Paint Prep: Preparing Your Car for Paint

Before we apply any paint to your vehicle, we properly prepare the surface of your car.  What does it mean to paint prep?  Below we give a brief explanation of our paint prep process.

Step 1. Body Repair

First in the paint prep process your car needs to be clear of dents, scratches, and dings.  In this phase we make sure your car’s body has been fully repaired and is smooth to the touch.

Step 2. Cleaning

Second in the paint prep process we thoroughly clean your car with soapy water.  To remove wax and silicone we use cleaning solvents.

Step 3. Paint Removal

The third step is stripping, also known as paint removal.  In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the original paint off your car if it is in poor condition (pits, rust, poor adhesion, flaking, etc.).

Methods to Removing Paint

  • Power grinding/sanding
  • Media blasting
  • Sandblasting
  • Chemical remover
  • Commercial dipping

Step 4. Sanding and Wet Sanding

Sanding is the fourth step in paint prep, to remove oxides and contamination, and which also provides a slightly rough surface for better adhesion of the new paint.  For a smooth surface we will then wet sand your car.  This type of sanding is slower than dry sanding but it produces a much smoother surface.  This step is crucial in order to feel and repair the slightest irregularity on your vehicle’s body.

Step 5. Masking

The last step of paint prep is to mask all the surfaces of your car that will not get painted, for example:

  • Trim
  • Hardware
  • Windshields
  • Windows
  • Panels
  • Upholstery
  • Trunk
  • Engine compartment
  • Headlights
  • Wheels
  • Front end
  • Exhaust pipes
  • Tires
  • Fender wells
  • Splash shields

And that’s it, it’s ready for the next step – primer!

Does your car need paint preparation?

Come by our car paint shop in Van Nuys if you have any questions about paint preparation give us a call 818.785.2639 or drop us a line  We serve the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.