Golf carts are great pieces of kit; they simply don’t get enough love. Look at yours. It’s probably in a sorry state. Sure, a wash will improve its appearance, but how about a nice new fancy paint job?
A fresh paint job will leave it looking as good as new and perhaps even cooler than when you first purchased it! And guess what? Painting a golf cart body is easy-peasy, so you don’t really have an excuse not to give it a go!
This article breaks down how to paint a golf cart step by step. As long as you read carefully, you can’t go wrong.
Things to Consider
Before we get into equipment specifics, it’s important to first touch on some elements you might want to consider before you dive straight in.
These elements are cost, safety, and the type of paint.
If you choose to undertake this painting project yourself, you’ll get it done a lot cheaper. However, if you’re after a more complex design that you don’t feel that you will be able to pull off, getting professional help may be worthwhile.
The cost will also be influenced by how much equipment you already have on hand. Many of the items that you will need we imagine you already own. Therefore most of the project’s cost derives from what you don’t have: the paint.
Provided you already have most of the equipment on hand, we expect painting your golf cart to cost no more than $100, perhaps even half that much.
Painting your golf cart is far from a dangerous project, but with that being said, you should still take measures to ensure you don’t expose yourself to unnecessary harm.
First things first, you should always spray paint in a garage or somewhere with good ventilation. The chemicals in spray paint are harmful, so you really don’t want to be breathing them in. Leading on from this, we recommend wearing a face covering such as a respirator.
It’s also a good idea to wear eye protection. Although the likelihood of getting spray paint in your eyes is low, accidents happen, and paint will damage your eyes so it only makes sense to wear a pair of goggles.
Also, if you don’t want to scrub your hands raw, you should wear gloves to keep them paint-free. The disposable kind will do, you probably have a pair lying around somewhere.
Type of Paint
There are lots of paints available for purchase, and while some might get the job done, the best paint for golf carts bodies is acrylic paints. This is because they will adhere to your golf cart far better than others, so avoid the likes of enamel and vinyl paints.
Beyond this, you have the option of either tubes of acrylic paint or acrylic spray paints. We highly recommend opting for the latter as spray painting golf carts is not only easier and quicker than brushing, but also, you should get a better finish.
We feel that one of the best golf cart spray paints available is by Rust-Oleum. They have lots of acrylic paint available and a range of colors to choose from.
Read More: Best Paint for Golf Clubs
What You’ll Need
Below we’ve listed all of the mandatory products plus a few extras. One key detail to know is that while we placed “old sheets” in the optional category, we highly recommend you have some on hand to use. Spray paint has a tendency to get everywhere, so putting some old sheets down will keep all of the rogue paint contained.
- Acrylic paint
- Dish soap
- Painter’s tape/masking tape
- Miscellaneous tools for removal of parts
- X-Acto knife/craft knife
- Old sheets (optional)
- Gloves (optional)
- Eye protection (optional)
- Respirator (optional)
- Spray paint gun (optional)
Read More: Best Golf Cart Covers
How to Paint A Golf Cart: Step by Step
Step 1: Cleaning
The first step of learning how to paint a golf cart is boring — you must clean off all the dirt from your golf cart. It might be tempting to skip this step if your cart looks fairly pristine, however, we strongly advise against this. Even small areas of dirt can ruin the finish of your paint job.
Fill a bucket with warm water and some dish soap. Apply plentifully to all areas and scrub away. You might have to use elbow grease to tackle stubborn areas. When finished, hose your cart off with just water and leave it to dry, or dry it with a towel.
Step 2: Dismantling
Next up you have to break down your golf cart into parts. Anything that isn’t getting spray painted and will get in the way needs to go if there is a means to remove it. I’m considering areas like the bumper, roof, and accessories here. This might take a bit of time, and you’ll almost certainly need to use some tools to get the job done.
You should remove some areas you may plan on painting, such as the roof. The roof is much easier to paint effectively when removed from the cart.
