Hey myis. A little about myself. I've been painting for a couple of years and I've also played with plenty of painting methods and paint types. I am no where near a professional painter so don't get the wrong idea. I just like doing things myself. I've painted 2 cars and a lot of body repairs like lips, bumpers and side skirts in the past. Most of the projects were rattle cans, paint guns (with a compressor and real automotive 2k primer and urethane paint), but I am known for my home depot $50 roll on paint job in the Honda community. For the IS300 I bought a front lip (RMM), TRD reps sides and Rear lip and I got quoted $300-$800 to paint them all at my local body shop. I didn't feel the need to pay that much just to paint my sides, F&R lip. So I thought i would rattle can this job. Disclaimer if you want a perfect clean high gloss finish do not do this. Number 1 rule, never rattle can a paint job if it can be avoided. It's never 100% but in this case I'm painting things that are small and eventually going to get torn up from rock chips and what not. If I was painting my doors, fenders or any major body work then I would pay the extra to get a real paint job. This is for people who are on a tight budget and are either doing small touch ups or painting a spoiler or lip, nothing major. Just making sure that everyone know what this diy is intended for. Anything that you do to your car isn't my responsibility for damages and what not. So on to the DIY.
Sandpaper: 320, 600, 1000, 1500 or 2000
Painter tape blue
Paint was purchase at automotivetouchup.com
MSM Base Paint X2 (buy 3 I ran low near the end)
Clear Coat X1 (buy 4 I Screwed up here with the CC)
News paper or just anything to cover your floor.
optional: spray can gun adapter.
A lot of patients.
1. Prepping is everything. When I mean everything I mean it. Prep work is your outcome. It is going to be tedious work so take your time. Most of my kit was used except for my rear lip.
I started wet sanding the use kit with 320 grit until the original paint became dull. I used a bucket of dishwasher soap and a spray bottle with water. I never let the spot that i sanded go dry without whipping it off with a microfiber towel. To prevent the sanded part drying back onto your body panel. There shouldn't be any gloss at all. Once you think you are done sanding, let it dry and take a look at it. If you can see the glossy part, sand that area again. Then move to 600grit and repeat. should look something like this:
After the sanding is done. wash it with dishwasher soap to get ride of the oil, wax and grease. If you want you can buy the real grease and wax remover from the auto store. I just used dishwasher soap and simple green to clean my surface up. After cleaning, let it dry. Seriously I've done this in the past when i think it's dry but in the small cracks there are some moister and that can mess up your paint job. So take the time to let it dry completely. Either air dry or heat gun/blow dryer. once its dry it's ready for primer. I use the tack cloth to whip off any dust or lint from the surface.
2. Painting: I use my garage as my painting booth. I use to paint outside but i got a lot of bugs and random airborns sticking to my wet paint. The wind sucks also when using any spraying device. So indoors.
Wear a mask with a filter, not the cheap one time use ones. your lungs will thank you later. plus i was using pretty harmful paint that really recommended me to use a mask. You can faint or have head aches and sneeze out what ever paint your are using. Have a door open with a fan pointed out so your eyes won't burn. Wear a long sleeve shirt and a hat and shoes and some gloves. Paint is really hard to take off your hair and paint thinner sucks on your skin. This is all about safety so make the necessary preparation. You can F yourself in the A with this.
3. Rattle Can 101:
When using a rattle can read the instruction. but invert the can and shoot a little out to clear the nozzle and flow. When you are ready to spray, aim the nozzle away from the beginning of the panel and move your way onto it. This gives you an even starting point instead of a blob of paint on one spot on your surface with the rest even coat. Stay 8-12inch away and move right to left. Staying at the same distance gives you consistency on the coverage and layer so keep your arm at the same length throughout your paint job. You want the first layer to be light. Example:
It should look really spotty. Like you sprayed to little which is a good thing for the first layer. Not a heavy or wet coat. This prevents runs. My can said about 5-15 min dry time in between coats. It was 72 degrees F. The can said in a 60-74 degree F ideal temperature to spray. If its colder then just wait a little longer for your next coat. Spray about 2-3 coats of primer and wait how ever long the primer you are using to start sanding. In my case 2 hours. After 2 hours i started to wet sand it with 1000 grit.
After that i shot 2 layers of sealer and let it dry. do not sand the sealer. Since my rear lip came factory primer, i sanded it down and re-primer it. Primer does have a certain amount of time until its useless so always re-primer factory primer.
Primer coverage with black paint on it already.
Repeat clean and drying and tack cloth.
4. Base Paint
Once you are ready for the base coat repeat your spraying technique, moving right to left with a light 1st coat. The second layer should be a little heavier giving you almost full color on the surface.
comparing the first to the 2nd coat.
On my third coat it was a heavy/wet coat.
5. Clear coat
After my final base coat the instruction said to wait about 30-40 min dry time until the clear coat (CC) can be applied. I waited 1 hour for this. Take your time. It's worth it. CC is very different in application. it said to apply heavy/wet coats on the first layer. and it said add about 3-4 layers. This is where i messed up and only bought one can. I initially was going to paint my sides and front lip and then i bought the rear lip and was short on paint. but i made it work. i only shot about 2 layers on everything of CC. i might have to buy more and add more layers of CC to my kit. but this is my result after 2 layers.
This picture was 20min dry time with CC
this picture is taken when the CC was just applied so its a a little hazy. I also need to color sand, or wet sand after everything is dry and polish it to give it the mirror image look.
My main concern is the color matching the 7 year old oem paint that is on my car. these are plastic and fiberglass kit so the paint end result will vary depending on the material. I couldn't take any pictures of 4 hours dry time since its night time and there wasn't any good lighting. I'll let you guys know in the morning when the paint cures somewhat and what the final paint color should be. Also I hope to have my kit on my car where I'll give a DIY on putting ground effects/body kits/ lips.
sorry it took awhile. I was with friends in JDM land and with the rain in so cal I haven't had time to take good pictures but here's a what I have before it got too windy.
As paint goes, It's a little darker shade of MSM and i didnt give it enough layers of CC to get that nice shine. I will re clear it again when it gets warmer. I'll try to get an overall shot of my car. But it blends in with the factory paint nicely. You can't really tell its off.