How to Paint an RC Car Body: Ultimate Guide for Stunning Results

Painting your RC car’s body is a great way to breathe new life into an older car, put your own personal spin on your car’s appearance, and generally personalize it in a way that makes it visually stand out.

However, there’s a right and wrong way to go about it. It’s not as simple as grabbing some spray paint and covering it from underside with a coat or two.

Today, to help make sure you get the best results possible, we’re going to go over how to paint an RC car body. We'll cover the steps you need to take to give your RC car body a shiny new paint job that will turn heads the next time you go to a race or bust your car out in public. 

Let’s get started.

How to Paint Your RC Car Body: Sketch Out Your Idea

Before applying any paint to your RC car body, it's essential to sketch out your design. However, this sketching process should be done on the outside of the body, on top of the protective film. Here's how to do it:

  1. Avoid Immediate Painting: Resist the urge to start painting directly onto the RC car body. Once paint is applied, it becomes challenging to correct any mistakes.
  2. Use a Marker: Instead, grab a marker of your choice and use it to sketch the basic outline of your design directly onto the car body. Since the marker lines will be painted over, you can use any type of marker without concern.
  3. Outline Color Sections: Segment the design by marking where different colors will be applied. This helps you visualize the final result and plan your painting process accordingly.
  4. Add Detail Guidelines: Sketch out the outlines of any intricate or abstract details you plan to incorporate into your design. These guidelines will serve as a reference point while painting, ensuring consistency and accuracy.

You create a visual guide that streamlines the painting process by sketching your design directly onto the protective film of the RC car body. This approach allows for greater precision and minimizes the risk of errors, resulting in a professional-looking finish for your RC car.

How to Paint Your RC Car Body: Taping Off the Body

Unless your design consists of a single solid color, you'll likely incorporate multiple colors throughout your design. Even if it doesn't, you wouldn't want to paint small visual details like faux mirrors and headlights the same color as your car body. Doing so would result in colors bleeding into each other, obscuring realism details, and more.

To address this issue, you'll need to tape off any areas you're not painting. This process will need to be repeated multiple times throughout the project.

To tape off these areas, simply obtain masking tape and cut it to match the outlines you previously drew on the car. This should be done for each area that won't be painted with the first color you use. For instance, if the primary color is blue and you're painting all the design details red, cover all the details with masking tape initially.

This creates a protective barrier that prevents paint from reaching undesired spots.

Ensure you use sharp scissors to cut clean lines during this process. Jagged lines from poorly cut tape could mar the appearance of your car.

How to Paint Your RC Car Body: Use the Right Paint

The paint you use is going to be determined by the type of car body you have. If you have an ABS RC car body, feel free to use a normal can of enamel spray paint from your local store. Just make sure it’s a high-quality paint.

Otherwise, if you’re using a polycarbonate body, you’ll want to look for a paint designed specifically for it. Other paint options have trouble adhering to it and tend to crumble.

We recommend getting either type of paint you use in spray form. It’s faster and easier to get even coats than it is to use brush-on paint.

Get the Right PPE

Since you’re working with aerosol paints, you’ll need some basic PPE to take care of yourself.

Rubber gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask made for painters are all necessities. You can find the mask at your local hardware store with ease.

You’ll also want cardboard, scrap plywood, or other things you can use as a backstop to keep paint from getting on everything in your work area, and don’t wear good clothes for this.

Finally, make sure the area is ventilated well.

Painting the Car

Finally, you’re ready to start painting. When your car is prepped, and you have all your PPE and safety precautions in place, apply your first coat on the underside of the body.

You should use even, full strokes with your spray to create a light coat at the start. Don’t try to create a fully opaque coat this time around. The paint will run and take forever to dry.

When you’re done, let the paint dry for about an hour, and then apply another coat of the same paint. It might take 2 to 4 coats to get a solid coat that will last.

Once you have everything you’re painting that color painted and dried, remove your tape and cut out more tape to go over the painted spots and other parts you don’t want to paint yet.

Apply your tape, and then start with the next color the same way you did before.

You want to do each color individually like this until you’ve painted all the design details. This will prevent you from having to retape things, dealing with color mixing, etc.

Apply Your Decals and Install the RC Car Body

Finally, all you need to do is apply any decals you have for your car. These stickers are often used for “mirrors”, “headlights”, or just visual details like car numbers. You don’t need them, but they help add more personality to your car.

All that’s left to do is reinstall your RC car body and have some fun.

Discover the Best RC Car Bodies at Delta Plastik USA

If you're prepared to delve into the world of painting your RC car body and require a new canvas to actualize your vision, Delta Plastik USA awaits. As the leading manufacturer of premium RC car bodies and accessories, we offer a diverse range of high-quality products crafted with precision and durability in mind. 

Whether you're seeking sleek modern designs or classic favorites, our USA-made RC car bodies are designed to enhance your driving experience and turn heads on the track. Explore our collection today, featuring a wide range of options including 1/7 scale bodies, Traxxas Slash bodies, 1/8 on-road bodies, 1/8 vintage bodies, 1/8 off-road bodies, Thunder Truck bodies, monster truck bodies, mini RC bodies, 1/5th scale bodies, 1/12th scale bodies, 1/5 moto bodies, and Arrma Vendetta RC, and discover why Delta Plastik USA is the ultimate choice for RC enthusiasts nationwide. If you need any more information about our RC car bodies, don’t hesitate to email us!