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Your car has just received a fresh coat of paint, and it’s shining like its brand new. Maybe your auto paint was beginning to show its age, or perhaps an unfortunate event led to the need for a makeover.

No matter the reason, you’re now looking at your vehicle, admiring its pristine appearance and thinking, “How do I keep it looking nice for years to come?”

Caring for a new paint job isn’t just about maintaining its color and aesthetic appeal; it’s about preserving your car’s integrity. Here’s how you can do just that, with a touch of care and some simple steps. Here are six steps to follow when caring for a fresh car paint job:

Related: 3 Signs that Your Car Needs a New Paint Job

1.    Wait Before the First Wash

For the first two weeks following your car paint job, you’ll want to resist the temptation to wash your vehicle. The paint is in a delicate state, curing and bonding to the car’s surface.

Introducing water and soap too early can interfere with this process, potentially compromising the quality of your paint job.

Washing Your Car by Hand

2.    Gentle Hand Washing

Once the two weeks have passed, you can reintroduce your vehicle to water, but gently. For now, you’ll want to avoid any automatic car washes with their abrasive brushes.

Instead, embrace the art of hand washing. Arm yourself with a soft microfiber cloth or sponge and a bucket of mild car soap. This method ensures that you can tenderly remove any dust, bird droppings, or sap without risking scratches. When you’re done, rinse thoroughly and dry with a lint-free towel to avoid leaving any water spots or residue.

Make it a habit to wash your car by hand weekly, eventually easing into a monthly routine. This practice will keep your paint job free from dirt, unscathed, and well-protected against the elements.

Related: What is Automotive Paint Made Of? 10 Tips to Maintain It

3.    Avoid Dry Wiping

Another tip for keeping your fresh car paint in top shape is to avoid dry wiping. We know that if your car gathers a light layer of dust or pollen, it’s easy to be tempted to quickly wipe it down.

However, you should know that dry wiping a freshly painted surface can lead to micro-scratches that dull your car’s shine. If it’s just a bit of dust, a gentle rinse with water is all that’s needed.

Be especially cautious with harmful substances like gasoline, oil, and antifreeze. These can cause more significant damage to the paint if not washed off promptly and properly.

Related: 5 Major Threats to Your Car Paint

4.    Be Mindful of the Weather

Weather conditions can be harsh on your new paint job. In places with cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers, extra care is needed. Avoid using scrapers on frosty mornings; instead, let your car defrost naturally before gently removing snow. And during summer, protect your car from the fading effects of UV rays by parking in shaded areas or using a car cover.

Remember, extreme temperatures can be detrimental in the first month post auto painting. Planning your paint job during mild weather can prevent weather-related damage.

Related: 6 Common Auto Car Paint Problems & Cures

5.    Steer Clear of Trees and Gravel

Parking under a tree might offer shade, but it also exposes your car to sap and bird droppings, which can damage your new car paint job. Similarly, driving over gravel or freshly laid asphalt can kick up stones that chip the paint.

These chips not only mar your car’s appearance but can lead to rust if the underlying metal is exposed. Address any chips or scratches promptly and consider applying protective wax after the appropriate waiting period. If interested, you can check out paint-protective films to help protect your car from rocks and gravel.

Related: 3 Things to Know Before Approaching Your Insurance Company for Repainting

Waxing Your Car with Care

6.    Wax with Care

Wax is a fantastic way to maintain your car’s luster and protect the paint for many years down the road. However, patience is key. You’ll want to avoid waxing your car during the first 90 days post-paint job. This period allows the paint to fully harden and for all solvents to evaporate.

Once the 90 days have passed, you are free to apply a carnauba-based wax to shield your paint from UV rays, moisture, and minor scuffs. After that initial application, a regular waxing schedule every three weeks will keep your car looking its best.

Read More: Ultimate Guide to Auto Paint: Choosing, Applying, & Exploring Automotive Paints

Protecting Your New Car Paint Job: In Conclusion

A fresh paint job on your car is not just an aesthetic enhancement; it’s an investment. By following these simple yet effective care tips, you can protect that investment and enjoy a gleaming, flawless paint finish for years to come.

