It does take time but never having attempted to paint a vehicle it was fun learning how. Now if I had some high value new model car I wouldn't think of try this myself but we're both dealing with 10+ year old vans. Elbow grease will be required.
The only equipment I had to buy was $35 for the paint sprayer at Lowe's. The small compressor I borrowed and I already had a good respirator and set of goggles. That was it for equipment.
The paint and clearcoat I got from NAPA:
Intermix MS Quart 56A Oxford White - $32.69
Reducer MS Quart CR232 - $13.49
Overall Clearcoat MS Quart FC720 - $23.49
Medium hardener MS 8-0z FH612 - $10.99
I used (2) of each.
Most of the rattle cans are sandable primer, 13 of them from Advanced Auto - $5.95 ea.
The acetone is for clean up and next time I'll buy it by the gallon.
Some 400 and 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper and a boatload of newspapers and wide masking tape.
I bought this van used and the inside was pretty scratched up so I ended up painting most of the interior. Once I got that and the rust taken care of I was running out of good weather. On the exterior I just did the drip edge and the bottom section that has the chip guard.
As you can see from the one picture I'm working into the night to get it done while the weather holds.
Lessons Learned: If you're painting outside, don't work into the night. You be picking the bugs out later. Another tip, A single edged razor blade is really good at getting overspray off your windshield.
If you're careful the results are surprising good. Not just my own opinion. When working on the street other people will be sure to give you their observations.
Lessons Learned: When working on the street with respirator and goggles expect plenty of strange looks from those passing by.
I'll finish the exterior in the spring.