I read painting a car with a roller on the internet (thusly). The results looked good, so I gave it a shot. It took five weekends and cost me about $170.

Here's the pictures.

Comments: 1374 • Responses: 31  • Date: 

lemmiwinkles1088 karma

I paint cars for a living and I must say, I'm impressed.

Monumentus443 karma

Thanks, I painted one car with a gun and it was nerve-racking all of the catalysts and hardeners and time constraints. This one was much more relaxed.

MavsFTW74 karma

Painted you other car with a gun? Like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpOhEN_5qiA&t=1m51s

Monumentus74 karma

As soon as I saw Jeremy Clarkson's name, I knew it wasn't going to be a paint gun!

NoStrangertolove35 karma

You say it only cost you $180, how many man* hours did it take you in those five weekends?

And would you consider the time recreational in nature or was this 'work' for you?

For our friends lacking the y-chromosome, man-hours are very similar to woman hours, except with more grunting and include ten minutes at the end standing and staring contemplatively going either "Yup" or "Huh..."

Monumentus57 karma

I think I probably spent a little over 100 hours on the whole project. But things like this are my hobby, so it wasn't really work.

urist8126 karma

You can spray without using catalyzed paint. In fact, I'm gettnig my HVLP out to do a cheap-o job on my almost-dead car this weekend (I figured I should keep in practice so I don't get rusty, and if I screw up a can I'm gonna junk soon anyway, who cares?)

Monumentus34 karma

True. My friends had talked me into doing a base-coat clear-coat job. It looked good, but it was a lot of work. A lot of expensive work.

hobbers24 karma

I'm guessing the roller job would get picked apart at some intense classic car show. But for someone just rolling around town, it probably works perfectly fine.

Monumentus160 karma

Concourse judging will never be a problem for the '90 Corrolla.

awesomeness123489 karma

you take it back. take it back right now. the 90 Corrolla is a thing of rare and exquisite beauty.

Monumentus77 karma

Actually I was thinking about putting some Alfa Romeo Badges on it and seeing how many people I could fool.

dretheace445 karma

To be quite honest, I thought you were some fool who didn't know anything about paint and just decided to paint your car with a roller. I was astounded when I saw the pics, it looks amazing! Well done sir.

Monumentus190 karma

It makes for great trolling, especially if you say it with a southern drawl!

introspeck108 karma

A guy I worked with went into the hospital for 4 days. When he came home, his 10 and 12 yo kids were all excited, they had a "secret present" they wanted to show him. They led him outside, then opened the garage door to reveal - his car. It sure did have new paint on it. "Daddy, you were always saying that you needed to get your car painted sometime... we did it for you!" I probably don't have to tell you that they used latex paint and rough-bristle paintbrushes. They actually did a reasonably careful job, there was no paint on the windows or door handles.

Monumentus139 karma

I was trying to fix a rust spot on an Alfa I once had, went in for a drink of water, and came back out and the neighbor kid was "helping". He found a piece of sandpaper I set down and was going to town on an unrelated area of the fender.

snowball666222 karma

I did this with one of my RX-7's



Monumentus67 karma

Wow, black to white! did you have any trouble getting coverage with such a radical color change?

odd-ball124 karma

I did the same on my Fairlane, Great for tight budgets, let me spend a thousand more on the motor! http://i.imgur.com/Avu0K.jpg

Monumentus35 karma

Wow! that is sweet!

jzworkman71 karma

Are you going to do any interesting paint job or customization? Or just stick with the red? Great job btw, super cheap and looks good.

Monumentus261 karma

My wife wanted me to paint the roof white but leave a red dot in the middle and call it the General Yee, but I think I'll just stick with the red.

[deleted]64 karma

Why didn't you paint it invisible?

Monumentus123 karma

I tried the clear, but it doesn't work that way :(

morasso55 karma

I did this as well to my old Integra. It can come out pretty good if you take your time with it. Just a combo of Rustoleum Paint and Oderless Mineral Spirits.

Heres pictures of mine as well, car was originally red.



I miss that car :)

Monumentus43 karma

Nice job, did you have the car long enough after painting it to see how well the paint held up?

shitshowmartinez73 karma

This is an ask ME anything! YOU DONT GET TO ASK QUESTIONS.

(nice job btw)

Monumentus40 karma

Sorry. Should I feel bad?

Part_Time_Cynic52 karma

Great job! I plan to paint my project Beetle the same way. Rustoleum Industrial has glow in the dark enamels now... hmmm :D

Monumentus14 karma

Daaaang! I wish I had known!