Need to paint your car? Paint for Cars’ paint products include our auto paint gallons (Acrylic Enamel, Acrylic Urethane, and Acrylic Urethane Basecoat); our single stage kits (Acrylic Enamel, Acrylic Urethane, Acrylic Urethane Flat/Satin Finish, Acrylic Urethane High Gloss/Xtreme); and our two stage kits (Urethane Basecoat + TCI Clearcoat, Urethane Basecoat + Starfire Clear, and our premium Urethane Basecoat + TCI Clearcoat).

Contact Paint For Cars Today

Since our business started in 1998, we’ve been a trusted online provider of high-quality auto paint gallons, single-stage kits, two-stage kits, auto primer, and paint supplies. In addition, we provide FAST and attentive customer service and fair pricing for all of our car paint and paint kit products. So matter if you’re looking to DIY paint your car, understand different auto paint application methods, or you have questions on choosing the right automotive paint, and more, we’re here to help.

If you ever have questions or concerns for our team, please contact Paint For Cars today! We’ll be happy to help you better understand what tips and tools you’ll need for caring for your fresh car paint job.

Happy painting and driving!

Further Reading:

DIY Car Paint Overview

If you’re looking to invest in your own DIY paint car project, let Paint For Cars help!

A superior car paint job begins with selecting the ideal supplies. We offer everything essential to paint your car and achieve top-notch results.

From simple car touch-ups to complete refinishing starting from scratch, Paint For Cars supports DIY car paint enthusiasts in accomplishing the task correctly.

Elevating Your Car Paint Job

DIY Car Paint & Paint Equipment

Choosing the Right Auto Paint

Paint For Car’s extensive inventory encompasses a variety of automotive finishes. This range includes both original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-style paints and unique hues for any project – even for beginner car paint DIY enthusiasts!

Enhance the primary finish with high-quality clear coats for added protection and distinctiveness.

Planning to detail under the hood? Our selection includes paints that mimic different metal finishes and high-temperature coatings that replicate OEM colors and sheens.

Don’t forget to apply a reliable car primer for a solid foundation before beginning your paint work.

Read More: Important Things to Know About Auto Painting

Auto Painting Equipment

Paint Application Tools

Even the finest paint requires proper automotive paint application tools. At Paint For Cars, find all the necessary auto painting equipment including HVLP guns, mixing tools, masking essentials, and paint booths.

If the thought of using a beginner’s painting gun is overwhelming, our car spray paint offers a quality comparable to HVLP.

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment is also available to protect your clothes, skin, and lungs during the process. For those working with older sheet metal, our rust solutions restore parts to a paintable condition.

Paint For Cars backs its impressive selection with unparalleled product expertise and customer service. For further reading about the auto paint equipment you’ll need for your project, please check out our article about how to paint a car in 6 professional steps.

DIY Car Paint FAQs

Car Paint Equipment - Painting a Red Car

How soon after painting can you drive your car?

Ideally, wait a few weeks post-painting to drive your car to avoid texture issues, cracking, or peeling. Although it’s tempting to showcase your vehicle immediately, exposure to the elements too soon can compromise the paint job.

Realistically, your car is also a mode of transportation. While a month-long garage stay is ideal, occasional outings may be necessary.

Key considerations include:

  • Initial Application: Please allow the new paint to cure for at least 24 hours post-application before exposure.
  • Cure Time: Recognize that auto paint fully cures and adheres over 30 to 60 days. Limit outings to fair weather and short trips during this time.
  • Avoiding Environmental Hazards: Be sure to avoid driving your car on or around freshly paved roads, debris, and extreme temperatures as these can damage the paint or affect the curing process. Proper shelter and controlled conditions are advisable for your car during this period.

Read More: Crucial Tips to Remember in Painting Your Car

How do I properly spray paint my car?

DIY auto painting involves multiple steps, from removing the old paint to applying automotive primer, base coat, and clear coat. Addressing rust and cleaning off debris and moisture is crucial to prevent texture and adhesion issues. Personal safety is also important due to solvent exposure and paint gun use.

  • Wear Protective Gear: Include safety glasses, a fresh air respirator system or multi-stage filter mask, and a paint suit for your DIY car paint project.
  • Use Sanding Supplies: Use 1200-and 2000-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper, and an electric sander for efficiency.
  • Gather All Painting Supplies: Make sure that you have masking tape, an air compressor or paint gun, paint thinner, mixing equipment, and auto paint on hand.
  • Ensure You Have Enough Paint: Make sure that you have gallon of base coat and one gallon of primer, plus two to three gallons of clear coat for small-to-medium-sized vehicles. Larger vehicles require more.

