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How to Paint Your Car on a Budget (Cartech) Paperback – April 19, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you thought painting your own car, or at least prepping it for someone else to paint, was too hard, buy this book and give it a shot. You'll be surprised at the results." (Mustang & Fords 2006-07-01)

"Full color, thick glossy pages; this book is an easy read, informative, and a real resource when it's time for you to mask off your Mopar and start mixing that right color of B5 Blue or Hemi Orange" (Mopar Muscle 2006-09-01)

"Lavishly illustrated with over 400 color photos, the tips provided will easily save you the cost of the book. No matter if you want a simple 'scuff and squirt' or a full-on, let's-paint-everything paint job, this book will help eliminate mistakes." (Performance in Motion 2006-06-01)

"Ganahl covers everything you need to know to get a great looking coat of paint on your car and save lots of money in the process." (Cars & Parts 2015-02-18)

From the Back Cover

If your car needs new paint, or even just a touch-up, the cost involved in hiring a professional can be more than you bargained for. Fortunately, there are less expensive alternatives-―you can even paint your car at home! In How to Paint Your Car On A Budget, author and veteran DIY hot rodder Pat Ganahl unveils dozens of secrets that will help anyone paint their own car. From simple scuff-and-squirt jobs to fullon, door-jambs-and-everything paint jobs, Ganahl covers everything you need to know to get a great looking coat of paint on your car and save lots of money in the process. This book covers painting equipment, the ins and outs of prep, masking, painting and sanding products and techniques, and real-world advice on how to budget wisely when painting your own car. It’s the most practical automotive painting book ever written!
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Product Details

  • Series: Cartech
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: CarTech; First Edition edition (April 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932494227
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932494228
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


A multi-generation Californian, Pat Ganahl was intrigued by hot rods he saw on the street as a young boy. He subscribed to Hot Rod magazine, built model cars, and customized his 2nd-hand bicycle. By 15 he inherited his grandfather's abandoned '48 Chevy sedan, which he rebuilt several times. He drove it to high school and then to college, where he majored in surfing, rugby and Mechanical Engineering until his teachers convinced him he was better at writing than Calculus. Eventually earning an M.A. in English Lit., he planned to be a writer, never expecting to combine it with engineering skills. But after teaching, collecting rejection slips, marriage to Anna, and building a black-lacquer '49 Chevy pickup from another junker that they drove across the U.S. on backroads, he happened into a job at fledgling Street Rodder magazine in 1973, where he learned to be an editor and photographer, promoted the return of custom cars, began collecting vintage photographs, and built a '32 Chevy coupe.

After the birth of son Bill in 1977 came more freelancing in the U.S. and abroad, publication of technical books ranging from Ford engines to supercharging, and a 3-year stint as an outdoor travel editor for Sunset magazine, before being coaxed to join Petersen Publishing where he was editor of Hot Rod magazine and then rebirthed Rod & Custom magazine (after a 17-year hiatus) in 1988. During his 13-year tenure he also wrote more books and promoted nostalgia drag racing, building a Hemi-powered Altered roadster, a Top Fuel dragster, and a yellow '56 F-100 push truck.

Next Ganahl concentrated on writing books on topics such as Von Dutch, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, and the history of the custom car, producing his own video magazine, and freelancing for numerous magazines, including the high-end The Rodder's Journal, of which he became editor in its infancy in 1995. Having always rebuilt and customized his own cars in his home garage, during this time he was finally able to acquire a genuine 1932 Ford roadster with a '51 Cadillac engine, which took several years to complete. He also recently restored the Ike Iacono dragster from 1959.

At this point Pat has published some 18 books, the most recent including the search for Lost Hot Rods and a Gallery of the best images from his huge archive of collected early photos dating to the 1930s. He has won several Moto and Maggie awards for his writing and his photography, is a member of five Halls of Fame, and continues to write books and magazine articles, dividing his time between that and projects in the garage. In his spare time Ganahl enjoys blues and roots music, playing and collecting vintage guitars, mountain hiking, and driving two-lane roads across the U.S. with Anna.



Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the best, by far, of 3 books I have purchased on automotive painting. It is very current and well written. The book details multiple examples of painting scenarios from touch-ups to frame-off paint jobs. There are numerous examples of cars painted by the author and others in their own garages, just like most poor car junkies would do. Great examples of equipment, paint products, proper use, safety concerns, etc. He really leaves no doubts as to what you need to know in order to pull off your paint project. I have a car torn down to paint and as I do it, this is the book that will be my guide.
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Format: Paperback
Good information on how to achieve a good looking paint job with minimal cost. Does not cover repairing major body damage. Author does not push specific products and color pictures are excellent.
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Format: Paperback
Good material, easy to read and understand! Needs more info on types of paint available and how to use them!
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Format: Paperback
This book offers a clear and concise review on how to paint your car-yourself. It seems that the main point is that it's not the paint. It's what you do to the paint after it's sprayed that determines how good it looks.

If you are even remotely thinking of painting your own car, you need to read this book first and save yourself a lot of headaches.

Ready Set Spray!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book! I haven't painted a car in over 20 years so my methods/experiences are way outdated. I've searched far and wide for a "to-the-point" no-nonsense book that gets me current on the confusing myriad of new eco-friendly products out there and this author's book was the best solution. His approach is direct and to the point and doesn't discourage the little guys and gals out there who would rather try painting a car on their own for any number of reasons.

I would have liked a little more specific info (brand/model) on his recommendations for more products such as current spray guns (Devilbiss, Iwata, Sata???), tip sizes, because I'm ready to make a hefty purchase to update my prehistoric spray guns. I do understand why he was a little more generic on what he does recommend though. I'm glad he cleared up some mysteries on the various primers and types of basecoats out there for me because one recent visit to a local automotive paint store convinced me that the guy at the counter knew even less than I did! The prices for current paint products are outrageous so you need to know as much as possible before taking the plunge and pulling out your wallet.

This author has an impressive background in cars and many other cool books to peruse. I've bought several books on "painting your own car" but this is the one I'd recommend over all the others by far.
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Format: Paperback
I really wanted to paint my project myself and this book convinced me that I can do it. Ganahl gives all the information I'll need to paint my Lotus 7 replica (Stalker V6). The right amount of detail along with hints and tips are just what I needed.
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Format: Paperback
The book contains very useful info on a variety of subjects. It's wriiten in a manner that is easy reading and understandable. Would highly recommend to anyone thinking about painting their own car.
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Format: Paperback
This is a good book that has the basics on "How to paint your car". I would recommend it beginning and intermediate home car painter.
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