PissBlasta51 karma

That is a NICE paint job!

Here is what I did with spray paint cans, if you are interested


Monumentus37 karma


[deleted]42 karma

Question: If I were on the run and had to disguise my getaway car, is this a project that can be done in 24 hours while fucked up on coke?

Monumentus63 karma

No. Paint it ahead of time with water-based paint in a different color. Then when you are being chased, pull into a car-wash and come out the the original color!

eye_see_a_pun41 karma

Anything you would do differently if you did it again?

Monumentus46 karma

I would probably spent more time getting the body-work right before painting. I didn't expect it to be so shiny and show the little hail dents I left so bad.

[deleted]38 karma


Monumentus62 karma

Money in the bank. My Toyota's my transportation appliance. When ever my newer cars break down, I always hop in the Toyota to go get parts.

waytogobozo31 karma

did you wet or dry sand in between coats? did you paint in the sun or shade? looks great and you have encourage me to give it a try on my hooptie

Monumentus30 karma

I wet sanded between coats, to level out the paint but also to get the dust and any insects out before going on. I painted in my garage because it was so hot and I didn't want to drip sweat into the wet paint. But Iv'e read of others doing it out in their driveways with no problems. Go for it.

laurililly25 karma

What kind of lacquer/colour did you use? And how much did you need?

edit: Oh, just noted that the link you gave explains some details.

Monumentus30 karma

Rust-oleum oil based enamel, $9 per quart at Home Depot. I used one and a half quarts.

[deleted]15 karma

Where'd you spend the other $156.5?

Monumentus30 karma

Bondo, sandpaper, mineral spirits, paint roller, masking tape, drop cloths, rattle can primer. The most surprising expense was the actual foam rollers.

vashta_nerada7 karma

How many rollers did you go through?

Monumentus15 karma

Six. I remember because the little things were surprisingly expensive. I kept them in a zip-lock baggy and they wouldn't dry out between coats and I could use one roller for two coats.

ur_killing_me_smalls14 karma


Monumentus5 karma

Not yet. My speedo cable is squeeky. It used to bug, me but now I'll choose to believe that it's indicating that the o-ring is still good.

ineedavideo13 karma

If you did it again would you stick with the rustoleum enamel? I saw you had mentioned looking for more durable enamels that were inteneded for outdoor use. Did you come across any that might be better or would you just stick with the rustoleum?

Monumentus7 karma

The Rust-oleum was awesome. Would do it again.

NoleLife12 karma

It looks great! My only concern would be that not using paint meant for cars and the appropriate hardeners will mean the paint will scratch / peel much more easily from impacts with objects in the air during normal driving. However, given the leisurely time spent and low cost and the massive improvement on the looks I would definitely say the benefits far outweigh the cons. Great job man!

Monumentus17 karma

Durability was one of my concerns too. But I've seen pictures of similar paint jobs up to 4 years old that still look good, so I've got my fingers crossed...

porxy10 karma

I did part of an old beater toyota a few yrs back and it held up really well. I think this is the way to go if you have more time than cash. How many hours of sanding and how many coats?

Monumentus15 karma

The sanding for the bodywork took the longest. but once I started painting, it only took an hour to color sand the whole care between coats. There are at least 6 coats everywhere, a few more on the hood, roof and trunk.

thecatdoesdrugs5 karma

You've inspired me to finally get off me ass and paint my car. My problem, however, is that I don't have a garage. Is this still possible to DIY, although I can't protect it from the elements?

Monumentus4 karma

As long as it doesn't rain while the paint is drying, sure.

ymmuyqbb4 karma

Congrats on nice job. Did you price out having it painted professionally to see what your time was worth? Would you do it this way again?

Also on 3rd page 1st pic, nice picture taking posture!

Monumentus9 karma

I didn't even consider having it done professionally. The blue-book value on the car is only about $1000. But I figure if I'd paid myself $20 per hour for my labor, I would have spent less than two payments on a new car, so it was worth it.

NecroRot3 karma

Very nice job! I recently painted my car's hood and fender with some cheap spray paint, still looks OK but no where as good as your paint job. Are you going to replace the trim on the doors or keep it off?

Monumentus5 karma

I'll probably put the door strips back on, but I think I'll stick with the de-badged look.

raffytraffy3 karma

you didn't have to sand it all down? won't it start peeling?

Monumentus3 karma

I just sanded down to get the chalky oxidized paint off so that the new paint could get good adhesion.