What is a good paint gun for beginners?

For beginner DIY car painting enthusiasts, high volume low pressure (HVLP) guns are highly recommended due to their efficiency in using less pressure while delivering more paint, thus saving time.

Turbine paint systems offer a self-contained alternative with a turbine motor for air compression. Consider needle nozzle sizes, with 1.2-1.4 ideal for base/clear coats and 1.7-2.0 for primer applications.

Read More: 4 Life-Saving Steps to DIY Car Painting

Contact Us for DIY Car Paint & Car Paint Equipment!

If you need professional car paint insight into your DIY car painting project, contact Paint For Cars! We are a resource for single stage kits, two stage kits, and auto paint supplies.

Our company was founded in 1998, so we’ve been a trusted resource for DIY car paint and paint equipment for more than two decades! Please read our articles below for more information on DIY car paint and equipment.

Further Reading:

Automotive Paint Colors For Your Car: An Overview

Does your car need a new paint job? Choosing the right color for your car can be an overwhelming task, since there is a wide range of automotive paint colors available on the market.

At Paint For Cars, we want to help you know how to choose the right automotive paint color for your car, which is especially helpful if you are a DIY car painter. Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you make the right choice:

The Psychology of Paint Colors

First, let’s talk about the actual colors themselves. The color you end up choosing for your car can convey a specific image and evoke certain feelings. As it turns out, there’s a psychology behind this.

Ultimately, the auto paint color you end up choosing will speak volumes about your personality and preferences. We detail more about this also in our ultimate guide to auto paint and also our choosing the right paint job for your car article.

Let’s get into the colors, shall we?

Painting Car Black

Black

Elegance & Sophistication

A popular paint color we see people choose a lot is black. Typically, when we think of black, we typically think of elegance and sophistication. No matter if you own a vintage or a modern car, a black paint color will definitely give off vibes of elegance, sophistication, luxury, and even authoritativeness.

Gray

Practical & Reliable

One of our favorites is gray. When it comes to painting your car, you’ll love the practical, reliable, neutral, and even conservative feel that gray gives. A gray car will represent your reliable and responsible nature, showing that you’re pragmatic and not easily swayed by trends.

Silver

Innovative & Modern

Looking for something modern with a bit of edge? Silver automotive paint colors often represent a sense of innovation, high-tech, and cutting-edge design. It’s the automotive paint color to choose for those who value a modern aesthetic and stay up-to-date with the latest trends!

White

Clean & Pure

White is a go-to automotive paint color for many automobile fans. One reason it’s a favorite is because white cars represent an overall sense of cleanliness and purity. This color can even suggest a meticulous, organized personality and a preference for a crisp, uncluttered environment.

Painting Car Red

Red

Passionate & Bold

There’s probably no paint color listed here that stands out more than red. Red is the color of passion and excitement. If you choose one of our red paint colors, it’s definitely a way to show off your bold, energetic, and adventurous side!

Orange

Creative & Unique

Want a way to stand out from the crowd? Choose any shade of orange. Orange is a little less common for cars and, as such, can represent your personal creativity and individuality. It’s definitely the color to opt for for those who are not afraid to stand out and show their unique character.

Yellow

Joyful & Optimistic

One of the happiest auto paint cars on this list! Yellow cars radiate joy, optimism, and a sense of fun. Choosing this color can show your cheerful, positive attitude and your zest for life.

Gold

Wealth & Prestige

Gold is a gorgeous go-to for many automobile fans. This color is often associated with wealth, prestige, and a taste for the finer things in life. A gold car can show that you appreciate luxury and have a rich sense of style.

Green

Harmony & Balance

A beautiful color and go-to for many auto paint enthusiasts. Green cars can represent a balanced, harmonious personality. This color might show your affinity for nature, your calm demeanor, and your grounded, reliable nature.

Read More: 5 Major Threats to Your Car Paint

Painting Car Blue

Blue

Calm & Confident

Everyone loves a blue car. There are many shades of blue car paint, but no matter which you choose, each tend to communicate calm and confidence. Overall, choosing this color can indicate your peaceful nature, your reliability, and your strong sense of self.

Brown

Down-to-Earth & Trustworthy

Another one of our favorites is brown, due to its grounded look and feel. Brown cars can reflect a down-to-earth, dependable, and trustworthy personality. This color shows that you’re grounded and appreciate the simple things in life.

