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Paint Your Car at Home

If you're into looking good on a budget, dive into this primer on basic bodywork and creative use of color.

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MaterialsDESCRIPTION PN SOURCE PRICEDA discs, 80 grit, 15 ct. 8A080 $10.05DA wet sheets, 220 grit, 15 ct. 8A220 9.003M longboard 150 grit, 20 ct. 32569 local

supply 15.533M longboard 80 grit, 50 ct. 0391 local supply 30.74

3M 9x11 wet 360 grit 25361 26.26

3M filler, 1 gal. 5801 11.99

3M tube hardener, 3 oz. 5831 2.85

3M green spot putty, 21 oz 5960 13.03

5Star wax/grease rmvr, gal. 5900-1 13.00

Transtar etch primer, gal. TRE6121 30.36

Transtar primer, gal TRE6401 44.79

Transtar, primer active., qt. TRE6934 25.40

DuPont, Ful-thane, gal. N/A your choice 133.00

DuPont gun cleaner, gal. 3924S 13.56

Masking paper, roll FGE467 Ray's Paint 5.97

Aircraft stripper, 1 gal. 343-1 Ray's Paint 29.95

Total $415.48Tools

Craftsman MIG 180 20504 Sears/Craftsman 699.99Craftsman HVLP gun

15531 Sears/Craftsman 109.99Craftsman DA sander 19976

Sears/Craftsman 59.99Uni-Spotter Stud Welder, kit 4500 199.96Body filler spreader kit 3844 67.473M long board, 16-inch 5744 27.963M hand board, 712-inch 5741 13.933M hand board, 5-inch 5740 11.83Total $1,191.12


Depending upon usage, you will need at least one gallon of body filler, dozens of lengths of sandpaper, a half-gallon of etching primer, two gallons of fill primer, a couple quarts of activator, one gallon of reducer, and 112 gallons of color to do a full-size car like the El Camino. Establishing a minimum price is easiest--around $500 to $700. From here, the price will escalate based on the quality of the materials and how much you use. Spending $1,000 is not unusual for quality materials. The prices given above are Internet prices; expect to pay more at local stores for the convenience of getting the material immediately.

`SOURCESAbrasive Resource; Minneapolis, MN; 800/814-7358; abrasiveresource.com3M; St. Paul, MN; 888/3M-HELPS;; Brooklyn, NY; 877/CAR-COLOR;

DuPont Performance Coatings;

Original Parts Group; Huntington Beach, CA; 800/243-8355;

Ray's Paint & Supply; North Hollywood, CA; 818/769-4348

Sears, Roebuck & Company (Craftsman); 800/377-7414;

TCP Global; San Diego, CA; 858/909-2110;

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Car Craft