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Actually any kind of paint can be used on a Pinewood Derby car, as long as you take the time to let it dry properly. Now some paints do not stick directly to wood very well or soak into the wood requiring several coats. In this case you need to paint the car with a primer paint first, then paint the car with the paint of your choosing. Also when wanting to put a glossy shine to your car, you need to be very careful of the sealer you use over the paint. Not all sealers and paints are compatible, and I've seen sealers ruin very good paint jobs in the past. The best method for all paints is to test them on a piece of scrap wood first to make sure they are going to produce the desired look. If they look good on the scrap wood, then they will most likely look good on your Pinewood Derby car.

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Q: What kind of paint should you use on a pinewood derby race car?
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How do you paint a pinewood derby car?

Most people I know simply paint the car a single solid color using a can of spray paint. Now if you want a really nice paint job, start by sanding the wood very smooth with progressively higher grades of sandpaper. The smoother the surface of the wood, the better the paint job will turn out. Next use a primer spray on the wood (the makers of Killz have a good shelac primer called Zissner BIN that you can find at Home Depot). After the primer dries, sand the primer smooth and coat again with primer. Follow this by one more round of sanding. Then spray a coat or two of the paint you want on the car. After this dies, spray on a clear gloss sealer, but be careful about what sealer you use. Some spray sealers do not work with some paints and can ruin the paint job. A nice universal gloss sealer I've found is Future brand floor wax. It's compatible with almost every kind of spray paint (but does not work well with kids washable paints, as the paint will run). Apply the floor wax with a small brush to the car and let it dry well. If you are looking for a really nice paint that looks good on Pinewood Derby cars, try Krylon X-Metal or Duplicolor MetalCast spray paints (usually found at automotive stores). This paint require a metallic silver primer to be sprayed on the car first, followed by the metallic color that you wish to use. This paint takes about 5 days to dry, but it produces a beautiful car shine and is very forgiving for amature Pinewood Derby car painters. I especially like using MetalCast Red paint.

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