How to Paint a Mural on Your Car?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

We all have 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 bland, while others love to spice it up. Throw in some colors and make it look more aesthetically pleasing. That’s why many people love painting murals on their cars. So let’s discuss how to paint a mural on your car.

To do this, ensure to get your vehicle prepared and clear all possible particles of grimes and dust. Then, having a design all external sculptures. After that, you are ready to airbrush and get the painting going very smoothly.

However, you don’t just art-paint every car. There are other things you must know 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?

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

How To Paint A Mural On Your Car

If you’re asking how to paint a mural on your car, don’t worry, the process is easy to follow. Firstly, you need to get the right tools for the painting task. Then follow the steps below to paint your vehicle so that it doesn’t tarnish the beauty of your car.

How To Paint A Mural On Your Car

Prepare your canvas

This is a very basic step in painting a mural on your car. In this process, ensure that your vehicle has no flaws, grimes, dirt, dents, and even rust. The body of your car is the canvas you will be painting on; thus, ensure that your canvas is clear from all imperfections.

After doing that, you need to tape off every part that you will not be painting from the chrome window and even your windscreen. Also, scuff the surface for any hard unwanted substances. Scuff your car using sandpaper to clean off the old paint if you don’t want it to remain. Then mask the surrounding parts of the paint regions.

Note not to use cheap tapes as they leave adhesive residues behind, which is very upsetting to remove.

Sculpt your design

Design the sculptures of larger items or sculptures you need to integrate with your car. Thus, design your desired sculptures for your new mural painting separately. Also, you can expand your car’s surface area using an expandable body filler or spray foam. However, doing this reduces the ability to integrate additional large objects into your vehicle.

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 shouldn’t cause any form of 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, as this leads to a lot of flaws.

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

Design your artwork

Afterward, prime your car properly. When you’ve successfully done this, choose the set of colors you wish to work with. Basically, 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 a paint.

Depending on your car’s surface type, you can use either enamel, oil paint, poster paint, or even 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 you’re 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 you’re done painting your car, and the paint is completely dry, attach the sculpture you have created. Please start with the largest parts of them. Ensure to make 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 piece, you should secure it with a complementing fastening—heavy duty. You can use tools like rivets, welding, and bolts, to keep this (or these) heavy-duty sculpture(s) together.

Read AlsoHow to Remove Chalk Paint?

How Do You Airbrush A Mural On A Car?

To airbrush a mural on your car, there are a few steps to follow.

  • 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


At first, prepare the canvas you will draw upon. Remove all traces of grimes and dust. Also, note that the presence of these grimes will cause contamination of your work.

Strip the car

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

Prime your vehicle

To get a professional airbrush outlook, you must use stencils, tape, and plastic sheeting. Then, you apply your primer to your vehicle from the roof downwards. While priming, you can use multiple coating layers on the car until you have completely covered the surface.

In the layer before the last coating, remove every dusty remnant through sanding. When you’re 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 the body

After successfully buffing your car, it’s time to mask it for the fresh paint to come in. Cover all regions surrounding the painting surface using plastic sheeting or newspaper. Also, use low-adhesive tapes to cover the edges of the car. You need to be very calculative of your taping as it can save you so much messy work after painting.

If you are going to paint the car’s back panels, you have to cover the windows, trunk, and back panels. In addition, we advise you to take the car outside or even have it parked on the top of a condemned rag or dropcloth.

Begin to paint

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

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; this makes it dry quickly. So, when you mix your paint, ensure to paint quickly as it gets dry quickly.


How to paint a mural on your car, prepare the car, remove every unneeded thing, and buff the skin if necessary. Then, tape the vehicle, sculpt the designs, design the artworks, paint your car, and then add your sculpture.

You must ensure to use compatible paint to art-paint your car. With this said, if you follow these steps we have outlined, you can go on and paint your desired art on your car.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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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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