Step 3: Apply Masking Tape
This step requires a little finesse. If there are small areas you don’t want spray painted, they need covering for protection. We recommend using painter’s tape or masking tape for this step.
As for cutting it to size, an X-Acto knife is probably the best tool for the job. Take your time and make sure you are precise — the last thing you want is paint bleed.
Step 4: Sanding
Sanding involves more elbow grease! To give your primer a good base to stick to, you need to rough up the surface of your cart. Take some 120-400 grit sandpaper and press firmly against your cart in circular motions.
When finished, wipe dry with a cloth. The surface needs to be completely free of debris for the next step.
Step 5: Prep Your Area for Painting
Now that sanding is out of the way, we don’t have any sanding debris to contend with. So it’s time to prep your area for painting. We recommend setting up an area in your garage if you have one. This way you get good ventilation but are not overly prone to the wind blowing fine particles onto your golf cart’s wet paint job.
Take your old sheets and spread them across the floor. And remember, spray paint gets further than you think, so we recommend putting more sheets down than what you think you’ll need.
Position all prepped parts on the sheets to be ready for painting. The last thing you want is to paint the golf cart’s body and forget about the rest!
Step 6: Apply Primer
Before we apply spray paint, we first want to hit the golf cart with primer. The key here is a nice light and even coats. Around two coats should suffice, but follow the instructions on the primer you are using.
You should also wait around 20 minutes between each coat you apply.
Step 7: Apply Paint
When it comes to spray painting, the process is much the same as for your primer. Use sweeping motions and aim for thin layers with full coverage as these will result in a better finish.
You should allow each coat to dry before applying the next. This will be between 20 and 30 minutes for most paints.
Step 8: Remove Masking Tape
If you’ve applied masking tape, now is the time to take it off. The key to crisp lines with masking tape is to remove it while the paint is still drying — around 10 minutes after the final coat.
Take extra care not to touch the drying paint, or you’ll need to go over the area that you touched.
Step 9: Apply Sealer
Applying clear sealer is a key component that will add longevity to your paint job. So please, for the love of god, don’t skip it. Before applying the sealer, you should wait at least one hour for your final paint coat to dry.
Two coats are all you need. Again, don’t make the coats too heavy, and wait around 30 minutes after the first coat before applying the second.
Step 10: Drying & Clean Up
Gear news! You’re all done with your golf cart! All you need to do now is to leave it to dry and clean up your work area.
Thanks to the sheets you put down, you shouldn’t have any spray paint on your flooring. So you can collect your sheets and store them for future use or simply discard them.
While the golf cart may appear dry after just a few hours, leave it for at least a day. Most clear coats take that long to fully cure, and if you touch your paint job you may leave fingerprints on the design.
Read More: Best Place to Buy Used Golf Carts
While we feel that the steps we have provided are sufficient to get your paint job done, we recognize that some people prefer to watch videos. If you’re one of these people, check out the below video by Fentertainment, where he walks you through his process.
Can I Spray Paint My Golf Cart?
Spray painting your golf cart is a relatively straightforward task, it just requires a bit of time and money. While you can get a professional to paint it for you, you can actually do it yourself.
How Much Does It Take to Paint a Golf Cart?
Painting a golf cart isn’t as difficult as it might seem. You likely already own a lot of the equipment that you’ll need to get the job done. We estimate that the supplies will cost around $50-$100 and you can complete the project in an afternoon.
What Is the Best Paint for Golf Carts?
The best type of paint for golf carts is acrylic paint. This is because acrylic bonds to golf carts far better than other types of paint. We also recommend picking up spray paint rather than brush-on paint. It’s far quicker to apply and there is no risk of brush strokes.
How Easy Was That?!
Bet you didn’t think spray painting your golf cart would be that easy! So what’s your excuse? You really should try it. With a dazzling new paint job, your golf cart will be the envy of your friends.
Better yet. Share this article with your buddies so that they, too, can learn how to paint a golf cart, and you can look awesome together.