Maintain Your Pipes and Your Business

Add A Customized Design To Your Van With Metallic, Automotive Paint

by Sheila Vasquez

Spruce up an old van with a dull paint job by adding a customized design to it with metallic, automotive paint. The bold colors and shininess of the paint will give your vehicle a unique appearance that stands out.


  • industrial strength detergent
  • bucket
  • water hose
  • long-handled scrub brush
  • lint-free towel
  • stencils
  • two-sided tape
  • measuring tape
  • drop cloth
  • painter's tape
  • metallic spray paint (for automobiles)
  • clear spray paint (for automobiles)

Clean The Van's Body And Attach Stencils

Give the van's body a thorough cleaning so that no residue is on its surface when you apply the paint. Add a cup or two of industrial strength detergent to a bucket of water. Stir the soap and water until suds appear. Apply the cleaning solution to the van's body with a long-handled scrub brush. Move the brush firmly over the entire surface of the van's body. Use a water hose to rinse the soap away. Wait for the van's body to dry or wipe it off with a lint-free towel.

Purchase stencils from an automotive parts supplier or have some custom made by an advertising specialist. Attach the stencils to the sides, front, or back of the van with two-sided tape. Use a measuring tape to assist with lining up the stencils so that they are straight and spaced evenly apart.

Apply The Paint And A Clear, Protective Coat

Place a drop cloth next to the van to collect spilled paint. Cover trim near the stencils with painter's tape so that they are not accidentally covered with paint while you are filling in the stencils. Add an even coat of spray paint to the cut out portion in each stencil. Select several colors of paint and add them to various parts of each stencil so that the completed design attracts attention. Wait for the paint to dry for a few hours. Add a second coat of paint if any of the stencils aren't filled in evenly.

After the paint dries, add a coat of clear spray paint over it. The clear paint will protect the metallic paint from fading or peeling. After the clear coat of paint dries completely, carefully remove the stencils and the painter's tape. Show off the newly painted design each time that you drive the van. When you clean the van in the future, use non-abrasive cleaning materials so that marks do not appear in the painted design. As long as you consistently care for the paint job, it will look great for many years.  Contact an auto paint store, like Space Age Auto Paint Store, for more info.