Person spraying an RC car body with orange paint

How to Paint an RC Car Body

- Laegendary Brand Team

Painting an RC car body can help you make your RC car look brand new while still adding customization to your personalized liking. Painting your RC car body makes it stand out from other RC car collections. However, when it comes to painting-related tasks, painting an RC car body can be a daunting experience, especially if you've never handled an RC body paint before. 

Even though painting an RC car body can be an intimidating task, you can handle the process in a stress-free and fun way if you have an appropriate guide. So, are you looking forward to giving your RC car body that glossy, dull, or rusted paint job style you desire but have no idea where to start? Here's a detailed guide to get you through the process, from RC body preparation to how to paint the RC car body. 

How to Prep RC Car Body for Paint 

Painting your RC car to your desired customized look can be such a huge task and fun at the same time. However, there are several crucial steps you need to take before painting. The secret to properly painting an RC car body is to prepare properly before embarking on the painting process. Adequate preparation will not only help you get a great-looking RC car body but also save you lots of time. So, how do you prepare your RC car for painting? Here's how you can prep your RC car body for painting: 

Clean Your RC Car by Stripping Off the Existing Paint 

Naturally, before you start painting your RC car body, you need to clean your car by removing the old RC paint. This step is specifically essential if you're repainting your RC car body. There are several chemical strippers you can use to help you remove the old paint. Chemical strippers take different times to remove the paint, usually 3 to 12 hours of waiting. Read the instructions that accompany the chemical stripper carefully to avoid possible accidents when cleaning your RC car. 

  • Coat or spray your RC car body with a chemical paint stripper. 
  • Leave the chemical stripper on the RC car body as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Scrape off the old paint using a washcloth or a sponge, then dry off your RC car body with a dry cloth. 

Wash the RC Car's Body Before Painting 

After scraping off the paint, wash the RC car body with a sponge and a non-abrasive soap or detergent. This step is crucial because it helps you remove any remaining dust particles and fingerprints on the RC car body. Having a clean car body allows you to achieve a smooth and even paint coat without fingerprints or dust particles showing in your final finish. 

Sketch Your Painting Design Over the RC Body With a Marker 

It's advisable to draw your design before painting if you're dealing with a complex design. The drawing serves as a blueprint when you're applying your masking tape to help you paint the RC body precisely. 

Use a marker to trace the important lines that will mark different sections of your RC body that need to be painted with contrasting colors. If you don't want to use a marker, you can use small strips of the painter's tape to differentiate the different sections. You can find all the RC car accessories you need on Laegendary RC car parts and tools

Cover All the Parts You're Not Painting With a Masking Tape 

The next important step is to cover all the areas of the design that you don't want to paint, for instance, the windows and the wheels. Taping everything off will help keep the RC paint from getting all over the parts you don't intend to paint. Press the masking tape on the RC car body firmly to avoid jagged edges. 

  • Make sure you cut the masking tape using sharp scissors to remove any uneven tape. 
  • Start with the darkest to the lightest RC paint to prevent the darker colors from accidentally covering the lighter ones. 
  • Avoid stripping out your masking tape unevenly so as not to ruin your design. 
  • Consider getting an RC car toolkit with all the necessary tools you need, like scissors and hobby knives. 

Choose the Right RC Paint for Your RC Car Body 

Once you're done prepping your RC body for painting, choosing the correct RC paint for your RC vehicle is the next crucial step. Most RC car bodies are made from clear polycarbonate, Lexan. Usually, when you use a standard or generic spray paint, the paint will not adhere properly to the polycarbonate material of the RC car body. If it does, the paint might fade unevenly over time. 

So, what paint can you use on your RC car body? Use spray paint specifically made for the polycarbonate Lexan, which you can find in any craft store or online. If your RC car body is made out of styrene or ABS plastic, then you can go ahead and use your standard enamel spray paint. However, even in the case of ABS plastic or styrene RC body, stay away from the regular spray paint that you find in the hardware stores. Instead, go for a hobby paint made for a specific purpose. 

You should select the appropriate RC paint because using paint specifically made for a particular material allows you to achieve thinner coats and a high-quality paint job. Once you have chosen the RC paint, the next step is to start your painting process. 

