How to Paint a Side Mirror

How to Paint a Side Mirror

To paint a side mirror, first remove it from the vehicle and then sand, prime, and paint it carefully. Ensure the paint matches the car’s color for a seamless look.

Painting a side mirror is a simple way to maintain or update the appearance of your vehicle without the need for professional help. A well-executed paint job not only enhances the look of your car but also protects the mirror from environmental elements.

When undertaking this task, precision and proper preparation are essential. Use high-quality paints and materials to achieve a durable finish. This process can revitalize an older vehicle or be part of a larger customizing project, adding both aesthetic appeal and value. With some basic tools and a steady hand, anyone can achieve professional-looking results, making this a popular DIY project among car enthusiasts.

Choosing The Right Materials

Paint selection for a side mirror is critical, as the material must adhere to plastic or metal and withstand environmental conditions. A high-quality automotive paint with UV protection is recommended. An adhesion promoter is key for plastic surfaces, ensuring the paint sticks properly. Pair the paint with a compatible primer; a self-etching primer works well for metal surfaces, while a plastic primer is essential for plastic mirrors. Ensure both paint and primer are suitable for the mirror’s material.

Assembling all necessary tools before starting the painting process can save time and improve efficiency. Essential items include sandpaper (of varying grits), a tack cloth, masking tape, and protective gear such as gloves and a respirator mask. Using a drop cloth or newspaper to protect surrounding areas from overspray is also advisable. For an optimal finish, consider acquiring a paint sprayer, although spray cans may suffice for smaller jobs.

Proper surface preparation is vital to achieving a professional-looking paint job. Begin by cleaning the side mirror with a degreasing agent to remove dirt, oils, and contaminants. Follow up with sanding the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth base for the primer to adhere to. After sanding, wipe down the mirror with a tack cloth to remove any residual dust. Apply masking tape carefully around areas that are not to be painted, guaranteeing crisp paint lines and protecting other parts of the vehicle.

Step-by-step Painting Process

Preparing the side mirror for painting is essential for a flawless finish. Begin by sanding the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to remove imperfections and create a smooth area for the paint to adhere. Ensure all dust and debris are wiped clean before moving on to the next step.

Priming the side mirror forms a crucial layer for paint adhesion, enhancing the durability of the paint job. Apply a high-quality primer suitable for your mirror’s material and let it dry as per manufacturer’s instructions. Achieving a uniform coat without drips sets a solid foundation for painting.

Next, focus on applying paint in even strokes for a consistent coat. It’s recommended to use spray paint designed for automotive use, moving back and forth in a controlled manner to avoid runs. Apply multiple thin coats instead of one thick layer, letting each coat dry completely before applying the next.

Finally, patience is key when allowing the paint to dry thoroughly. A strong and durable finish depends on the paint’s complete adhesion to the side mirror. Adhering to recommended drying times, usually found in the paint’s instructions, yields the best results and prevents blemishes.

Finishing Touches

Applying a clear coat is essential for shielding the paint from external elements and UV rays. Begin with a light coat, ensuring even coverage over the entire surface of the side mirror. Allow sufficient drying time before adding a second, heavier coat for optimal protection.

Once the clear coat dries, buffing and polishing come into play. Use a soft, clean microfiber cloth for buffing and a high-quality polishing compound. These steps will not only impart a smooth, shiny finish but also eliminate any minor imperfections from the painted surface.

With the mirror’s surface flawlessly polished, focus on reinstalling the side mirror on the vehicle. It’s imperative to handle the mirror gently to prevent scratches. Ensure all connections are secure and tight, restoring the side mirror to its original function and appearance.

How to Paint a Side Mirror


Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Paint A Side Mirror

How Do You Paint A Car Side Mirror?

To paint a car side mirror, start by removing it and cleaning thoroughly. Sand the surface for adhesion, then apply a primer. Once dry, spray an even coat of paint. Finish with a clear protective lacquer. Let it fully cure before reattaching to the car.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Mirrors?

Use oil-based paints or acrylic paints specially formulated for glass and mirror surfaces to achieve the best adhesion and finish. Ensure the mirror is clean before application for optimal results.

How Do You Paint A Primed Wing Mirror?

Clean the primed wing mirror thoroughly. Tape off areas to avoid overspray. Apply even, thin coats of automotive paint. Let each layer dry completely. Finish with a clear coat for protection and shine.

Can You Spray Paint On Mirror?

Yes, you can spray paint on a mirror. Clean the surface first, then apply a spray primer. Use spray paint designed for glass for best results. Allow ample drying time before handling.


Painting your side mirror can be a simple upgrade to your vehicle’s appearance. By following the steps outlined, anyone can achieve a professional-looking finish. Remember to always work in a well-ventilated area and allow ample drying time for the best results.

Your car will thank you with its refreshed, sleek look.

James Frank

This is James Frank. I am a Home Expert and also Part-Time blogger. I am a home maintenance adviser and also a Part-time blogger to help people about there home maintenance, I am loving to write about home maintenance for new homeowners. and I am in this place for about 10 years. I would like to share my opinion, IDEA, Tips and much more information with My friends, family, and my Blog visitors.

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