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Things to Know About Painting a Truck

You love your pickup truck so much that you put in extra effort to give it TLC. Despite your truck showing some signs of wear and tear, and to bring it to its former glory, you are ready to give it a fresh coat of paint.

Although it pays to know the process of painting a truck, it is understood that you should not attempt it if you are a beginner. Rather than botch the job, it will be cheaper, in the long run, to have professionals do the job because they have the right tools, knowledge, and training to make your truck look brand new.

Consider that the truck is almost twice the size of a small car, which means that there will be more opportunities for a newbie to make a mistake. And mistakes can cost much more to fix.

Differences between painting a car and a truck

Technically, the job is the same, since a car or a truck is going to get a new coat of paint. However, the paint jobs have their differences.

  • A truck is bigger. It is obvious that there is a difference in size. The size difference is a big factor when you consider the amount of paint, solvents, time, and other materials that you will need to paint a truck. You will approximately spend triple the amount you’d spend to paint your car.
  • Painting a truck will take longer. Giving a vehicle a new coat of paint involves preparing the surface. Since the truck is bigger, the surface area to be painted is bigger. The surface that will receive the new coat should be uniformly smooth, with every trace of the old paint removed, and the rust spots, dents, deep scratches, and other minor defects removed or fixed. The process can take several days or weeks.
  • The prep process also includes removing all embellishments, trim panels, lights, windows, bumpers, mirrors, door handles, and other items that will not be painted. Parts that cannot be removed but should not be painted must be masked or covered with tape. This step will take a few days to finish.
  • It is difficult to achieve a uniform depth of color. A car has many contours, so the reflection of light on the different areas can hide the differences in the depth of color. A truck has larger flat surfaces; therefore, it should have a smooth and uniform thickness of paint to maintain the intensity of its color.

Types of paint

Car and truck paints come in different types, which are affected by the different forms of applications and various compounds added to the paints. It’s vital to choose professional truck paint to ensure that the application is uniform.

·         Lacquer paint. It is old school, so to speak, and no longer used on new vehicles. You can use lacquer paint if you are restoring an older vehicle in order to match the original paint finish. It takes more work to achieve the desired shine when you use this type of paint.

·         Enamel paint. This type of paint has two categories: acrylic enamel and synthetic enamel. They come in basic premixed colors, but it is now possible to have them custom-mixed. Synthetic enamel paint is a single-stage paint. It does not need any hardener and is often used in areas where the paint does not need to last for a long time. Acrylic enamel requires a hardener for increased durability and minimal drying time. This type of enamel paint is available as a single-stage or a two-stage paint, and usually needs to be baked onto the car.

·         Urethane paint. Urethane paint is available in a wide range of colors. They are UV resistant and need a hardener that makes the paint stronger after drying. The hardener also helps the paint dry faster. The hardener is toxic so the painter should wear safety gear. Unused urethane paint must be disposed of quickly and properly.

For a smooth and even finish, consider hiring a professional who has more knowledge about painting a truck.

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