Other Thoughts on Automotive Paint Colors

In our article about the craziest and wildest car paint colors, we talk about some other cool colors you should consider for your car. These include Blue Metallic, Two-Tone Monarch Orange/Super Black, Spectral British Racing Green, and other awesome colors. Be sure to check out our online inventory of Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint, Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint, and Acrylic Urethane Paint Basecoat auto paint gallons.

Read More: Trends for Popular Auto Paint Color

Painting a Modern Car vs a Classic Car

Choosing the right color for a modern car and a classic car is a different process.

Specifically, modern cars often look best in contemporary colors that enhance their sleek, updated design. Classic cars, on the other hand, often benefit from vintage or period-appropriate colors.

When painting a classic car, it’s important to consider and research the original colors available for that specific make and model during its production years. Reproducing a classic car’s original color can enhance its authenticity and value.

Read More: Important Things to Know About Auto Painting

Researching Popular Paint Colors & Options

Car paint enthusiasts should carefully research popular paint colors and trends in the automotive world. Consider browsing car shows, magazines, and online forums to see what colors are currently in vogue.

You can also visit local dealerships or paint shops to check out samples and get professional advice.

Automotive Paint Colors - Classic Cars

Matching the Paint Color to Your Car’s Make & Model

The right paint color should complement your car’s make and model. Some colors – especially bright, loud colors – tend to suit sporty cars better, while others may be more fitting for SUVs or sedans.

For example, a bright yellow automotive paint color might look fantastic on a compact sports car, but may not be as suitable for a large SUV. Ready to paint your car? You’ll want to read our article on crucial tips to remember in painting your car.

Read More: Types of Automotive Paint: What is Best For My Car?

We Can Help You Choose the Right Automotive Paint Color!

Paint For Cars is a leading automotive paint distributor. We decades of industry experience, we can help you choose the perfect color for your vehicle. In addition we have over 39+ car paints available to you!

With our large inventory, we have the paint, tools, and equipment you need to ensure you have exactly what you need to best match your car’s make and model. Choose Paint For Cars to ensure your car looks stunning and reflects your unique style.

Read More: 6 Common Auto Car Paint Problems & Cures

Contact Paint For Cars

By considering the psychology of colors, the difference between modern and classic cars, popular paint trends, urethane vs other types of paints, the color trends in the automotive industry, application methods, and matching the color to your car’s make and model, you can make the best, informed decision!

Questions? Contact our team or read more about us today!

Further Reading:

Auto Paint Supplies You Need

Is your car paint showing signs of old age? In this article, we’ll share our guide to car paint supplies.

Prior to starting your painting project, you should create a quick checklist to see if you have everything you’ll need on hand. Having the right tools and supplies ready to go will ensure that you’ll end up with a professional-looking finished product.

For reference, here are 9 crucial tips to remember when painting your car.

In this guide to car paint supplies, our experts will walk you through everything you need to know about the different paint supplies you may need for your next car painting job.

Follow our recommendations below for the best car painting results!

Guide to Car Paint Supplies: Table of Contents

Primer

To start with your car painting project, you’ll need to purchase some primer.

Auto primer is especially important if you’re working with bare metal or repairing damaged areas on the surface of your car.

Primer benefits car owners by providing adhesion and an overall smooth surface for your car paint to adhere to. This helps to ensure longevity, durability, and a professional-looking finished result!

Our Primer Products

Paint For Car’s primer products include our 5-Star Direct To Metal Self-Etching Primer w/ Reducer and our ProForm DTM Epoxy Primer. We also carry the 1 Gallon Synthetic Enamel Non Sanding Grey Primer and XTREME DTM High Build Primer.

For urethane primer solutions, we have the MAXX FILL 2K High Build Urethane Primer Surfacer, and our TCI Premium 2K Urethane Primer Surfacer w/Activator.

Acrylic Topcoat & Clear-Coat Lacquer

The acrylic topcoat is the final layer of paint that gives your car its final desired color and finish. The topcoat provides durability, weather resistance, and a glossy appearance. Clear-coat lacquer is often applied on top of the color coat to enhance the shine and protect the underlying layers.

Our Acrylic Products

At Paint For Cars, we carry two lacquer products in our auto paint supplies category: our 5 Star Hot Rod Black Acrylic Lacquer Primer Surfacer and our TCI Premium Lacquer Primer – Gray products.