6 Steps on How to Paint RC Car Body 

Now that you have the right RC paint for your RC car body, it's time to start applying the paint. But how do you paint your RC car body? Here's a step-by-step process on how to paint an RC car body: 

1. Choose a Well-Ventilated Area 

Choose a place that's well-ventilated, preferably outdoors. If you decide to paint your RC car body from the shade or garage, ensure that all the windows and doors are open and position yourself in the open area if possible. 

Read the painting instructions and warnings in your manual booklet and on the back of the paint itself to avoid any possible mishaps. Painting in a well-ventilated place prevents you from inhaling harmful fumes from the paint. 

2. Apply the First Paint Coat on Your RC Body 

Before applying your first coat, wear a disposable respirator mask, gloves, and safety goggles to protect yourself when painting. Ensure you also keep a distance when spray painting to avoid making your paint coat too heavy. Paint from one point of the RC body to the other, avoid starting from the middle. If you feel nauseous or lightheaded while painting, consider exiting the place immediately and seeking medical attention. 

3. Add More Paint Coats 

No matter what paint you use, applying one coat will begin showing through almost immediately you're done. For this reason, you'll require more coats to achieve a perfect RC body paint job. For most RC vehicles, you'll need to do at least two or more coats to achieve an ideal or richer color shade. You, therefore, don't have to worry if your first paint coat appears pale. 

Let each coat dry before adding another coat when applying additional paint coats. The amount of time that you'll need to wait for the paint to dry will depend on the brand of the paint you're using. It can take approximately 20 minutes to one hour for your coat to dry. When your RC paint is dry, it should turn out dull, rusty, or glossy, depending on the painting style you choose. 

4. Finish Painting One Color Before Moving to the Next 

Once your last paint coat is done for one color, carefully remove the masking tape on the part you intend to paint with a different color and proceed with your design. Continue with the painting process until you completely finish painting your RC car body with your preferred colors. 

5. Add a Clear Coat to Finish Painting 

Buy clear RC car paint and add a coat once you're done painting your RC car body, and you're satisfied with the paint and design you've achieved. The clear coat offers extra protection and helps the RC paint stay longer, and increases the durability of your RC car's appearance. Whether you're going for a glossy or non-glossy final look, you'll find clear paint that suits your paint job. 

6. Apply Your Preferred Decals 

If your RC vehicle kit comes with decals, you can apply the decals to the RC car body to your liking. This step is not a necessity, but adding details on your RC car body helps you add your personality and uniqueness to your car. 

Tips on How to Paint RC Car Body Successfully 

Spray painting an RC car body might seem like an easy task, but it's actually not. Proper masking of the RC body and following the necessary techniques on how to paint RC car body matters a lot. Here are tips to help you paint successfully and achieve your desired look on your RC car body: 

  • Choose the right paint according to the material of your RC car body to help you maintain a sharp detail and high-quality paint that won't chip after painting. 
  • Improve the flow of your RC paint by slightly warming in hot water. Shake your paint can thoroughly and place it in a plastic container filled with hot water for about 10 minutes. Warming your paint increases the pressure inside the paint can, which improves the paint flow to give you a good finish. 
  • Spray your RC car using smooth strokes. To achieve light and smooth coatings, shake your spray can thoroughly and spray from about 8-10 inches from your body. Avoid spraying thick coats. 
  • Keep your spray paint's nozzle clean at all times. You can wipe the paint residues on the nozzle using a damp cloth to avoid clogs in your paint. 
  • Don't paint your RC car body in direct sunlight. The paint might start drying before it even lands on the RC body. 
  • Consider a paintbrush for hard-to-reach places. Most RC bodies contain deep recesses that may be hard to spray paint, so a paintbrush does the job of ensuring you get full coverage. 

Final Thoughts 

This guide gives you all the necessary steps and measures you need to take when painting your RC car body, making your painting process much easier and more fun. Painting an RC body is something you should try at least once in your lifetime. Don't miss out on the creativity and fun that comes with painting an RC car body! For more information about RC cars, consider visiting our website.