There will come a time in every dune buggy’s life when their body will not look as it used to. Humans suffer from this experience as well and then proceed to go for a facelift. Painting your buggy is just like that, a facelift, or more to the point, a paint lift. The easiest option is spray paint with all the required components, does not require a primer or basecoat, and only needs one topcoat.
The best thing about painting your dune buggy today is that you don’t require all the tools that you will find in your local body shop. Modern spray paints are available in aerosol cans (primers, basecoats, and topcoats), and some are all-in-one, making painting an easy to do exercise.
Painting your dune buggy does not have to cost you an arm or a leg. There is a wide variety of affordable paint products on the market that is easy to apply, which will help you get the job done professionally. This article will discuss some of the best paints when painting your dune buggy, be it primers or topcoats, and a step-by-step guide on how to spray your dune buggy yourself.
What Type Of Paints Do You Need?
The most widely-used painting system in the automotive world is a single-layer base coat followed by two to three topcoats (color and clear coat). Car paint is composed of pigments, which is the component that gives it the color, and gloss provided by the resin that is also part of the paint.
Popular pigments are:
Primer Or Insulating Paints
This is the first coat of paint protecting the metal/fiberglass and providing a base for the finishing paint (color and clear coat). The application of the primer must be made correctly, or else it could affect color matching, the finish, and the overall coverage of the paints that follow.
It is the paint of coat that you will see when you finished painting your dune buggy. The purpose of a topcoat is to restore your dune buggies original color or transform it into something “new”.
Let us examine the various ways of how you can apply the topcoat to your dune buggy:
1) Single-Coat Topcoat
- When your paint has all the required components blended in, like the gloss level, color, chemical resistance, mechanical resistance, and UV resistance, you only have to apply one coat.
2) Two-Coat Topcoat
- The first coat provides the color.
- The second coat provides the sheen, UV -, mechanical-, and chemical resistance.
- Any colors available-plain, special effects, pearlescent.
3) Three-Coat Topcoat
- This topcoat consists of three layers: A colored base, special effect color, and clear coat (for some examples, the first clear coat is dyed with special pigments).
Best Paints For Your Dune Buggy
Painting your dune buggy should be exciting and a once-off experience. You want it perfect the first time of trying. The products listed below are popular when it comes to painting a dune buggy.
Owning a spray-gun setup will be necessary for some of the options. The other ones come ready-to-use in spray cans, which you can then modify by adding a spray paint can spray gun.
1) Sherwin Williams Automotive Paints
- This paint company offers a wide variety of unbeatable refinish systems.
- They are considered as one of the leaders in automotive paint products.
- Sunfire Pro range offers a complete refinish system with basecoat and single-stage options complete with pigment-rich toners & pearls for effect, and an excellent selection of primers and sealers as well as tough clears.
2) House Of Kolor
- Features a range of high-quality paint products: From versatile sealers to high-coverage basecoat colors (Metallic-Pearl-Kandy)
- Some of the most innovative paint effects can be found in their product range.
- Available in a wide selection of colors and effects.
3) Kirker Ultra-Glow Acrylic Urethane Paints
- Kirker is known for its high-gloss premium paints and automotive products ideal for dune buggies (a wide variety of striking colors).
- Features superior gloss retention when compared to similar products.
- Weather-, UV- and chip-resistant paints are what you will get when buying this brand.
- Available in a wide selection of colors: Dark Jade Metallic, Royal Pearl Blue, Sublime, Black Stardust, Performance Yellow/Red/Blue/Green/Orange, Gun Metal, Grape Jelly Pearl, and the list goes on.
4) Mipa DS 4-In-1 Spray
- All-in-one spray that acts as a primer and topcoat.
- Offers UV -, corrosion-, and weather protection in the paint.
- It is a fast-drying, high-build single-layer acrylic paint.
- The product has excellent hiding power and is ideal to use vehicles, machinery, coating of constructions.
5) Krylon ColorMaster Paint
- The product adheres quickly to metals, fiberglass, and wood.
- It does not require a separate coat of primer as the primer is already in the paint.
- Quick-drying paint (15 minutes)
- The following finishes are available: Metallic, Matte, Gloss, Flat, Semi-Flat, Stain, Semi-Gloss & Primer.
- Features an EZ Touch Tip that prevents runs and drips, and finger fatigue.
6) Por-15 (45918) Top Coat Car Spray
- Requires no primer or undercoat.
- Ideal if you want to spray your car black (Chassis black)
- The paint is UV-resistant, suitable for use in warm places, like the beach.
- It keeps your vehicle’s coat safe from rust and other chemical damage.
7) SprayMAX (3680061) 2K Clear Spray Paint
- The unique nozzle design makes it ideal for beginners.
- You can apply it over any basecoat.
- It gives the car a long-lasting, high-gloss finish after use.
- Protects your car against weather and chemical degradation.
8) Krylon (KA8601007) Automotive Acrylic Enamel, Gloss, Black
- The high solids in the product ensure a delicate yet durable wear-resistant last coat.
- Resistant to color fading, stains, dents, and corrosion.
- It delivers a versatile finish on fiberglass, wood, and metal.
- The application delivers a smooth spray that dries quickly.
9) Dupli-Color (EBUN01007) Perfect Match Universal Gloss Black
- Specially formulated high-quality acrylic lacquer aerosol paint that will exactly match the color of the original paint.
- Features an EZ touch 360-degree nozzle and wide spray pattern that makes for a smooth and even coat.