Read More: Ultimate Guide to Auto Paint: Choosing, Applying, & Exploring Automotive Paints

1200-and 2000-Grit Wet-and-Dry Sandpaper

Next, to ensure a smooth and even surface for painting, you’ll want to make sure that you have a 1200-grit and a 2000 grit wet-and-dry sandpaper available among your other car paint supplies.

These sandpaper items are typically used by car painting DIYers for sanding down the existing paint, removing imperfections, and creating a surface that allows the new paint to adhere properly. Here are 4 life-saving steps to DIY car painting.

Powered Sander

Are you planning on sanding a larger area of your car? For larger areas, or even more extensive paint removal, you should definitely look into purchasing a powered sander. This tool can help significantly cut down on the time that’s spent sanding.

In addition, buying a powdered sander will help you achieve better across the surface – which is especially helpful for whenever you’re working with rougher spots or rusted areas.

Masking Tape & Masking Paper

Have certain areas of your car that don’t need paint? Having masking tape and paper on hand is essential.

By carefully applying the tape to areas like windows, trim, or other parts you don’t want to be painted, you can create crisp, clean lines. Also, masking paper can be used to cover larger areas, providing additional protection against overspray.

Read More: Types of Automotive Paint: What is Best for My Car?

Spray Gun

For a high quality and long-lasting painting job, you’ll need to purchase a good spray gun. A quality spray gun will allow for precise control and even distribution of the paint, resulting in a smooth and professional finish.

Be sure to choose a spray gun that suits your specific needs and the type of paint you’ll be using. Here are some important things to know about auto painting.

Read More: Top Fanatic Colors That Amp the Trendy Look of Your Cars

Air Compressor

The next item in our guide to car paint supplies is an air compressor. In order to power the spray gun, you’ll need an air compressor. The air compressor is what provides a steady flow of compressed air, which atomizes the paint and propels it onto the car’s surface.

Learn about how to effectively paint your car with a compressed air sprayer.

Paint Thinners

Another painting tool you’ll need for your next car painting project is a paint thinner. Paint thinners are solvents that we use to dilute paint and clean up painting equipment. They help achieve the right consistency of paint for spraying and are essential for cleanup.

Different types of auto paint may require specific thinners, so be sure to choose the appropriate one for the paint you’re using. Contact our team for more details.

Buffer

As you’re gathering different car paint supplies, make sure that you have a buffer on hand. A buffer polishes and buffs the painted surface of your car. It also helps remove imperfections and minor scratches, giving your car a showroom-quality finish.

Using the right buffing pads and compounds, you can achieve a high gloss and restore the paint’s original look.

Face Masks, Safety Glasses, & Respirators

Lastly, prior to painting a car, you should make sure that you prioritize your safety. This includes checking that you’re not breathing in harmful fumes and particles while working. We highly recommend that you invest in a few face masks prior to starting your car paint project.

Additionally, safety glasses will help shield your eyes from any potential hazards, such as paint overspray or debris. Take a look at our Gerson blue respirator here.

Car Paint Supplies FAQs

What is the best paint for beginner cars?

Our experts recommend an acrylic urethane paint. This type of paint is pretty forgiving for beginners due to its ease of application and durability. Acrylic urethane offers a good balance between quality and cost, providing a decent finish without requiring advanced skills. Additionally, acrylic urethane is versatile, since it allows for both single-stage (paint and gloss in one) and base-coat, clear-coat applications, making it a practical choice for first-time car painters. Read more here about the benefits, pros and cons, and common questions about urethane paint.

Should I use 400 or 600 grit before paint?

Whether to use 400 or 600 grit sandpaper before painting will depend on the surface condition and the type of paint you’re applying. For rough surfaces or when applying thicker paints, 400 grit can create a suitable surface for good adhesion. For finer finishes or when applying layers like clear coats, 600 grit is preferable as it provides a smoother surface that enhances the final appearance. We recommend that you start with a coarser grit to remove imperfections and finish with a finer grit for a smooth base.

What are the easiest and hardest colors to paint a car?

Typically, the lightest shades of auto paint are the most forgiving of imperfections. For example, especially if you’re a beginner, you’ll have an easier time applying lighter shades such as white or light gray. In addition, these car paint colors require fewer coats. The hardest colors to paint are dark and vibrant hues like black and red. These colors demand meticulous preparation and multiple layers to achieve a uniform appearance, making them more challenging and time-consuming to apply correctly. If you are a DIYer, to help you get started, please read our article on: 6 key tips for how to paint a car.

