Roller MethodThis is a featured page

Some very fine results can be had simply using a roller and the right kind of paint. This can cost under $50

The roller method page is a compilation of the information from a thread. Thread Part 1 and Thread Part 2 As the thread is quite large please use the thread page compiled page to sign off on pages that have been compiled into this wiki. Many different people contributed to that thread. When ever possible the wiki should try to give credit to the appropriate sources. If anyone would like information removed please just say so or remove it yourself and be sure to state why so it doesn't just get readded. The base compilation for this page was started by Morwan (Morwan Osman)'s PDF (Thread Part 2 pg 13).

Base Method


Roller Method Frequently Asked Questions


  • 1 Gal Acrylic-Enamel Paint (Rustoleum Professional Protective Enamel, Tremclad)
  • 1 Gal 100% Mineral Spirits (Available at some Sears, also at Advance Auto Parts)
  • 1 QT Lacquer Thinner (Used for prep)
  • 4 4'' Ultra-smooth foam rollers
  • 2 foam wedge brushes
  • 80/100/200/600/800/1000 grit sandpaper


Prep the car
Thinning The Paint
  1. In a separate container, thin the paint with mineral spirits until it has about the consistency of milk. Depending on the temperature/humidity, this may be 20 - 50% Mineral Spirits.
  2. Roll the paint onto a test piece. Any bubbles should disappear within a few seconds, and the paint should be self-leveling.

  1. Soak up a small amount of paint onto the 4" roller, and then apply a coat of paint to the car. You should be 'forcing' the paint out of the roller, resulting in a very thin coat. Use the foam brush to get at tough spots, like crevices/fender wells, etc.
  2. Allow the coat to dry. This may take 8-24 hours, depending on the humidity.
  3. Apply another coat.
  4. Wetsand with 600, apply another two coats, wetsand 800, apply another two coats, and then wetsand with 1000 grit.
  5. After the paint has fully cured (this may take several weeks), buff to a shine with a high-speed polisher and buffing compound.

Paints That Work

Rust-o-leum Professional & Stops Rust brands, Tremclad, and Interlux Brightside.

Paint Thinners

100% Mineral Spirits: The best you can get.
Low Odor Mineral Spirits: Possibly works better with warmer temperatures, slightly slower evaporation time than pure mineral spirits.
Penetrol: Can be used in tandem w/ mineral spirits, does not work well alone (disputed). Penetrol dramatically lengthens drying time due to slower evaporation.


  • Roll with one hand, and hold the brush in the other.
  • If there's any orange peel at any step in the process you have to get rid of it before doing any more painting. Then, just keep the coats thin and the mixture thin and you should be fine. I think if the hood was propped on it's side, or otherwise not horizontal, that paint would have lots of runs in it, but since it's got no where to go, it just orange peels. (exit1965)
  • If you're getting orange peel, you're puttting the paint on too thick. Same thing with bubbles.
  • The number of coats you need depends on the color of your prepped surface and of the paint. Yellow and red take 8-10 coats
  • Make sure to try some test pieces before applying paint to your car. A fender is the true test as it has both horizontal and vertical surfaces, creases and curves - a little bit of everything. (ricklandia)
  • Instead of having the roller full of paint and then just letting it drop down and then rolling it on the car (which causes a lot of thick spots where the roller first touches) I drain the roller very well so it's not completely soaked and then just pressing down somewhat hard get thin coats. (Bakuryu)
  • Work fast and don't spend 5 minutes on one area trying to get rid of bubbles because if you have odorless, at least in my case, the bubbles are evaporating by themselves and what are leftover I just go over with the roller slightly. (Bakuryu)
  • In my case I had to keep rethinning the paint in the bucket (I mixed the paint and minneral spirit in a bucket and then poured it into a tray). It would dry and slowly get thicker don't know why, but it's not that extreme. (Bakuryu)
  • Take your time, go slowly. Because if you try to rush it, get ready for a lot of hard work. (Bakuryu)
  • For problems with bubbles: Thin the paint as normal and apply with the foam roller. Once you have done a small area go over that, ever so lightly, with the tip of a foam brush. The bubbles disappear and the brush streakes fade to nothing in a minute or two. (Senna)

Individuals Methods

This should be used to document certain individuals exact methods. ie 69chargeryeehaa's and others without the mix of others data.


These are whole cars. Try and give as much data as possible. ie paint, color, tempature, humidity
69chargeryeehaa's - Charger - Orange - 69chargeryeehaa's Method
69chargeryeehaa's - 74 VW Beetle - Orange - 69chargeryeehaa's Method
69chargeryeehaa's - 71 VW Beetle - midnight blue metalic - sprayed on (comparison to other work)
VW Bug (Sail Blue?)
(Royal Blue)
(Gloss White)
BRE Style 240Z


Just quick tests. Try and give as much data as possible. ie paint, color, tempature, humidity

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