ERA PAINTS Spray Paint Application Instructions


Thank you for choosing ERA Paints!  Customer service is our primary goal – we ask that you please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have at prior to leaving Negative/Neutral Feedback.

PLEASE READ AND FULLY UNDERSTAND THESE DIRECTIONS BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR TOUCHUP PAINT PROJECT, INCLUDING THE SAFETY WARNING ON THE REVERSE SIDE OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.  Improper preparation or application will result in paint adhesion issues, ‘fish eyes’, paint flaking, etc.  We are not liable for vehicle damage caused by improper prep/application.

The top of the spray paint cap is sprayed with paint to approximate the color of paint in the can and is intentionally done as a part of the canning/manufacturing process.

These instructions assume you purchased a prep kit or have similar materials/tools to do the job.

Important: It is very important that you test your paint on the test card or in an inconspicuous place on your vehicle for confirmation of correct color BEFORE CONTACTING US or applying the paint to your vehicle.  Dried paint will look different than wet paint.  For step by step video instructions please visit our website at

Test Card Creation: Before doing any prep work, USE THE ENCLOSED TEST CARD to create a test card to see how well our paint matches your vehicle’s – follow the directions on the front of the test card, and color-compare in full direct sunshine.

Surface Preparation:  Thoroughly clean the area to be repaired with wax/grease remover (glass cleaner or similar can be used as a substitute) & let dry completely. Assure the surface is free of wax, oil, and other surface contaminates by applying wax/grease remover to a clean lint free towel (blue shop towel) and use it to clean paint surface to (only apply wax/grease remover to the towel, never directly on paint).

Sanding:  Use 320 grit sandpaper (or a scuff pad) to dry-sand by lightly rough up the paint surface 3 inches beyond the repair. Wrap 320 grit sandpaper around the bottom edge of your hand (pinky finger [non-thumb) side – see videos) (or use a sanding block) to sand out rust, scratches, etc. You can also ‘wet sand’ (see our website for more details on wet sanding).

Putty Application (if needed):  If deeper scratches exist after sanding, apply putty with putty spreader. Wait 5 minutes & sand with 320 grit paper until flush with surrounding areas.

Final Surface Preparation:  Wipe clean with wax/grease remover on a microfiber towel.

Masking:  Use automotive grade masking tape and paper to mask off sanded or filled area allowing 3 inches around your sanded area for paint blending (do NOT spray onto the masked area).  Apply multiple LIGHT coats of primer, letting the primer dry for a few minutes before applying the next coat. 15 minutes after the final coat, lightly sand with 600 grit sandpaper until the surface is flush with surrounding areas.

Primer Application:  VIGOROUSLY shake can holding it upside down for 30 seconds prior to each use. Apply multiple LIGHT coats (letting the primer dry for 5 minutes between coats) until all exposed areas are covered. Let fully dry, then sand with 600 grit paper until surface is flush with surrounding areas. Wipe clean with Blue shop towel, tack rag or lint free towel (DO NOT apply solvent to fresh primer).

Spray Paint (BASECOAT) Application:  Note: We have included 2 spray nozzles, including a premium nozzle (installed) that has an adjustable spray pattern (little yellow nozzle). The factory setting for this nozzle is a ‘vertical’ spray which is used for side-to-side hand spray motion. VIGOROUSLY shake can holding it upside down for 30 seconds prior to each use. Blend at least 2 multiple LIGHT coats into existing paint to cover the area (letting the paint dry for 5-10 minutes between coats) with nozzle 8-10 inches away from vehicle. Perform a final light ‘finesse coat’, holding nozzle 12-16 inches away from vehicle.  Dry for AT LEAST 20 minutes before clear coat application (Paint should not feel ‘tacky’).

Clear Coat Application (if you purchased clear coat – highly recommended):  VIGOROUSLY shake can holding it upside down for 30 seconds prior to each use. Apply 3-4 LIGHT coats of clear coat, overlapping each stroke at a distance of 10-12 inches (let clear coat dry for 5-10 minutes between coats). Each coat should look wet and glossy, but not so thick that it starts dripping – only light coats!! Light texture or orange peel may be lightly wet- or dry-sanded out with 1500/2000 grit paper & reapplied with clear coat after a minimum 5-10 minute wait. Wait 30 days before polishing (using polishing compound) and/or waxing.


CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: Our paint and wax/grease remover products contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm – use in a well-ventilated area and avoid contact with skin. Customers accept responsibility for using products in a safe and responsible manner. Exercise caution when using our products. Follow product instructions carefully. Keep paint and other paint products away from children. Please dispose of unused paint products carefully and respect local regulations. Use protective equipment during application – toxic chemicals that are found in spray can inhalants can pass into the bloodstream and eventually make their way to the brain. These chemicals represent a number of health risks and potentially fatal dangers. Someone who intentionally sniffs a large amount of the chemicals found in aerosols is at risk of brain kidneys or liver damage, visual problems, seizures, loss of hearing, central nervous system damage, dementia, and even suffocation or Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. Please be aware that spray can sniffing is fairly common among teenagers. MSDS sheets are available for all products upon request.


We make custom ‘make-to-order’ paint based on the OEM paint code you send us.  You should realize that even if we mix paint EXACTLY as per original OEM specification (as we typically do!) IT IS SOMETIMES IMPOSSIBLE TO GET PAINT TOMATCH YOUR VEHICLE. This is a big issue in our industry, and is the leading cause of returns.  Why?  There are many reasons but the biggest one BY FAR is faded paint on your vehicle.  Many other issues can also contribute to non-match:  repainted vehicles, auto manufacturer issues(sealer/clear coat ‘colors’ can vary, application of insufficient or too much paint application, paint baked too much or too little, etc), parts of vehicles painted at different plants using different paint variations.  For the autobody industry, non-matching paint is such an issue that it is common for paint manufacturers to provide alternate color formulas – many times up to 8 or10!! What this means is that the formula for a particular paint code can have many alternates, and note that your vehicle’s paint code sticker DOES NOTSPECIFY ALTERNATES.

So you need to be aware that issues such as paint fading, paint alternates and car repaints sometimes make it impossible to accurately match your paint.  Why is this important?  If you have a 5 or 10 year old vehicle that has had significant exposure to the elements (i.e. not parked in a garage), it is quite possible that our custom mix paint will not match your vehicle.



We pride ourselves on our world-class customer service.  Note that because ALL of our paint products are custom make-to-order, anything that gets returned to us (regardless of whether it has been used or not) is basically throw-away, so we lose money on your order.   So if you have received a paint product that doesn’t match, and if you send us photo documentation we’ll either send you another custom paint to attempt to match your vehicle or allow you to return your shipment to us.   However, DUE TO THE CUSTOM ‘MAKE-TO-ORDER’ NATURE OF OUR BUSINESS WE CANNOT HONOR RETURNS/REFUNDS FORREASONS LIKE THESE:  1) you refuse delivery of your order 2) you indicate the order is no longer needed, 3) you indicate the order was bought by mistake,4) you indicate the product was not what you expected, etc.  Please friends, be reasonable with us – we end up throwing away what gets sent back to us… Some returns are subject to a restocking fee and require the customer to send back the package at his/her cost.

We value you as a customer and we thank you giving us the opportunity to make it right with you.

Revision Date: 9/17