Which is better 1K or 2K paint?

2K (two-component) paint is generally considered superior to 1K (one-component) paint for automotive applications due to its enhanced durability, chemical resistance, and finish quality. 2K paints require mixing with a hardener or activator, leading to a chemical reaction that results in a harder, more resilient surface. While 1K paints are easier to use and quicker to apply, 2K paints are better for those seeking a professional-grade finish and longer-lasting protection for their vehicle.

What kind of paint do professional car painters use?

Professional car painters often use two-component (2K) polyurethane paints for their superior durability, chemical resistance, and excellent finish. They require mixing with a hardener before application, resulting in a hard, durable surface that is resistant to weathering, chemicals, and UV light. Professionals may also use waterborne paints for base coats due to their lower VOC emissions and excellent color match. However, for the final clear coat, 2K polyurethane is preferred for its high gloss and protective properties.

Guide to Car Paint Supplies: In Conclusion

We hope our guide to car paint supplies has been helpful to you to help you get started!

Planning to paint a car? Here are some helpful automotive paint application methods you can follow. With our wide array of car paints, auto paint kits, and other supplies, you’ll find everything you need to tackle your painting project.

When it comes to auto paint supplies, our company also offers competitive prices and fast, secure shipping, allowing you to get started on your project without delay.

Why Choose Paint for Cars for Auto Paint Supplies?

Since 1998, Paint for Cars has been a trusted provider of high-quality auto paints and automotive body supplies at competitive prices. With a commitment to product quality and customer service, Paint for Cars has earned a reputation for excellence, resulting in the highest word-of-mouth car paint and auto paint supplies sales in its history.

No matter if you’re a professional auto painter or a DIY enthusiast, Paint for Cars is dedicated to supporting you every step of the way! Learn more here about different car paint color trends in the automotive industry to help you get started on color. Or, refer to our automobile color trends and car paint colors for 2023.

Find out why customers trust us for quality paints and auto paint supplies on our About Us page here!

Helpful Articles:

Auto Paint Guide

If you’re brand new to the world of car painting, let our ultimate guide to auto paint be your online resource!

PaintforCars.com offers a wide range of car paint options in terms of choosing the right automotive paint color, finish, and performance that are durable, UV-resistant, and will last for many years to come!

In this in-depth auto paint guide, we will take you on a journey through the history of automotive paint, provide insights on choosing the right type for your vehicle, offer application tips, discuss safety precautions, and explore popular color options for your car.

Auto Paint Guide: Table of Contents

Let’s get started on everything you need to know about auto paint:

Auto Paint Guide

Part 1: The History of Automotive Paint

During the 1950s, auto paint marked a significant shift in the automotive paint industry with the introduction of metallic paints.

This new innovation offered a dazzling and vibrant finish, captivating car enthusiasts around the world. The use of metallic flakes in the paint created a mesmerizing effect that enhanced the overall appearance of vehicles.

Over the years, automotive paint technology has only continued to improve. Especially in recent decades, paint manufacturers have focused on improving durability, weather resistance, and color options.

Today’s auto paints are designed to withstand the elements, maintain their vibrant colors, and provide long-lasting protection to the vehicle’s surface.

Part 2: Choosing the Right Auto Paint

If you’re new to DIY auto painting, you’ll want to have a good idea of the different auto paints that are available in order to achieve the desired look and long-term durability you’re looking for.

Read More: Important Things to Know About Auto Painting

When making your decision, several factors should be considered. These include the:

  • Paint’s durability
  • Application method
  • Color options
  • Finish

Read more here about how to paint a car and 6 professional steps or our crucial tips article to get you started.

The next step in our auto paint guide is to introduce you to the most commonly used types of automotive paints:

Acrylic Lacquer

Acrylic lacquer provides DIY car painting enthusiasts a high-gloss finish that’s relatively easy to apply.

However, it’s important to note that acrylic lacquer has some drawbacks. For example, it tends to be less durable when compared to other options, and also requires more frequent maintenance. Acrylic lacquer is also susceptible to damage from chemicals and UV radiation.

