Master the Art of RC Car Body Painting: A Step-By-Step Guide

Master the Art of RC Car Body Painting: A Step-By-Step Guide

Ready to give your RC car a fresh, new look? Painting your RC car body isn’t as daunting as it might seem. In fact, it’s a fun, creative process that can truly make your car stand out from the crowd.

Before you start, it’s essential to know the basics. This includes the types of paint suitable for RC cars, the right tools for the job, and the steps to follow for a flawless finish.

Whether you’re a seasoned RC car enthusiast or a beginner, this guide will walk you through the process. Let’s dive in and start the transformation of your RC car body.

Key Takeaways

  • There are two types of suitable paints for RC cars depending on the car body material, namely Polycarbonate (Lexan) paint and typical model paints for hard plastic bodies.
  • Necessary tools for painting your RC car body include the appropriate paint, sandpaper, masking tape, airbrush or spray can, rags, sponges, and optionally, a heat gun.
  • Proper preparation of the RC car body is crucial for a high-quality paint job. This involves thorough cleaning, light sanding, and careful masking.
  • To paint the RC car body, apply primer evenly, followed by the base coat. Once dry, add details and patterns with careful precision and finish with a clear coat for a professional look.
  • Final touches to truly personalise your RC car and enhance its aesthetic appeal include decals and stickers, paint markers for intricate design, and metallic effect paints.
  • While patience is a vital factor in achieving the best results, creativity and meticulous focus play a significant role in the final appearance of your RC car body.

Discover the intricacies of painting RC car bodies by exploring tutorials and techniques across different platforms. Learn about multicolor painting techniques on YouTube, and gather detailed painting guides from Horizon Hobby.

Choosing the Right Paint for Your RC Car

Choosing the Right Paint for Your RC Car

Delving into the world of RC cars and wondering what kind of paint to use? It’s pretty essential to know about. After all, the wrong paint choice doesn’t just dull the sheen. It could ruin the body too.

The first thing you should understand is that not all paints are suitable for RC cars. Your choice of paint primarily depends on the material of your RC car body. Polycarbonate (Lexan) and hard plastic are two common materials.

Polycarbonate or Lexan Bodies

If your body is made of polycarbonate, you’ll want to use a flexible paint designed specifically for it. Why? Lexan is a type of flexible clear plastic. Standard paint typically cracks and flakes off during the bumps and tumbles an RC car experiences.

However, a special polycarbonate paint, known as “Lexan paint”, stretches and flexes with the body. It’s usually available in a spray can form for ease of application. Top brands include Tamiya, Parma and Spaz Stix.

Hard Plastic Bodies

On the other hand, hard plastic bodies can be painted with any model paint. It’s rigid and doesn’t flex like Lexan. Therefore, there’s no risk of the paint cracking and peeling. Acrylics, enamels, or lacquer based paints work well. You can apply paint by brush, spray, or airbrush—the choice is yours.

Remember, regardless of the type of paint, proper preparation of the body surface is crucial for a perfect finish. Thoroughly clean the body, lightly sand the surface, and wash it again before starting with the paint job.

Essential Tools for Painting RC Car Body

Essential Tools for Painting RC Car Body

In the journey to achieve a flawless finish on your RC car, it’s critical to have the right tools in your arsenal. Equipping yourself with the correct tools won’t only make the painting process more manageable, but also result in a project you’ll be proud to display. Let’s explore the essential resources you’ll need.

First on the list is your choice of paint. As discussed earlier, the type of paint will largely depend on the material of your RC car. Lexan paint for a polycarbonate body and model paint for a hard plastic body are typically recommended.

Next, you’ll need sandpaper. Primarily used for surface preparation, sandpaper’s role is crucial in ensuring the paint adheres correctly to your car body. The general guideline is to start with less abrasive 1000-grit sandpaper for the initial sanding, then gradually move up to finer 2000-grit for a smooth finish.

Another critical component is masking tape. This tool will help you create designs and patterns on your RC car body. Always use a high-quality tape to ensure it doesn’t leave residue or peel off the base layer of paint.

A decent airbrush or spray can is necessary for the actual painting. Depending on the desired finish, consider investing in an adjustable airbrush that allows you to modify the degree of paint spray.

Don’t undervalue the significance of having clean rags and sponges, they’re useful for removing dust and particles and ultimately, keeping a clean working space.

Lastly, you’ll need a heat gun. Although this tool is optional, it can speed up the process by quickly drying paint layers, helping you see the results faster.

Here’s a quick checklist to help you gather your tools:

Essential Tools
Masking Tape
Airbrush / Spray Can
Rags and Sponges
Heat GunOptional

A well-prepared kit ensures you’re ready for each flood of the painting process. Being ready cuts down painting time and ups the quality of your work.

Preparing the RC Car Body for Painting

Invigorating a dull RC car body with a fresh lick of paint begins with appropriate preparation. Before you release your creative skills with vibrant colors and patterns, meticulous prep work must be initiated. This process involves cleaning, sanding, and masking, all essential for a smooth, consistent coating.

