Hack My Ride Three Tips to Customize Your Vehicle Without Paying Body Shop Prices

Spray on bed liner

As knowledge becomes more readily accessible through the internet, many people are discovering the benefits of the “do-it-yourself” or DIY trend. Instead of paying hard earned money, many people are able to achieve quality results on a budget with the right tools and supplies. Instead of making arts and crafts, many people are finding ways to customize their vehicles without paying body shop prices.

Quality Auto Paint

Getting a new paint job for your vehicle can cost a car owner thousands of dollars at a body shop; thankfully there is a way to achieve quality results at home for those who have a few days or weekends to spare. Start by removing the existing paint using 1200- and 2000-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper — it is recommended that you strip the vehicle down to the metal, but if time is limited then it would be alright to just remove enough to ensure a smooth even surface that has been wiped with clean rags and thinners to remove the dust. Before priming, ensure that you cover areas that you do not want to be painted with masking tape and newspaper/plastic sheeting. Next apply your primer — in order to ensure you have the proper technique, it is recommended that you practice first on an old panel from a scrapyard. After your primer layer, start building up layers of paint while being sure to apply a second coat only once the first coat has already set. Once you are satisfied with the layers, apply your clear coat lacquer in two layers and you have yourself a freshly painted vehicle on a budget.

Treated Truck Beds

When it comes to trucks a freshly lined bed can help prevent rust and other damage that comes from exposure to the elements — this too can be done at home for a fraction of the price that body shops charge using spray-on bed liners. Start by stripping old paint and rust from the vehicle using 150-grit sandpaper. Next apply your bed liner over multiple coats, being sure to allow each layer to dry completely before proceeding to the next. After you are satisfied with the coverage, adding a protective layer of polyurethane can add years of service by preventing scratching, rusting, and chemical contamination while also doubling to create an anti-slip surface to help prevent accidents. Polyurethane can be sprayed from 1/16th of an inch to 4 inches; thinner coatings can chip and crack while thicker coatings can destroy the shape and size of a truck bed, so take care when applying.

Professional Car Wraps at Home

Wrap cut tape is a fine filament edge cutting tape that eliminates the need for a knife and with it the risk of damaging the surface of your vehicle. Wrap cut allows precise trim lines and opens up the possibility of overlapping vinyl without leaving residue behind. Start by applying the wrap cut’s filament bearing edge along the area where you want to cut then simply apply the vinyl as usual. By pulling the vinyl wrap cutting tape through the vinyl you are then left with a clean line that looks as though it was applied by a professional. With wrap cut tape anyone can customize their vehicle with vinyl graphics and decals with ease, making it the perfect tool for those looking to update their ride.

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