How to Paint a Mural on Your Car?

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

We all have a variety of distinct tastes in all things — cars, house types, clothing, and even our musical appreciations. The same applies to how we love our cars. Some people love it plain and bland, while others love to spice it up.

Some throw in some colors and make it look more aesthetically pleasing. Thats why someone with a talent for art would love painting murals on their cars. So lets discuss how to paint a car mural.

You must know other things before heading to paint a mural on your vehicle. Like, what kind of paint should you use in your car? How do you airbrush your car? We have looked into everything in the segments below.

What Kind Of Paint Will Stick To A Car?

If paint will stick on your car depends on the surface type of your car. For example, if your vehicle type is fiberglass or plastic, acrylic latex or poly-based acrylic paint is your best bet. If your car has a metallic surface, then enamel paint is ideal for the job.

How To Paint A Mural On Your Car?

To begin, you need to get the right tools for the painting task. Then follow the steps below to prep your vehicle so that it doesnt tarnish the beauty of your car.

How To Paint A Mural On Your Car

Prepare your canvas

This process ensures that your vehicle has no flaws, grimes, dirt, dents, or rust.

After doing that, you need to tape off every part that you will not be painting, taking special care to cover the windows and windshield.

Note: do not use cheap tapes as they leave adhesive residues behind, which are hard to remove.

Next, scuff the surface for any hard, unwanted substances. Scuff your car using sandpaper to clean off the old paint if you dont want it to remain. Then mask the surrounding parts of the paint regions.

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Sculpt your design

You have the choice to expand your cars surface areas using an expandable body filler or spray foam. Design the sculptures of larger items or sculptures you need to integrate with your car.

You must be practical while designing the additional objects for your car. Sculpt designs of the objects you want to add while noting that the objects shouldnt cause any obstruction or hazard.

Design your artwork

Before heading out to paint the mural on your car, you should have a design. The last thing you want to do is to paint directly from your head onto the car, which leads to many flaws.

So, draw a design for your mural on the car using a book, pen, or digital canvas. Put in all the required details in your drawing, from your cars shape to the outlines of what you want to draw.

Design Your Artwork

Prime and paint

Afterward, prime your car properly. When youve done this, choose the set of colors you wish to work with. You can paint a background for the other paintings to cover, decide to use it as the art, or even both. Ensure to consider the type of surface for your car while picking paint.

Depending on your cars surface type, you can use either enamel, oil paint, poster paint, or acrylic paint.

The oil paint is less convenient and more expressive; poster paint can be used for short-term designs, and enamel paints come in bright colors. Also, the enamel paint is more durable than the other paints.

Once youre done with the hand brush or spray paint, begin to use the airbrush for further painting if need be. You can use the airbrush to paint additional details, clean up the mural and make it more alluring.

Attach sculpture work

When youre done painting your car, and the paint is completely dry, attach the sculpture if you have created some.

Start with the largest parts, ensuring the use of heavy-duty adhesive all about the sculptures. When you attach any sculpture to your car, allow it to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before moving the car.

If you have attached any heavier pieces, you should secure them with a complementing heavy-duty fastening. You can use tools like rivets, welding, and bolts, to keep heavy-duty sculptures together.

Read AlsoHow to Remove Chalk Paint?

How Do You Airbrush A Mural On A Car?

There are a few steps to follow to airbrush a mural on your car.

  • Strip the car.
  • Prime your vehicle.
  • Sand the Car.
  • Begin to paint.
  • Buff the car.
  • Tape the car.
  • Begin to paint
How Do You Airbrush A Mural On A Car


See the above tips for preparing your car for painting.

Strip the car paint

You can only get an optimal paint finish by sanding your cars paint surface to its bare metal. This helps you get a leveled surface. Usually, this is the most time-consuming process while painting, but its important. To get a professional look, sand until you get the smoothest feel on the surface, then use fine-grain sandpaper and wet-and-dry sandpaper on the surface. When doing that, wipe down the surface using a thinner to clean away every remaining dust.

Prime your vehicle

Next, apply your primer to your vehicle from the roof downwards. While priming, you can use multiple coats on the car until you have completely covered the surface.

In the layer before the last coating, remove every dusty remnant and brushes strokes through sanding. When youre done, clean the surface with a clean rag. Note that you can apply these same procedures while using clear-coat lacquer paint.

Buff the Car

After adding the primer and allowing the clear coat to dry thoroughly, you can now buff the vehicle. In this process, using a buffer, go around the surface in a circular motion. This will give you a shiny and neat finish.

Tape time

After successfully buffing your car, its time to mask it with fresh paint. Cover all regions surrounding the painting surface using plastic sheeting or newspaper. Also, use low-adhesive tapes to cover the edges of the car. Pay attention and take extra time with your taping, as it can save you so much messy work after painting.

If you paint the cars back panels, you must cover the windows, trunk, and back panels. In addition, we advise you to take the car outside or have it parked on top of a condemned rag or drop cloth.

Begin to paint

Finally, using the airbrush, keep your hand 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) away from the vehicles surface. Then, press the paints trigger to spray on the vehicle. Ensure to sway your hand sideways until you get balanced paint coverage.

To get a professional airbrush outlook, it is recommended to use stencils, tape, and plastic sheeting.

Make a finished painted product by sealing it with a clear coat.

Also Read: How Long Does It Take to Paint a Bumper?

What Is The Easiest Paint To Use In A Car?

The easiest paint to apply to a car is acrylic urethane paint. Acrylic urethane is very durable and extremely long-lasting. Also, it is very easy to use. Thus, for your DIY project, acrylic urethane can come in handy.

Also, note that acrylic urethane uses a quick-drying catalyst. So, when you mix your paint, ensure to paint quickly as it gets dry quickly.

Related: Best Paint Protection Films for Cars


Taking your artwork skills from paper or canvas to your vehicle is within your reach. Following these paint job steps will give you a piece of art you can drive around in. Painting a mural will add character and fun to your auto.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

1 thought on “How to Paint a Mural on Your Car?”

  1. Hello! so glad I found you, I just bought another PT cruzer..silver, gray, had a black but I didn’t get to paint it like I had planned. I have wanted to do a mural a long time now.Im an artist and I find this model is a great canvas…have stencils….I live on the beach and cars take a beating…I’m an old hippie and not afraid of color. This will be my first time doing friends thank I’m crazy but what the heck, It’s a PT cruzer!perfect for hauling my large canvas, would love any suggestion, Thanks so much! Sincerely Adair Faircloth


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