How to Paint an RC Body: Tips and Techniques for Success

How to Paint an RC Body: Tips and Techniques for Success

Painting an RC body can be a fun and creative way to personalize your remote-controlled vehicle. Whether you want to give it a unique look or improve its visibility during races or competitions, painting an RC body is a rewarding project that can yield amazing results. Before you start, however, it’s crucial to prepare the body properly and follow the right techniques to achieve the best possible outcome. In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting an RC body, step by step. We’ll discuss the necessary preparation, materials, and techniques you need to create a smooth, professional-looking finish. Additionally, we’ll share some tips and tricks for making the painting process easier and more successful, as well as advice on finishing touches and maintenance. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to transform your RC vehicle into a unique, personalized ride that stands out from the crowd. So, let’s get started!


Before painting an RC body, it’s important to prepare it properly. Follow these steps:

  • Clean the body thoroughly using rubbing alcohol or a degreaser to remove any dirt, oil, or debris that could affect paint adhesion.
  • Use sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the body, creating a better grip for the paint.
  • Use masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want to paint, such as the windows or certain parts of the body like the spoilers or fenders.
  • Apply a spray paint primer to the body to create an even surface that will allow the paint to adhere better to the plastic. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

It’s important to note that some RC bodies come pre-painted, so double-check to make sure you actually need to paint it yourself. Proline Racing and Bishopgraphics are excellent resources for unpainted RC bodies and custom graphics.

How do you prepare RC body for painting?

To prepare an RC body for painting, follow these steps:

  • Wash the body with soap and water to remove any dirt or oils.
  • Sand the body with fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface for painting.
  • Apply a primer to the body to help the paint adhere better and prevent chipping or peeling.
  • Use a high-quality paint and apply it evenly with a spray gun or airbrush.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a clear coat to protect the paint finish.

For more information about painting RC bodies, check out websites like or products like Tower Hobbies for painting supplies and tutorials.

Painting Techniques

There are various ways to paint an RC body. Here are some painting techniques:

Technique Pros Cons
Freehand Painting Allows for creativity and unique designs Can be difficult to achieve precise lines and shapes
Stencils Ensures consistency and accuracy in designs May limit creative freedom

Interesting fact: Some RC hobbyists even use airbrushing techniques to create intricate designs on their bodies!

You can find a variety of stencils and airbrushing equipment at Hobbytown, Micromark, and Tower Hobbies.

Can you spray paint an RC body?

Yes, you can spray paint an RC body. In fact, it’s a popular way of customizing and personalizing your RC vehicle. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting:

  • Choose a spray paint specifically designed for plastic surfaces, as many RC bodies are made of plastic.
  • Clean the body thoroughly before painting to ensure proper adhesion.
  • Mask off any areas you don’t want to be painted.
  • Apply the spray paint in thin and even coats for best results.

There are many tutorials and videos available online that can guide you through the process. Additionally, you can find RC body paint and accessories for sale on websites such as Amazon and HobbyKing.

Painting Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks to make your RC body painting experience more successful:

  • Always use spray paint primer before applying paint
  • Let each layer dry completely before applying a new one
  • Apply paint in thin and even layers to avoid drips and runny paint
  • Use a hair dryer or heat gun to speed up the drying process

Interesting fact: Did you know that adding a small amount of rubbing alcohol to your paint can help it dry faster?

Good quality paints and primers can be found at your local hobby shop, or ordered online from sites such as Amazon or Horizon Hobby.

How can I improve my painting skills?

There are several ways to improve your painting skills:

  • Practice regularly
  • Study the work of other artists
  • Take classes or workshops
  • Experiment with different mediums and techniques
  • Solicit feedback from other artists or mentors

Additionally, there are many resources available online, such as instructional videos, tutorials, and forums. Websites like Skillshare or Udemy offer online courses taught by professional artists and can be a great way to expand your skills. And finally, investing in high-quality art supplies and equipment can also make a difference in the quality of your work.

Finishing Touches

Don’t forget to add the final touches to your painted RC body for the best look and protection. These tips will help you achieve the perfect finishing touches:

  • Use a clear coat or protective spray to seal the paint and protect it from scratches and damage
  • A glossy finish will give your RC body a shiny and reflective look
  • A matte finish will give your RC body a more subtle and flat look

Some popular and effective clear coats and protective sprays include:

Product Name Price Where to Buy
Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear $5.97 Amazon
Dupli-Color Clear Coat Protective Spray $8.99 AutoZone
Rust-Oleum Automotive 11 oz. Clear Gloss Acrylic Enamel Spray Paint $4.18 Home Depot

Try different finishes to see which one looks the best with your paint job.

What should I paint my RC body with?

When painting an RC car body, it’s essential to choose the right paint that will ensure a smooth finish and withstand the wear and tear of driving. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Polycarbonate spray paint: This type of paint is specially formulated for RC car bodies and offers excellent flexibility and durability.
  • Acrylic spray paint: Acrylic paint is a popular choice thanks to its wide range of colors and quick drying time.
  • Enamel spray paint: Enamel paint offers a hard, glossy finish and is highly resistant to chipping and scratching, making it a great option for RC cars.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation and application to ensure the best possible results. For a wide variety of RC car body paints and accessories, check out websites like Tower Hobbies or AMain Hobbies.

Clean Up and Maintenance

Clean up after painting is an important step to ensure the longevity of your RC body. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your painted RC body looking its best:

  • Use soap and water to clean off any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the RC body
  • Allow the body to air dry completely before storing it away
  • Store painted RC bodies in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture damage

It’s also a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your painted RC body to prevent any paint damage, such as:

  • Inspect the body periodically for any scratches, chips, or peeling paint
  • Touch up any damages with paint and clear coat as necessary
  • Avoid exposing the painted RC body to extreme temperatures, water, or other harsh conditions that may damage the paint

With proper care and maintenance, your painted RC body will look brand new for longer.

How do you clean RC body paint?

To clean RC body paint, follow these steps:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of mild soap.
  • Dip a sponge or cloth into the soapy water and gently clean the body.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Let the body air dry or use a soft towel to dry it.

Avoid using abrasive materials or strong chemicals that could damage the paint.

Some RC hobby websites or stores offer specific products for cleaning and maintaining RC bodies. Check out your local hobby store or visit websites such as,, or for products that suit your needs.


Painting an RC body may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some key takeaways to remember:

  • Proper preparation is essential for a successful paint job. Take the time to clean and prep the body before starting.
  • Experiment with different painting techniques to find what works best for you.
  • Use expert tips and tricks to make the painting process easier and more effective.
  • Finish the painted body with a clear coat or protective spray to add further durability.
  • Perform regular maintenance to keep your painted RC body looking like new.

Whether you are a seasoned RC enthusiast or a beginner, painting an RC body is a great way to personalize and enhance your vehicle. So go ahead and give it a try! With a little patience and practice, you’ll be able to create a custom RC body that looks amazing on the track.