An image of an OverTake liveried car in iRacing.
Image Credit: iRacing

How to Create Gorgeous Liveries for iRacing


Have you ever wanted to stand out on-track thanks to a stunning car? Here’s how to create your own liveries for iRacing.


Liveries are a very important part of online racing. They allow drivers to stand out on track and show some of their personality. A great selection of liveries makes broadcasts look colourful and diverse. They even give a sense of immersion to each and every player that doesn’t see a standard in-game colour scheme.

iRacing understands this well and, thanks to the third-party program Trading Paints, every iRacer can display their own personal colours at any time. Whilst many download liveries they like from artists, others enjoy the satisfaction of creating their own designs. If you too would like to go to the effort of painting your car yourself, this is for you. Here is your step-by-step guide to creating liveries in iRacing.

What you Need to Create Liveries for iRacing

To get started creating your own livery for iRacing, you’ll want to ensure you have a few things. The most important piece of software you’ll need on your computer is an image editing program. Be it a premium product like Photoshop or a free alternative like GIMP, they all do the same job.

iRacing livery template overview in GIMP
Many layers feature on an iRacing livery template, but don’t worry. Only a few require your attention.

Next up, you’ll want to make sure other racers can see your livery once you’re done. For this, visit Trading Paints and download their client program. This piece of software sits in the background of your iRacing sessions and downloads every other player’s unique livery, showing you their designs.

Finally, as this process can be frustrating, you’ll want plenty of patience to avoid giving up halfway through. Some spark of creativity is also obviously helpful as you will be spending the next few hours pretending to be Monet or Van Gogh.

Step 1: Templates

Before you start painting your car, you’ll need a template. Without this, you won’t know which areas of your canvas iRacing will use for each car part. In fact, a template shows you outlines for each car part and provides countless tools to make your job easier.

Even with the template, it is often very hard to work out which outline corresponds to which part of the car you’re trying to paint. Working this out requires plenty of trial and error.

Download car templates from the iRacing paint shop
Download car templates from the iRacing paint shop

To pick up this famed template, you’ll want to visit the Paint Shop in iRacing. Simply go to your content on the new UI and choose the car you want to paint. Here, you’ll see an option to ‘Paint Car.’

Click on the button and you will see many options for premade designs that you can modify. To the side however, you’ll spot the Download Template button allowing you to go more in depth with your creation.

Step 2: Getting to grips

Upon opening the iRacing livery creation template, it may look scary with so many layers to work through. So, it’s best to take a minute or two to understand what they all do before getting stuck in. But the gist of it is that you only need to worry about the ‘Base’ and ‘Car Patterns’ layers to start with. The top most layers give your paint a glossy, metallic or matte finish and the ‘Turn off before exporting’ layers are guides to help you out whilst painting.

iRacing livery template overview in GIMP
Many layers feature on an iRacing livery template, but don’t worry. Only a few require your attention.

When it comes to creating the basic design, you can either build your livery from one of the many default patterns or free-hand your shapes. The default patterns are the same one might see in the UI Paint Shop. Simply change the colours of each element to put together your initial design. If you want more freedom, you can totally design your own livery by painting onto the ‘Base’ layer.

Within the ‘Turn off before exporting’ layer group, you will find guides to help you out when painting. These include a mesh that helps to work out which car parts connect together. This allows you to line up various design shapes and avoid mismatched colours. Number blocks, sponsor blocks show you where iRacing will paste its own elements such as number boards. So you’re best to avoid putting important design pieces around these areas.

Step 3: Stickers

Now that you have the basic design, it’s time to decorate your car with sponsor logos, interesting decals and the odd catch phrase. The best cars always feature a taunt on the rear bumper.

Add logos when creating your iRacing livery
Each logo and decal should act as an individual layer. This will help you move them if needs be later on.

For this, it’s recommended to prepare each individual decal in a separate tab on your image editing program. For logos you download online, it’s usually a good idea to even retrace them in order to get the best resolution possible. Copy over the version you draw yourself and place it in a new layer group above the base livery design.

The most important piece of advice at this stage is to ensure each individual decal and logo sits on its own layer. Don’t merge different elements from different parts of the car onto one layer as you won’t be able to move them individually should you need to.

Step 4: Export your design

You’ve finished the first rough draft of your new iRacing livery and it’s time to export it into the game. To do so, you’ll want to first uncheck or hide the group of layers marked ‘turn off before exporting TGA.’ These include the grid and various painting aid references that you don’t want showing up on your car.

Save location for an iRacing livery file
Save your iRacing livery file in Documents > iRacing > paint > Selected car

Once that’s done and you can only see the colours of your future car, it’s time to begin the export process. Hit Export As in the File menu and name the file ‘car_iRacingclientnumber.TGA’ You can find your client number in the Account Settings section of the iRacing website. Once exported into the paint folder of the appropriate car, it should look something like this.

Straight away, you should see your new design in all its glory in the UI Paint Shop. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure everything looks as it should and there aren’t any misplaced logos, jagged edges or mismatched body panels.

A Lamborgini in iRacing with an Overtake livery
Use the iRacing UI Paint Shop to iron out the niggles with your paint job before taking to the track.

If there are issues in your design, you can make changes to the project. By simply exporting once again, these changes will show up in the iRacing UI. Continue the process of ironing out the kinks and your livery should be perfect in no time. This is certainly the most time-consuming step of creating a livery for iRacing. But it makes a world of difference when a paint job is done properly.

Step 5: Show off your new iRacing livery

Now that you’re happy with your design, it’s time to enjoy showing it off in public. Enter online races to dazzle your competitors or take gorgeous screenshots and post them to social media for the entire world to see. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your creation.

The only downside is you will be scared of crashing your car now that you have spent an entire day decorating it.

Will you make you own livery in iRacing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!