How To Create a Custom Livery in iRacing

We all like to look good, even when racing! You can express yourself when iRacing by using your own custom car livery. Follow this guide where I show you a few ways to create your own custom livery in iRacing.

Trading Paints iRacing Sven Smits2
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In iRacing you can customise all aspects of your car and driver. You can change your driver’s face, customise your helmet design and colour as well as your suit design. Possibly the biggest area you can customise in iRacing is your cars.

You can create completely custom paint schemes and liveries for all of your cars in iRacing. Each car can be customised individually giving you the opportunity to run unique custom liveries across all of your cars.

In this guide, I’ll run through every way you can paint, customise and create your own car livery in iRacing.

Using Trading Paints

One of the easiest ways to have extremely detailed, high-quality custom liveries in iRacing is to download them from a free third-party source. Trading Paints is without a doubt the best place to download custom-designed car liveries. In fact, even iRacing recommends using them on their own website!

Trading Paints is a free to use iRacing livery content browser, where you can choose from thousands of liveries created by the community. A lot of these liveries are extremely high quality, with a variety of real-life replicas and custom-designed liveries available for every car.

Trading Paints is extremely easy to use. There is a range of filters allowing you to find the perfect livery. You can filter by car, by the creator, most liked and more. You can also follow content creators if you find a livery designer that you really like.

One of the greatest parts of Trading Paints is that it can be fully integrated into iRacing. This means you won’t need to be managing your own livery downloads and moving them about. Trading Paints will automatically apply your chosen design to your car in iRacing.

Trading Paints iRacing

How to use Trading Paints with iRacing

Trading Paints is relatively easy to set up and get working with your iRacing account. It does have its own app which you’ll need to download and install to your PC. This app is what makes the connection between your iRacing account and Trading Paints seamless.

  1. Step 1 – Download Trading Paints

    Head over to Trading Paints website and download the app. It’s free to download and use. Once downloaded, follow the install instructions. These are relatively simple and require you to just choose an install location.

  2. Step 2 – Link your iRacing account

    The next step is to create your Trading Paints account and link your iRacing account. You can find your iRacing account number or customer number on your account page. Find this by clicking on your helmet in the top right of the iRacing app. Then click account. Your customer number will appear at the top of the pop out box. Enter this customer number into the Trading Paints app and continue to register.

  3. Step 3 – Adjust Trading Paints settings

    In the Trading Paints app, to avoid any issues, you should adjust some settings. In the app, click the Advanced Options button. From there, ensure the following options are enabled;

    • Automatically refresh paints
    • Update my own paints
    • Keep my paints synced from website
  4. Step 4 – Find and choose custom liveries

    The next step is the fun part. You can head over to the Trading Paints website and start searching for car liveries. You can use the filters at the top of the page to search by various specific filters. Once you find a livery you want to use, simply click on it and hit the “Race this paint” option. Once you confirm your livery choice, it’ll become immediately applied to your car in iRacing.

How to fix your livery not appearing in iRacing

If you have chosen a livery in Trading Paints and applied it to your car but can’t see it in iRacing there are a few possible reasons why. Follow the troubleshooting tips below to ensure none of these are preventing your livery from appearing correctly in iRacing.

  • Participate in an online session in iRacing. If you have just installed Trading Paints, you may not see your liveries until you enter an online session. This will allow Trading Paints to correctly configure itself to your iRacing install location.
  • Ensure Trading Paints is running in the background when you are playing iRacing.
  • Ensure your firewall isn’t blocking Trading Paints from accessing the internet.

To check if Trading Paints is working correctly, head over to iRacing. Click “My Content” and then go into your cars. You should see your custom liveries on your cars here.

However, sometimes Trading Paints takes a little while to update this screen. Instead, click the three dots next to your car’s name, and select “Paint”. This will open up the interactive car model. This should show your Trading Paints custom livery on your car.


Using Photoshop

If you are feeling creative, you can create a fully custom livery yourself in iRacing. This is easily the most time-consuming way of creating a custom iRacing livery. However, it’s the option that gives you the most freedom.

To create your own livery in this way, you’ll need to download the iRacing template for the car you’re looking to design a livery for. This will serve as a template for you to paint your livery on top of.

How do I download iRacing car templates?

You can download the template for any car by selecting it in your iRacing app. Head over to your content, and into the car panel. From there, select the three dots next to the car that you’d like to start painting and click “Paint”. On the right-hand side of the paint menu, select the “Download Template” button. This will save the car’s paint template to your computer.

You will have to download the template for each car individually, as every car will use its own custom template.

iRacing Photoshop custom livery template

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How to use iRacing templates

Once you’ve downloaded a car template, you can open it in Photoshop. The file will consist of a selection of layers. Some of these layers can be painted over, while some should be left alone.

Typically, the lowest layer in the hierarchy is the layer where you should create your design into. You can see examples within this folder by turning on and off the pre-existing car_decal layer as well as the others.

Essentially, the car template shows every part of your car laid flat. You will be able to see all sides including the top, front and back. From here it is a little trial and error when editing each part of the template. You’ll have to paint into the file to see which parts affect your car.

To do this, you can save the file after your first round of paint changes as a TGA file. Once you save it in the right place, it will be immediately visible in iRacing.

Where to save iRacing paint files

All of your paint files, including cars, suits and helmets will sit in your iRacing folder in your Documents. The path looks like the one below;

C:\Users\YourName\Documents\iRacing\paint\CarName\car_CustomerID.tga

The naming convention of your paint files is [Paint Type]_[CustomerID].tga. So for example, the Global Mazda MX-5 paint file would look like – \mx5 mx52016\car_777200.tga

When you’re creating your TGA file in Photoshop, you should export it as a 24 bit TGA file. To do this, in Photoshop select “Save As Copy”. Then select Targa (TGA) in the file type.

Your car paint template should already be the correct size when you downloaded it. However, if you’re creating a file from scratch, ensure your output size for car paint files is either 1024 x 1024px or 2048 x 2048px. Helmet paint files should be 512 x 512px.

If for whatever reason iRacing can’t find or read your custom paint file, it will revert back to the default paint scheme that is selected.


Using the in-built iRacing paint shop

If you don’t fancy the complexity of creating a custom livery in Photoshop, you can use the easier to use in-built paint booth. In iRacing’s app, you can choose your livery from a selection of presets. You can then adjust all of the colours and add your own sponsor decals.

How To Paint A Car in iRacing

This by far the easiest way of creating a custom livery yourself without using someone else’s design. The in-built editor gives you a lot of control. You can choose between a variety of designs. Then you can adjust the three colours that feature in that design. You can also customise your number design and add sponsor decals.

To use the iRacing paint shop follow these steps;

  • Click My Content in the sidebar, then click Cars from the dropdown menu.
  • Click the large “Paint My cars” button in the top right of the screen. This will load the Paint Shop.
  • On the right-hand side, you have the option to change your car colours and choose your sponsors. Along the bottom of the screen are the livery designs that you can choose from.
  • Once happy with your design, click “Save Car Design” to apply it to your car. This will make the design immediately visible when racing in iRacing.

Are there any iRacing promo codes for new members?

iRacing often runs promotional codes giving reduced price memberships. These normally apply to new members only, but sometimes you can pick up a renewal code, so it’s always worth checking.

Read our iRacing promo code guide for a full list of working 2022 iRacing codes.


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