How to Paint RC Car Body Like a Pro

Painting your RC car is a unique way to add that extra bit of customization to make your remote controlled car extra special, and enable it to stand out amongst the other similar looking RC vehicles on a daily basis. Painting your remote controlled body lid can be daunting at first, because most people have never done it before, and don’t want to waste their time. This article will help guide you on how to paint RC car body with as little hassle as possible.

How to Paint RC Car Body

Trim The Body To Car Specifications

How To Paint RC Car Body
Paint RC Car Body

The first thing you need to do is to place the new body lid that you are going to paint over your existing vehicle. You are essentially test fitting the new body lid over the existing vehicle chassis to see how the body lid is going to fit. Take the time to note where areas need to be trimmed or drilled using a permanent marker so that you can drill out the mounting holes. By doing this, you will save extra hassle later on when you don’t have to go back through and mess up your paint. Trimming and modifying the new body lid to the exact specifications before you start painting allow for a nice smooth paint finish without scuff marks that need to be painted over if you waited until after to do this step. We recommend using some curved bi-scissors to make smooth cuts with no jagged edges that might poke you later on.

Draw Your Future Design

how to customize RC Car Body
customize RC Car Body

Now that you have successfully cut and drilled the proper holes into the new body lid to properly mount it on your existing RC car chassis, it is now time for you to draw your future paint design. You can still use the permanent marker that you used earlier to mark the holes you had to drill, as there is an invisible paint screen on the new body lid. When your paint dries, you are able to peel this layer off without having to leave any permanent marker residue that might shine underneath your paint.

It is a good idea to have your future paint design already pre-planned so that you can save time when applying the blueprint for the new paint scheme. If you are going to be attempting some complex designs, use what you have at your disposal for complex shapes. For instance, if you wanted to do a circle, grab a roll of duct tape and use it to trace the circular design.

If you accidentally make a mistake, you can use a small cloth with rubbing alcohol to clean up some of the lines you drew.

RC Car Body

You have two choices when designing your paint job, asymmetrical or symmetrical. Symmetrical means that your design on one side will be replicated on the other, in contrast, asymmetrical means that the design is completely unique all around. If you are doing a symmetrical design, you can use a paper template or a tape measure to mark some guidelines as to where your design should line up appropriately with the other side.

Thoroughly Wash the Body

Once you have finished marking where the paint will align and the design, go ahead and thoroughly wash the body with some hand soap. Do not wash off the permanent marker, but make sure you room all dust and debris off the body to remove any imperfections that might show when painting begins.

Apply Liquid Mask To Body And Dry

Painting RC Car Body

The next thing that you need to do in how to paint RC car body is to go out and purchase a can of liquid mask. You will then begin to apply this liquid mask to the body completely both on the underbody and topside of the lid you will be painting. You will need to apply roughly two to three coats of this liquid mask to make sure you have good coverage. When brushing each coat, select a direction to apply the coat with your brush. For the first coat, do one direction, and then for the second and third coats, change your brush strokes in a different direction to make sure that you are creating the best coat coverage possible.

Painting Body

Liquid masks are important because it helps to showcase where the future paint design is going to go. Make sure to let the liquid mask dry thoroughly before you cut and remove it.

Remove The Liquid Mask

remove the liquid mask

The first thing that you want to do is make sure that you have a new blade in your hobby knife. A new blade will make sure that you can use a lighter touch, and will make cleaner cuts with the liquid mask. Very gently, go along the paint design you have drawn out, and begin to cut the liquid mask.

As you remove cut and peel away portions of the liquid mask, make sure that you are only cutting away sections that need to be cut with their proper pairings. For instance, if the bottom section of your RC car body is supposed to be black, cut out all of the black parts first. The order of your cut and peels should be darkest colors to lightest colors. Dark colors should always be applied before lighter colors when painting your RC car body.

Begin Painting Your RC Car Body

Painting process

Now that you have removed the first section of liquid mask and can begin painting, you can begin painting your RC car body with the color scheme that you want. It is very important that you do light coats. If you do a very thick and heavy coat, the paint will run, puddle, and drip. This will cause both imperfections in the texture and look over the paint job. It is better to do several light coats until you get the desired color, instead of having to strip the paint, sand, and begin the entire process all over again.

Take your time and apply light coats throughout the duration of each coat. Make sure you use smooth motions that will cover the entire area you are hoping to paint. Do not hold the paint in one location and apply the paint until it appears to get thick to the desired color. By the time the paint looks thick, several layers have already been applied and it will pool and run, thus causing extra hassle you don’t need.

Related Article: Best Traxxas RC car

Make sure to add a lot of time between each coat of paint, to ensure that the paint is thoroughly dry before adding another coat. One of the best ways to make sure that the coat is dry is by observing how the paint looks. When the fresh paint is applied, it looks glossy, and then as it dries it tends to go to flat black or matte black. Continue adding coats of paint, working your way around the body with the desired paint scheme you outlined. Remember to apply dark coats first, and then work your way to lighter coats later.

If you’d like you can purchase specific RC car paint, but any traditional spray paint will work provided that the instructions on the individual paint be followed to ensure proper coating. Some paints will also last longer in direct sun and will not fade, and additional research can be found online for different types of paint that can be readily used.

Apply Thin Clear Coat

If you desire, once you have applied the entire paint scheme with several coats of paint for each color, you can add a thin clear coat to the entire body. This will help protect your body against chips, dings, or other hazards that might affect your paint. You can choose to use a gloss or non-gloss thin clear coat, but whichever one you go with, it is always a good idea to add that extra bit of protection to preserve the work you have put in.

Apply The Decals

finishing of how to paint rc car body

If your kit came with decals that you wish to add, and you have let the finished paint job dry for an extended period of time, you can now begin to add decals to your body lid. Decals are an option, but some individuals like to add them if they are going for a specific look and feel to your new paint theme.

Conclusion and Extra Info

Now that you have successfully painted your own RC car body with your unique paint scheme, you can mount it back to your RC car body chassis and head out to impress your friends. Painting your RC car body is extremely simple as this outline has shown you, and it adds that extra bit of flair that you just can’t find from traditional stock designs or color schemes with RC cars. For more information and a video guide on how to paint RC car body, go ahead and click the video down below for more information.

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