How Do I Prepare My RC Car For Paint? Step By Step List

how do i prepare my rc car for paint

Every RC car comes painted in different colors; however, you can decide to change the color of your car by repainting it. Repainting your remote-controlled car is not a big deal as long as you follow a step-by-step process to get the job done.

Here is a step-by-step list to prepare your RC car for paint:

  • Strip out the old painting of the RC car body.
  • Thoroughly wash the vehicle body. 
  • Draw your design on the RC body with a permanent marker. 
  • Use masking tape to cover the parts you do not want to paint. 

You do not want to paint your remote-controlled car wrong, so you must follow the procedures. Why exert time, money, energy, and resources to repaint your RC car, to not like it in the end?

Step By Step List To Prepare My RC Car For Paint

Painting an RC car gives it a new look and allows you to customize your vehicle to better suit your tastes. Before you start painting your RC car, you have to follow some steps to prepare it for paint.

Strip Out The Old Paint

If you are thinking of painting your RC car, especially if it is an old one, then you first have to strip out the old paint. To remove the old paint, you will coat or spray the RC body with a chemical paint stripper made for polycarbonate.

You will have to leave the chemical on the RC body for a while (it is often specified in the instructions on the chemical). Once the time is complete, use a washcloth or sponge to scrape off the paint. Then dry the RC body with a cloth.

toy car washing itself

Thoroughly Wash The Vehicle Body

After removing the old painting, the next thing to do is to wash the RC body. When washing the body, you should use non-abrasive dish soap, a sponge, and clean water. Ensure you thoroughly clean off all dust, dirt, and debris on the vehicle’s body. This will allow your paint job to be as smooth as possible.

After the thorough washing, rinse the RC body with clean water until every soap particle has washed off. Then dry the RC body with a soft, lint-free cloth. Make sure it is completely dry.

Draw Your Design On The RC Body

Before attempting to paint your RC car, you should have a blueprint or plan to guide you. Hence, you will have to draw your design on the RC body with a permanent marker to help you outline where to apply your paint and masking tape.

If you are painting an RC car for the first time, you must keep the design simple. Using a complex design can confuse and complicate the process. However, if you are applying a new coat of paint, there is no need to design.

Use A Masking Tape

Using masking tape will help keep your painting coordinated, organized, and neat. You should cover the areas you are not painting with masking tape. You can use different color masking tapes to identify the different colors you will be using to paint and you remove them after painting.

Make sure the masking tape is pressed down firmly to prevent jagged areas on the RC body. After painting, make sure you do not rip out the masking tape but use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut it out.

How Do You Paint An RC Car?

Customizing an RC car helps your vehicle stand out from other RC cars. If you are spray painting your RC car for the first time, it might not seem easy. Nevertheless, as long as you have the right materials and are very careful and accurate, you will get the job done, and the result will come out nicely.

flourescent car paint

Choose A Spray Paint

When deciding which type of spray paint to buy, it is very important that you only get one made for polycarbonate. Using generic spray paint is not advisable as it will not last long, and when it starts to fade, it might do so unevenly, which will reduce the beauty of your RC car.

You should also stick to buying one brand of spray paint; mixing different brands on your RC car can cause the colors to be uneven or splotchy. You can get spray paint for polycarbonate at a craft store.

Paint In A Ventilated Area

When painting your RC car, you should do so in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. You must also make sure to wear a nose mask and safety goggles. You should read and follow the spray paint instructions and warnings to ensure safety. If you are going to paint your RC car in an enclosed area, you should open all doors and windows.

You must also position yourself very close to the open area. Spray painting in a ventilated area will prevent you from inhaling the fumes from the paint, which is bad for your system. Note that while painting, if at any time you feel lightheaded or nauseated, you should exit the area immediately and seek medical attention.

proline video rc car paint screenshot

Start Spray Painting

Before you start painting, you must have drawn out your design and used masking tape to cover areas you are not painting yet. When spray painting, let the spray container be 2 to 3 inches away from the RC body. Keeping the can at a distance prevents the coat from getting too heavy.

As you spray, move from one end to the other of the RC body. When you channel the spray in one area for too long, it can cause an uneven coat. After spray painting, inspect the RC body for any blotchy or faint areas and retouch as needed.

Apply More Colors, Coats, And Decals

After spray painting, you can now apply an additional coat for a darker color. Your first coat might be paler than what you want, so you can keep on applying as many coats as you need to achieve the desired color. Make sure you let the coat dry before you apply another.

After applying the first color, peel off the masking tape on another area to apply the second color. Let it dry before applying the next color. Continue the procedure until you have painted all areas of the vehicle. You can also add a decal to the RC body once the colors are completely dried.

Finish Your Painting

After painting, you should apply a clear coat of spray paint to your RC body. The clear coat will prevent the decal and paint from peeling off, and it will give your RC car a glossy sheen. The clear spray paint you apply should also be made for polycarbonate. Let the spray paint dry for about thirty minutes to an hour before you use your RC vehicle.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On RC Cars?

When you have an RC car and wish to paint it, you should know the right type of paint to use. Using any paint for your RC car can disfigure it, and the paint job will not come out as it should. If you are considering an overall paint job for your RC car, the best kind of paint to use is acrylic or enamel paint.

This kind of paint bonds to several materials like metal, carbon fiber, hard plastic, fiberglass, and polycarbonate. Acrylic paints dry faster and give off no toxic fumes; enamel paint, on the other hand, takes longer to dry and is more toxic. So, if your RC body is made from polycarbonate, these two paints are the best to use.

Although you should only use paint made for polycarbonate, you can also use regular spray paint for your RC cars. However, regular spray can tend to flake or chip off since they are not designed for painting RC car bodies.

rc car top cover painting process

Final Thoughts

Painting your RC car is a good way to retouch it and make it look brand new. However, you can only achieve this by using the right materials and following the correct procedures.

You do not want to spend hours painting, and the color to come out the wrong way because you used the wrong paint or missed a step. Have a great time repainting your RC car.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.