If feels like yesterday but about 2 months ago I started painting my car. I was originally planning on taking the car to maaco and doing the work myself but I figured I could paint it myself since my buddy and I were both having our cars painted and save money. (and boy was I right about the money part. We'll come out about 1300 bucks put into the whole thing. ) I've digressed a bit. Let me go back to when I decided to paint the car myself. Once I got a compressor that was able to run a DA and spray gun the deal was clenched and we were in it for the long haul. What I didn't know is how much milarky (yes I used the work milarky) there was in the shadow world of 'painting'. ... such as "you have to have a DA" This is such utter bull:q:q:q:q I don't know where to start. .. so I won't. Then there is the 'miss-information' about how to prep and how to paint. This is where the boys and the men are separated. In painting you HAVE to follow the instructions. You HAVE to read the directions (and follow them) You HAVE to be clean. You HAVE to be patient and methodical. You HAVE to be fearful of the chemicals you are using. And further there is the unending versions of painting processes. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has their own technique that works for THEM. ( so the question is how are you going to find what works for you when you are only painting one car huh? .. good question huh? and probably the biggest deterrent to people painting their own cars. Bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off saying "WHO'S SUGGESTIONS DO I FOLLOW!". So after I decided to paint the car myself my compressor decided to go into melt-down mode. 2 broken pistons. I wait 2 weeks for the 50$ in parts (pretty cheap huh) and put the compressor togeather only to have the compressor blow up again 2 days later. So I wait ANOTHER 2 weeks and scour the internet ( which I had done before but this time I got a hold of a craftsman tech. that gave me the torque specs for the screws on the compressor ) So 140$ later the compressor is working again. ( I'm still crossing my fingers every time is turns on though. ) OK, so this is why it's been 2 months. 4 weeks of waiting for parts. Most of the other time has been waiting for good weather. I'd still be waiting if I hadn't figured out that humidity is not as big a deal as what they 'tell' you it is. Make sure it's a nice day = yes, but if the humidity is a bit above 50% no problem. Give your paint a bit more flashing time. Along this line, if you have a paint gun with a 1.5 mm tip and you are shooting primer and need a 2mm tip, NO PROBLEM thin out your primer and add another coat. It's all in the details in painting. Really.. It is. ( Note: temp is important. No colder than 50degrees and this means for your car and the weather. ... and don't go thinking you can paint while it's raining and not have moisture coming out of your paint gun... ) Ok, so what did I do in this time. I read. And read. And discovered you can buy 3m sandpaper in 175pad rolls for 15$ on ebay or 30yard rolls for 15bucks. ( hugely important for saving money ) I also worked on my car. I put bondo on the big dent in the back which took me an entire afternoon to get the curve correct ( and still needs work ). I also puttied out all the feathering spots on the car that were deep. (NOTE: feathering means you have 2 inches showing PER LAYER.. 'proper' fethering is a large suface area ...now ya know. ) Finally I was ready to paint. In researching paint you find words like "epoxy paint" or "high build surfacer primer" or "etching paint" or 'sealer'. I'm still a novice at this so I won't try to define these things for you guys but you certainly can look them up. ( there is a wide variety of loosly defined definitions as to what these paints are 'for' in painting your car). For me I had a lot of metal showing so I needed to get something that would adhere to the metal. So I got some epoxy paint. The car was sanded with 220 and the metal was sanded with 100grit and I shot the car. Before it looked like this. (putty had been sanded and feathered in) After 2 coats of epoxy grey primer it looked like this. Now comes the time to talk about paint guns. This is freaking HUGE when It comes to painting. Only way to get your feet wet is to jump right in though. So here's what I have noticed about my painting so far. Areas like this: are 'perfect' this is the way you want the paint to look afterward. Though I noticed that I was very close to the car when I shot this area. Like 3-4 inches. Other areas like this: and I noticed the orange peel. In reflection I kept the gun around 4-5 inches from the car in these spots and this was what most of the car looked like. ... but it wasn't the worse. There was the roof... Door insides. where I had been 7-8 inches away and the paint was drying before It got to the car... hmmm.. need to thin it out a bit maybe .. oooorrr... site in the paint gun. http://www.autobody101.com/articles/article.php?title=Paint Atomization (good article on this... and EXTREMELY IMPORTRTANT) The epoxy primer is just the first primer so it's good practice (as long as you get good coverage). Now I'm block sanding the car. I'm in the process. I painted to hood and trunk today also. Here's pics of the trunk, hood, and the ongoing block sanding. Notice the low spots ( either from bad feathering or low spots that had gone unnoticed before ) I am having a small problem with my gun. I have a cambell hausfeild gun and I don't have the wrench to take the front part of the gun off. Thus I'm noticing that even with all the cleaning I'm doing there is still bits of dried paint inside the front of the gun I can't get too. ( either that or I still need to work on dialing in the gun. ) Today it's getting sealed and 3-4 coats of 2k primer/surfacer. After that it will get a guide coat/ blocked again (fixed if needed) and then ready for paint. Then paint. (really worried about the painting... I am going to shoot something a couple of times to get the feel of real paint going through the gun. I am painting it black.