- To conclude the matching process, add additional gloss, use this product with Dupli-Color Perfect Match Clear Coat.
- It can be applied over a previous finish, but it’s recommended to use it over Dupli-Color Perfect Match Scratch Filler Primer.
Best Primer Paints For Your Dune Buggy
If you are going to spray your buggy with a primer first, have a look at the following options:
10) Dupli-Color BSP 100- Paint Shop Grey
- Provides a thick coating that fills any small or big imperfections.
- Chip resistant.
- Rust resistant.
- The primer can be sanded and buffed so that the spray-on color will have a smooth and shiny finish.
- The pre-produced primer does not have to be mixed or reduced; you can use it just like it is from the start.
11) Rust-Oleum (249418) Sandable Primer Spray Paint
- A wet and dry sandable primer that is suitable for use on metal and fiberglass.
- Oil-based paint is designed with the ‘Stops Rust’ formula that provides a rust-resistant base coat.
- It covers up to 15 sq ft, dries in 10 minutes, allowing for quick application of base coats.
- Features an any-angle comfort tip that provides flexibility while applying, also decreasing finger fatigue.
12) Speedokote SMR-210/211 High Build 2K Urethane Primer
- This urethane primer is guaranteed not to shrink, swell, crack when applied.
- Topcoat paint will be as glossy as the primer.
- It dries very fast and sands easily.
- Much stronger than lacquer primer, with more solids inside the primer, which means that you will use less to finish a spray-painting job.
13) Rust-Oleum (260510) Automotive 2-in-1 Filler & Sandable Primer
- The filler makes sure that any imperfections are filled, allowing for a smooth topcoat.
- The ‘Stops Rust’ technology used in the primer stops rust from forming on the surface.
- It covers about ten sq ft and features a comfort tip and a wider finger pad that makes applying it much more manageable.
- You can use it on various surfaces like metal, fiberglass, and wood.
- You can decide between dry- or wet sanding the primer.
14) Dupli-Color FP101 Scratch Filler And Primer
- The primer covers deep scratches and minor surface imperfections.
- Ensures a rust-resistant surface when applied.
- Sandable primer dries fast and promotes top coat uniformity.
Best Spray Paint Can Spray Guns
If regular spray paint cans start hurting your fingers after continuous use, or you have arthritis, then attaching a spray paint can spray gun is the way to go. These spray guns are made out of plastic and are reusable.
The listed models are all compatible with all standard spray cans. They all feature a convenient handle design that is finger-friendly. They boast large triggers that allow you to work continuously without having to take hand breaks, with no finger fatigue, larger jobs are enjoyable.
- Dublin Can Tool Aerosol Spray
- Can-Gun1 2012 Premium Can Tool Aerosol Spray
- Rust-Oleum Standard Spray Grip
- Rust-Oleum Comfort Grip
- Krylon Snap & Spray Can Handle
How To Repaint A Fiberglass Dune Buggy?
Fiberglass cars are not as common as their steel and metal brothers. Generally, they are either kit cars, race cars, or custom-built car bodies (Meyers Manx springs to mind) used by car building enthusiasts. Unfortunately, fiberglass cars can crack or chip over time as it is not as durable as metal/steel.
The chances are good that you will have to repair and repaint your fiberglass car/dune buggy at some time or another, depending on how much you use your vehicle and how well you look after it. If your fiberglass body needs a facelift before the next summer rolls around, you can follow these easy steps to do it yourself or book it in at your local body shop for some TLC:
What You Will Need:
- 120 Grit Sandpaper
- Wax & Grease Remover
- Lint-Free Cloth
- Urethane/Epoxy Primer
- 1200 Grit Sandpaper
- 2K Paint
- Clear Paint
Start by sanding the car’s body using the 120-grit sandpaper on a long sand block (This will roughen up the surface and prepare the body for the primer). You will be able to see any dents or warped areas of the fiberglass that will require repair work.
After you have completed the sanding part and you are happy with the overall condition of the body structure, proceed to wipe the whole car with wax and grease remover by using it on the lint-free cloth.
Proceed to spray the body with three coats of urethane/epoxy primer. Spray light and even coats, ensuring that the primer does not build up in one area and cause runs. Allow for each coat to dry before spraying the next one.
Use the 1200-grit sandpaper (on a long sanding block) and gently sand the primed surface. Try to sand off the very top layer of primer; the aim is to make a smooth surface for when the paint is applied. Wipe the car with the lint-free cloth after using the wax and grease remover.
Proceed to apply four coats of paint, 2K, to your car’s body, using light and even coats, making sure that no running occurs. Before applying each coat, allow for the previous coat to dry completely.
After the fourth coat is completely dry, you need to apply three coats of clear paint (topcoat). It will protect your paint from UV damage and light scratches. Again, use light and even coats, and make sure that no running occurs.
Helpful Tip Regarding Your Spray Gun:
- When you are finished using your spray gun, load it with acetone, and spray until empty and no more paint is visible. It will prevent your spray gun’s nozzle from clogging and save you from having to replace it, which costs a lot of money.
Modern-day paint options give the regular guy a chance to create a masterpiece. Most are easy to use and will make spray painting fun and successful. Most of the spray can options are for people who want to do it themselves or are budget-limited.
If money is no object, then you would book your car at your local body shop. Whatever route you choose, I hope that your buggy comes out brand “new” and ready for summertime at the beach!