First up, Cleaning. We’re not talking about a quick wipe down here. No, you have to ensure every particle of dust and dirt is removed from your RC car body. These tiny elements could mar an otherwise perfect paint job. Use a clean, damp rag and if need be, a mild soap solution. Keep a keen eye on those hard-to-reach areas as well!

Once you’ve ensured your RC car body is spotlessly clean, it’s time to turn your attention to Sanding. This crucial step maximizes the adhesion of the paint, providing an ideal base. Investing time into sanding will reward you with a long-lasting, professional-looking finish. You don’t have to sand down to the plastic; a light sanding working your way from coarse to fine grit sandpaper should suffice. Always sand in one direction and remember – patience is your ally here.

Finally, there’s Masking. This step is all about precision and attention to detail. Thoughtful placement of masking tape allows you to create intricate designs and prevent unwanted paint coverage. You’ll want to apply the tape evenly, pressing down firmly to ensure a strong seal.

With a properly cleaned, sanded, and masked RC body, you’re all set for a high-quality paint job. So, go ahead, wield that airbrush or spray can with confidence. We’re certain you’ll soon have an RC car body sporting a fresh new look that screams speed and style. But more on that later. Stay tuned to learn all about painting techniques, dry time considerations, and finishing touches in the upcoming sections of this tutorial.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Your RC Car Body

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Your RC Car Body

Buckle up! It’s time to dive into the actual process of painting your RC car body. It’s not rocket science. All it takes is patience, precision, and practice. By following these steps, you’ll end up with a fresh, personalized RC car body.

Step 1: Primer Application
First off, it’s time to apply the primer. Primer works like an invisible glue, gripping onto the car body and providing a surface for your paint to stick to. Don’t rush this step. Apply the primer evenly across the car body, taking care not to leave drips or uneven patches.

Step 2: Base Coat Application
For your base coat, choose a color that complements your overall design. Usually, it’s a bright, glossy color, grabbing anyone’s attention from afar. Don’t forget to shake your can before spraying and maintain a steady, uniform speed while spraying the paint.

Step 3: Details and Patterns
Here’s where your artistic flair comes in. After the base color is dry, use either masking tape or stencils to mark off areas where you want unique designs or patterns. You could give your RC car racing stripes, flames, or any other designs that suit your style. Whatever the design might be, the key here is precision.

Step 4: Finishing Touches
Once your masterpiece is complete and dry, applying a clear coat protects the paint, adding a level of shine, and making your RC car look more professional.

So, there you have it! You’re now ready to translate your vision onto your RC car’s body. Remember, patience is key in this process, and results are determined by your level of creativity and focus.

Adding Finishing Touches

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to add those all-important finishing touches that’ll make your RC car body look like it’s fresh off the production line. This stage is pivotal in your painting project as finishing touches can define the aesthetic character and style of your RC car.

A perfect way to add detail and visual interest to your RC car is through decals and stickers. Available in a wide variety of styles and themes, they can add a personal touch. When applying decals, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, it involves cleaning the area, carefully positioning the decal, and smoothing out any bubbles. After that, you seal them with another layer of clear coat to offer protection and ensure longevity.

In addition to decals, paint markers can be a valuable tool for adding intricate designs. Paint markers offer more control than an airbrush, making them an optimal choice for executing fine details. Before you start painting, make sure your base coat is entirely dry. Then, you can use the paint marker to add lines, patterns, or other distinct embellishments.

Here’s a pointer: keep a steady hand and take it slow. The last thing you want to do is rush this step and end up with an uneven design.

Next, for an even more professional look, consider using chrome or metallic effect paints. These types of paints add an impressive depth and sheen to your RC car. However, note that metallic paints can be more challenging to work with as they require multiple thin layers for the best effect.

These extra steps might seem like small details, but they can significantly enhance the overall look of your RC car. So, don’t be afraid to give it your personal twist and add some flair to your newly painted RC car body.

With all these finishing touches added, your RC car is ready to hit the tracks! However, remember… just like an artist’s masterpiece, your car tells a story. So, take care of it and cherish the transformation journey you’ve embarked upon to bring out its grandeur.


You’ve journeyed through the intricate process of painting your RC car body. Now, it’s time to sit back and appreciate the transformation. Those decals, stickers, and paint markers you’ve used? They’ve added a personalized touch, making your RC car truly one of a kind. The chrome or metallic effect paints? They’ve given your car a professional finish, setting it apart from the rest. Remember, it’s not just about the end result, but the journey you’ve embarked on. So, take pride in your work and take care of your newly painted RC car. After all, it’s not just a toy, it’s a testament to your creativity and dedication.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the article emphasize about RC car body painting?

The article emphasizes the significance of adding finishing touches to your RC car body painting project. It suggests enhancing the aesthetic appeal through decals, stickers, and paint markers.

Are special effect paints recommended for RC car body painting?

Yes, the use of chrome or metallic effect paints is recommended. These, however, require careful application to achieve a professional look.

How can adding details elevate the overall appearance of the RC car?

Details such as decals, stickers, and special effect paints can significantly elevate the overall appearance of the RC car, providing a more appealing and professional look.

What advice does the article offer on caring for a newly painted RC car?

The final advice offered by the article is to cherish the transformation journey and to take care of the newly painted RC car since it tells a unique story.