How to Repaint Your BMW

Whether you’ve purchased a used BMW that needs a little TLC or you just want to change up your color aesthetic a little bit, getting your BMW repainted can be an expensive proposition. If you’ve got some patience, some skill and a bit of elbow grease, you can opt to tackle the project yourself. What do you need to do to repaint your BMW?

Decide On Your Color Scheme

If you’re painting your ride, your first step is going to be deciding on a new color scheme.  If you’re not terribly artistic, it’s generally a good idea to stick to a single solid color to ensure that you’re going to end up with a finished product that you’re proud to drive. If you’re handy with an airbrush, you can add colored trim, decorate, or design your ride to your heart’s content. 

Gather Your Tools

Before you start laying down some paint, you need to make sure you’ve got all your tools on hand.  No one wants to have to take a trip to the hardware store mid-project, especially since that gives dust a chance to settle down on your wet paint, ruining all your hard work. 

You may need extra tools for your particular project, but in general, you’re going to need, at a minimum: 

  • Wet and dry sandpaper
  • An electric sander
  • Masking tape and newspapers or plastic for masking
  • An air compressor
  • A spray gun
  • Paint thinners
  • Personal Protective equipment such as face masks and safety glasses. 

If you can afford it, consider buying or renting a dust extractor.  You won’t need to purchase one if you’re only planning to paint one car, but if you’re going to make this a habit or paint cars for your friends, a dust extractor is worth the investment. 

Be Ready for Prep Work

You’ve got plenty of prep work ahead of you before you start spraying paint. Start by clearing out your area and removing as much dust as possible. If you’re not using a dust extractor, you’ll want to clean a workspace as humanly possible. Second, you’ll want to mask off anything that you don’t want to paint.  This will likely include door handles, window glass, headlights, and everything in between.  if you’re going to paint different colors, mask off the areas that aren’t going to be your base color. 

Finally, before you’re ready to paint, you’ll need to remove the old clear coat and paint. If you try to paint over the existing clear coat, the new paint won’t adhere properly.  This is where your sandpaper and electric sander will come in handy.  You can sand by hand, but it will take you significantly longer. You don’t need super-coarse sandpaper to remove paint.  Automotive paint comes off easily with around a 320-grit sandpaper while leaving the surface smooth and ready for a new primer coat.  

Lay Down Some Color

Now you’re ready to lay down some color. Use your spray gun to lay down a smooth even color, one thin coat at a time. Make sure you’re wearing a mask and eye protection and work in a ventilated area. Ideally, you’ll want to wear a protective suit to keep paint off your skin and clothing, but if you don’t have one available, wear some clothes that you’re not afraid to destroy. 

You’ll need to add a new clear coat as well on top of your paint once it drys.  Make sure you’re waiting for the appropriate amount of time between coats to prevent the paint from sagging or dripping.  The exact amount of time will be indicated on the paint you choose. 

Once it drys, removes the masking and let your painting area air out to get rid of any additional paint fumes. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take 2-3 months for automotive paint to cure.  Just don’t wax your car or add any UV protectants that could prevent the paint from curing. 

Enjoy Your New Ride

Now that your paint is dry and protected, all that’s left for you to do is to enjoy your new ride. Having plenty of preparation and the right tools for the job will make all the difference.