An old or rusty hood can be reconditioned to look like new by applying a fresh coat of paint. Wash the car first and treat the rust spots so the paint will adhere properly. You can use spray or liquid paint, but always work slowly to apply several even coats of primer and paint. Then take the car out on the road to show off your new look!
Part 1 of 3: Cleaning the hood
Step 1. Wash the bonnet with soap and water
Pick a day when you have time to dedicate to painting the car. Start by washing the bonnet to remove any dirt. Use an auto soap from an auto shop and rinse it off with hose water.
Household soaps are not recommended as they tend to damage the finish
Step 2. Rub the hood with a sanding sponge
You can find sanding sponges at any home improvement store. While the car is wet, gently rub the sponge on the hood. This will cut through the paint, which will help the new coating adhere better when you apply it later.
Step 3. Dry the car completely in sunlight
You can use a clean microfiber cloth to absorb most of the moisture. Whatever happens, leave the car in direct sunlight until all the water is gone. This can take a few hours depending on the weather.
The car will need to be dry or the new coat of paint won't look great
Step 4. Use sandpaper to remove any rust stains you notice
Find 40-60 grit sandpaper at a home improvement store. Rub back and forth over the rust stains. You will notice that the orange rust begins to flake off. Keep doing this until it's gone and all that's left is exposed metal.
- It is important to remove the rust now so that it does not damage the car later.
- You can use an electric sander instead of sandpaper, if you have one.
Step 5. Clean the sanded areas with a damp cloth
Get a clean microfiber cloth and place it under running water. Avoid soaking the cloth, as applying too much water to the metal will create more rust. Use the cloth to remove the residue from the places you have sanded.
Step 6. Spray the rusted areas with a rust converter
Next, buy a can of rust converter and primer from a home improvement center or auto store. This will work like spray paint. Press the plunger on the can and move it from side to side over the exposed metal. Create a nice, even layer to protect the metal.
This product acts as a primer. You can paint on it
Part 2 of 3: applying a primer to the hood
Step 1. Cover the rest of the car with tape and plastic sheeting
Sheets will generally be stocked at home improvement stores, as will some paint and auto stores. Cover any areas near the hood that you don't want to paint. Masking tape is good for covering the edges around it. Plastic sheeting is best for covering large areas.
Step 2. Wear a respirator when painting the car
No matter what type of paint you use, the fumes are unpleasant and dangerous to inhale. Moving the car outdoors is a good idea, but you will still need to put on a respirator to be safe.
Wearing safety glasses and gloves will also help
Step 3. Use spray paint for a faster and cheaper paint job
You've probably already seen spray paint on sale at various stores. Its use is as simple as point and spray. You will need a can of primer and a can of colored paint.
If you want to add more detail to the hood, you can purchase an additional color of paint
Step 4. Buy a spray gun for a more professional paint job
You can find relatively inexpensive paint guns online or at home improvement stores. A spray gun will give you more control and help you create more even layers of paint. You should get liquid paint and mix it according to the directions on the label.
Step 5. Spray the primer on the hood
Keep the can of primer 10-15 inches (20-30 cm) above the hood. Start at one end and slowly move the can or gun straight to the other end. Then go back, overlapping this second stroke with the first. Continue spraying from side to side to cover the entire hood.
Another way to do this is with a quality liquid primer. Spread it over the hood with a plastic paint spreader
Step 6. Wait up to five minutes after applying one coat
For the primer, wait two to five minutes before applying more. Each can of primer or paint will require you to wait a little while for the product to set on the hood. Check the instructions on the can to help you remember how long to wait.
However, don't expect too much. The primer should only be allowed to dry after you've finished adding more
Step 7. Add three or more coats of primer
Spray more primer, waiting a few minutes after each coat. Apply just as you did with the first coat. Do it in slow, even movements. The primer should come out as a thick, well-made coat before you begin painting.
Step 8. Wait 24 hours for the primer to dry
Wait a full day to make sure it settles. To protect it, cover the car with a drop cloth, which you can buy online or at any store that sells paint supplies.
Part 3 of 3: Paint the car
Step 1. Apply the main coat of paint
This middle layer will be the main color you want for the car. Apply just like primer. Start at one end of the hood and work your way through it in a smooth stroke. If you're using spray paint, try to release the plunger when you reach the edges of the hood.
Doing the lines slowly and straight is the correct way that will give you a good coloring. Moving too fast can create thin, faded streaks that will make you want to hide your car in the garage forever
Step 2. Apply up to three coats of paint
Again, read the instructions on the paint can to find out how long to wait between coats. Usually it will be about 10-15 minutes. After the time is up, apply another coat of paint to the hood. You will need two to three coats for this to look perfect.
Step 3. Wait another 4 hours for the paint to dry
Again, you have to wait to finish the paint job. This coat should not take as long as the primer. You can test it by tapping with a covered finger. If the weather changes or if you prefer to wait another day, you should cover the car with the protective tarp.
Step 4. Paint in different colors as needed
If desired, use additional colors to customize the hood. Cover the areas you don't want to paint with the tape and plastic sheeting. Then apply the paint using the same method as above. This is how unique designs are painted. Use your imagination to make the hood stand out!
You can spray the hood with a coat of clear paint to protect the color
- Spray paint is easy to apply, but for a more professional paint job, you'll need to use liquid paint with a spray gun.
- Work slowly and in controlled movements to apply the paint in even layers.
- Typically, you will need to add multiple coats of primer and paint to keep your coatings looking even. Give each coat adequate drying time.