Automobile Painters


Manufacturing > Automobile Painters > Overview
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Automobile Painters

Automobile Painters - Overview

Vehicle painters prepare and paint cars, trucks, airplanes, farm equipment, and other vehicles.

Before painting a vehicle, painters prepare the surface. They take off mirrors and trim and apply tape, plastic, or paper to surfaces that should not be painted. They apply solvents to remove grease and dirt from the surfaces to be painted.

They use power sanders, sandblasters, or brushes to remove rust and unwanted paint. They smooth the surface by filling small dents and scratches with body filler. Once the filler is dry, they sand the surface so it is smooth. Painters may apply rust resistant undercoats or caulk and seal seams.

Painters use equipment such as:

  • Portable ventilators
  • Ladders
  • Scaffolds
  • Spray guns

Painters apply several coats of primer, paint, and sealer. After each coat is applied, they sand the surface to remove flaws and to improve the bond of the next coat.

Between coats of paint, painters may move vehicles to infrared ovens to speed the drying process. Sometimes, they put heat lamps around the vehicles.

After the final coat of paint is applied and has dried, painters polish vehicles.

Some tasks require painters to use paintbrushes instead of paint sprayers. For example, certain areas of vehicles cannot be reached with spray guns. Some lettering or designs require hand painting or stenciling.

Painters maintain their equipment and work areas. They take apart sprayers and power equipment to clean and maintain them. They clean their hand tools using solvents, wire brushes, and cloths. Painters clean their work areas to control dust that can settle on fresh paint.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.