job, you might want to try adding racing stripes. This will divert attention from the rest of the paint job.

Steps

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    Identify the type of stripes you would like to apply, look at pictures of cars on eBay or other web sites. Look closely at the design from all possible perspectives and estimate closely the location, size and orientation of the stripes.
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    The car should be in the shade and the temperature less than 90F. No wind and good lighting are also necessary
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    Wash and dry the car.
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    Use prep wipe to remove grease and wax.
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    Apply masking tape to outline the area to be painted.
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    Carefully sand the area to be painted, taking care not to damage the tape. Use a thin rod like a sanding block to shape the sandpaper.
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    Use newspaper and tape to mask massively, to protect the rest of the car from overspray.
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    Spray the area with the primer. Start the spray on the newspaper adjacent to the painted area, and keep the spray can moving past the opposite end. DO NOT STOP OR START SPRAYING INSIDE THE PAINTED AREA.
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    Completely opaque coverage with the primer is not necessary
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    Wait the required time, usually 30 minutes.
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    Spray with the color paint, using the same technique as with primer.
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    Complete opacity will be required; usually three coats will be required, applied 5 or ten minutes apart.
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    Inspect your job after the last coat and remove all masking before the paint dries.
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    After the paint has a chance to cure (several days) consider using a rubbing compound to bring down the edges of the stripes. Consider using a good clear-coat protectant over the paint. Wash and wax.

Tips

  • Stripes must be straight sided, be sure to get total "stick down" of your masking tape. Go over the edge carefully. Trimming the masking tape is much easier to do after it is on the car. That's what the X-ACTO knife is for.

Warnings

  • Keep the spray moving!
  • Wear old clothes and a breathing mask.
  • Make sure your tape is totally stuck down.
  • Mask at least two feet beyond the area you're painting.
  • Be sure you have enough paint and time.

Things You'll Need

  • Auto masking tape.
  • Breathing mask.
  • 400 grit sandpaper.
  • Duplicolor paint, (one small can for each 2 square feet).
  • Duplicolor prep wipes.
  • Duplicolor primer (one large can, close to your chosen color).
  • Narrow waterproof tape is often useful as a narrow flexible mask.
  • An Exacto knife to trim and manipulate the masking tape.
  • A pair of tweezers.
  • Lots of newspaper to mask off the rest of the car.

Article Info

Categories: Auto Exterior and Interior Accessories