Here are some pros and cons to consider for acrylic lacquer paint:

Pros

  • High-gloss finish
  • Easy application
  • Quick drying solution
  • Good choice for DIY auto paint projects

Cons

  • Less durable and requires more frequent maintenance when compared with other paints
  • More susceptible to damage from chemicals and UV radiation

Acrylic Enamel

Another popular choice for automotive paint enthusiasts is acrylic enamel paint. This auto paint type offers a durable finish and better color retention when compared to lacquer. More on the differences between lacquer and enamel paint here.

However, applying acrylic enamel tends to need overall more skill and experience with painting cars. It’s also worth considering that it has a longer drying time compared to lacquer and often requires additional steps, such as clear coat application, for better results.

Pros

  • Durable finish
  • Better color retention when compared with lacquer
  • Good resistance to UV radiation
  • Lots of color options available

Cons

  • Longer drying time compared to lacquer
  • Requires additional steps and skill for a good application

Paint For Car’s acrylic enamel paint can be found on our Starfire acrylic enamel gallon and single stage acrylic enamel pages.

Urethane

Urethane paints have gained popularity in the automotive industry due to their exceptional durability and resistance to chemicals, weathering, and UV radiation. They offer the benefit of a wide variety of colors and finishes, providing a high-quality, glossy appearance.

However, you should note that professional application is recommended for best results, and it overall tends to be more expensive than other paint types listed here.

Pros

  • Great durability and resistance to chemicals, weathering, and UV radiation
  • Wide variety of colors and finishes available
  • Excellent, high-quality, glossy appearance

Cons

  • Professional application recommended
  • More expensive than other paint types

At Paint For Cars, we offer urethane paint gallons and basecoat Starfire gallons; single stage Urethane, (standard, flat/satin, or high gloss); and two stage Urethane, (basecoat + TCI Clearcoat, basecoat + Starfire Clear, Basecoat + TCI Clearcoat/premium).

For more information about paint types, check out our types of automotive paint: what is best for my car? blog post.

Read More: How to Care for a Fresh Car Paint Job

Part 3: Basic Auto Paint Application Tips

Applying auto paint requires attention to detail and proper technique. Here are some basic tips to follow for a successful paint job:

Surface Preparation

To start, you’ll want to use soap, water, and a sponge to wash off any dirt, grime, and old flakes of paint from your vehicle’s surface. Once it’s dry, grab some sandpaper and gently sand the surface.

This isn’t about making it perfectly smooth but rather creating a texture that the new paint can cling to. Think of it as helping the new paint stick around for a longer time.

Apply the Primer

Now that your car is clean and sanded, it’s time to lay the groundwork with some auto primer. Choose a primer specifically made for vehicles to ensure the best results.

Spray it on evenly and let it dry as per the instructions on the can. This step is vital for a long-lasting paint job, so don’t rush it!

Apply the Paint

Use a high-quality paint gun or sprayer for even and controlled application. Start with a thin, even coat and allow it to dry before applying subsequent coats.

Multiple thin coats provide better results than a single thick coat. For more information, please read more here on auto paint application methods.

Allow Paint to Dry

This might be the hardest part: waiting. But good things come to those who wait, right? Follow the drying times and temperature recommended by the paint manufacturer. This could vary depending on the type of paint and the environment you’re working in.

Also, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area to help the paint dry evenly and prevent any fumes from hanging around.

Apply the Clear Coat

Once your paint is dry, it’s time to seal the deal with a clear coat. This is like the topcoat of nail polish—it adds shine and protects the color beneath.

Apply the clear coat just like you did the paint, in thin, even layers. This will protect your paint against the elements and keep it looking glossy and new for longer.

Buff and Polish

After the clear coat has fully cured, and you’ve given it enough time to harden, it’s time for the final touches. Use a polishing compound and a buffing pad to polish your car to a high shine.

This step is like applying a filter to a photo—it smooths out any imperfections and adds a glossy finish that makes your car look like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

Auto Paint Guide

Part 4: Safety Precautions for Applying Auto Paint

Safety should be a top priority when working with automotive paints. Take the following precautions to protect yourself:

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wear a respirator mask, safety goggles, and gloves to prevent inhalation of harmful fumes and contact with the skin.

Ventilation

Work in a well-ventilated area or use a paint booth to minimize exposure to paint fumes. Adequate ventilation helps to maintain air quality and reduce health risks.

Flammable Materials

Keep flammable materials away from the work area and follow proper storage and disposal practices for paint waste. Store paints in cool, dry areas away from heat sources.

Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe handling and storage of paint products. Use the recommended cleaning agents and solvents for equipment cleanup.

Protective Clothing

Wear appropriate protective clothing, such as coveralls or a paint suit, to prevent overspray on your skin and clothes. This helps minimize skin contact with paint and other chemicals.

Read More: 4 Life-Saving Steps to DIY Car Painting

Antique Gold Metallic

Part 5: Popular Colors for Automotive Paints

The color of your vehicle can make a significant impact on its overall appearance. While color preferences are subjective, certain shades have gained popularity in the automotive world. Read more here on our car paint color trends in the automotive industry.

Here are some of the popular colors used in automotive paints:

Metallic Colors

Pros

  • Offers a dynamic and eye-catching finish, especially under sunlight.
  • Adds depth and vibrancy to the vehicle’s appearance.

Cons

  • Can be more challenging to repair or touch up due to the complexity of the metallic flakes.
  • Requires careful blending for a seamless finish.

Solid Colors

Thanks to its clean and classic appearance, many of our DIY auto paint enthusiasts prefer the look of a solid color paint. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of solid colors and what to expect:

Pros

  • Provides a clean and classic look.
  • Easier to match and repair compared to metallic colors.

Cons

  • May show scratches and imperfections more prominently.
  • Limited in terms of visual effects and depth.

Candy Apple Red

Aqua Pearl 

Pearl Colors

Another automotive paint you can opt for is pearl. This auto paint type offers an appealing, shimmering finish for your car. Let’s take a look at pearl color’s pros and cons:

Pros

  • Offers a shimmering, iridescent effect with a smooth finish.
  • Provides a unique and sophisticated appearance.

Cons

  • Requires skillful application to achieve a uniform and even finish.
  • Can be more expensive compared to solid colors.

Read More: What is Automotive Paint Made Of? 10 Tips to Maintain It

Matte Colors

For a non-reflective look, you should look into matte paints:

Pros

  • Provides a non-reflective, modern, and understated look.
  • Conceals minor imperfections and scratches

Cons

  • Requires special care and maintenance, as matte finishes are more prone to staining and difficult to repair.

Ultimately, the choice of color depends on your personal preference and the style you want to achieve with your vehicle. Consider factors such as the vehicle’s design, your own taste, and current trends in the automotive industry.

Vibrant Lime Green

Why Choose Our Online Auto Paint Store?

When it comes to purchasing auto paint and related supplies, turning to a trusted online auto paint store can offer numerous benefits:

  • Extensive Selection: Paint for Cars provides a wide range of automotive paints, colors, and finishes. In our online store, you can explore a vast inventory and find the perfect match for your project, regardless of your specific requirements.
  • Quality Assurance: Our auto paints are designed to deliver excellent color accuracy and durability. With Paint for Cars, you can have confidence in the quality of the products you purchase.
  • Convenience & Accessibility: Online shopping allows you to browse and purchase automotive paints and supplies from the comfort of your home or workshop. This convenience saves you time and effort compared to physically visiting multiple stores to find the right products.
  • Expert Advice & Customer Support: At Paint for Cars, our knowledgeable staff can provide guidance and recommendations based on your specific needs. Our team offers valuable advice on product selection, application techniques, and troubleshooting.
  • Competitive Pricing & Discounts: Online auto paint stores frequently offer competitive prices, discounts, and promotions. These cost-effective options can help you stay within your budget while still accessing high-quality automotive paints.
  • Reliable Shipping & Delivery: Lastly, Paint for Cars provides reliable shipping and prompt delivery. We ensure that your products are properly packaged and shipped in a timely manner, so you can start your painting project without unnecessary delays.

Contact Us

Paint for Cars is your online resource for auto paint gallons, single stage kits, two stage kits, and auto paint supplies that enhance the appearance of your vehicle, all while its surface from UV rays, the elements, and daily use.

We hope this auto paint guide has helped you better understand the history of automotive paint, how to effectively choose the right type of paint and paint color for your specific needs, following proper application techniques, and more.If you need additional help with how to prioritize safety precautions, or choosing the right paint, our team can help!

We do recommend that you contact us online before giving us a call as we can better serve you that way. Let us help you achieve outstanding results and transform your vehicle with the perfect coat of automotive paint!

Questions? Contact our team or read more about us today!