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Paint Supplies You’ll Need to Paint Your Car

In this article, we’ll share our guide to car paint supplies. Is your car showing signs that it needs a new paint job? 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 our guide to car paint supplies, the experts at Paint For Cars 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 for the best car painting results!

1. Primer

One of the most important steps to painting your car is applying the primer, particularly if you’re working with bare metal or repairing damaged areas on the surface of your car.

Auto primer works 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!

Primer products we currently carry include our 5-Star Direct To Metal Self-Etching Primer w/ Reducer and our ProForm DTM Epoxy Primer. We also carry our 1 Gallon Synthetic Enamel Non Sanding Grey Primer, our 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.

2. 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. Learn more here about the 3 best ways to protect your new car paint job.

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

3. Face Masks, Safety Glasses, & Respirators

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.

4. 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.

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.

5. 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.

6. Masking Tape and 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?

7. 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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Buffer

Lastly, 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.

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 being applied. 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.

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. These paints 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. To help you get started, please read our article on: 6 key tips for how to paint a car.

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.

Additionally, 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 Your 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 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.

Read more about us here.

Helpful Articles:

The automotive paints from PaintforCars.com offer a wide range of 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, explore popular colors, and emphasize the benefits of sourcing auto paint from a trusted online store.

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

Copper Metallic Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint Kit

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

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:


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


  • 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.

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.


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


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

More on the differences between lacquer and enamel paint here.


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.


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


  • Professional application recommended
  • More expensive than other paint types

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

Read More: 3 Signs That Your Car Needs a New Paint Job

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

Thoroughly clean the vehicle’s surface to remove dirt, debris, and old paint. Sand the surface to create a smooth and even base for paint adhesion.

Apply the Primer

Apply a primer designed for automotive use to improve paint adhesion and enhance durability.

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.

Allow Paint to Dry

Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions for specific drying times and recommended temperatures. Ensure proper ventilation to aid the drying process.

Apply the Clear Coat

Finish the paint job with a clear coat to provide additional protection and achieve a glossy finish. The clear coat also enhances the longevity of the paint.

Buff and Polish

After the paint has fully cured, use a polishing compound and buffing pads to achieve a smooth and glossy finish.

More here on auto paint application methods.

Ford classic paint restoration

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.


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

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


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


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

Antique Gold Metallic

Solid Colors

Many of our DIY auto paint enthusiasts actually 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:


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


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

Candy Apple Red

Pearl Colors

Another automotive paint you can opt for is pearl. Let’s take a look at pearl color’s pros and cons:


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


  • 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

Aqua Pearl 

Matte Colors

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


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


  • 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

Trusted online stores stock high-quality automotive paints from reputable brands. These 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 and 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 and Customer Support

Reputable online stores often have knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance and recommendations based on your specific needs. They can offer valuable advice on product selection, application techniques, and troubleshooting.

Competitive Pricing and 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 and 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.

Auto Paint Guide: In Conclusion

Paint for Cars is your online resource for auto paint that enhances the appearance of your vehicle, all while its surface from UV rays, the elements, and daily use.

We hope this auto paint guide helped you better understand the history of automotive paint, how to effectively choose the right type of paint for your specific needs, following proper application techniques, and more.

Contact Us

If you need additional help with how to prioritize safety precautions, or choosing the right paint, our team can help!

Take a look at our 6 common auto car paint problems or 5 major threats to your car paint articles for further assistance if you’re experiencing peeling, cracking, or bubbling.

We 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!

Apple Green Urethane Basecoat Clear Coat Kit

Best Type of Paint for Cars

At Paint For Cars, we know from personal and professional experience how exciting it can be to paint your car. However, if you’re new to auto paint, or haven’t done DIY car painting in a long time, you likely are wondering what the best type of paint is for your car.

Among the steps to paint a car, choosing the type or types of automotive paint you want to use is very important. It can be overwhelming and confusing, so let’s talk about the different types of paints.

Types of Auto Paint

Here are some factors you’ll want to take into consideration for the best types of paint for cars:

Factors for Automotive Paint Types:

  • The type of finish you want to achieve,
  • The resources you have access to,
  • Your budget and the reason behind painting your car in the first place.

These are all factors you might want to weigh in before beginning your automotive painting project.

This article has a list of popular automotive paint types and their characteristics. The objective of the article is to define the different types of paints and does not indicate that one paint type is better than the other. This list simply makes your life easier in helping you choose the right type of auto paint based on your requirement and goals for your car paint.

Types of Automotive Paint

There are multiple different types of car paint available, from lacquer to urethane.

Here are the types of car paint you’ll find on the market:

1.    Lacquer Paint

Lacquer paint was extremely popular from the 1920s to the 1960s for its hard and shiny finish. It is also considered the easiest paint to apply, even in cold conditions. Lacquer car paint can be applied in 65 degrees and is a relatively inexpensive cheap option when it comes to auto paint.

Note: Although the paint dries faster, it requires up to eight coats which can eventually add up to longer painting hours and waiting for them to dry can be painstaking. Lacquer auto paint also requires a spray gun and can be challenging to paint in your home garage.

2.    Urethane Paint

Urethane auto paint is popularly used since they are long-lasting and are not prone to chipping. Manufacturers and professionals even use urethane paint to paint engine parts that may get hot easily.

This type of automotive paint dries easily with the help of hardeners and can also be sprayed on other paint types for cover-up jobs. It can give you a hard shiny finish and is also easier to store in a basic garage setup.

Note: Urethane tends to be a more difficult car paint to apply. Since it requires hardeners to dry well, you will need personal protection equipment to protect your lungs, skin and eyes from toxic fumes. It is usually advised to take professional help while painting with urethane.

3.    Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paints are water-based and less toxic when compared to urethane but possess similar characteristics to urethane automotive paints. It gives a glossy finish and is long-lasting. It is also an economic option that can give you a great look for your car.

Types of Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint has 3 types:

Note: Acrylic lacquer does not last long and fades when exposed to the sun for long. Acrylic paints in general take up to 2 days to dry, but does not catch dust or dirt like other paints. Read more about lacquer vs enamel paint here.

Read More: 3 Signs That Your Car Needs a New Paint Job

Copper Metallic Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint Kit

Types of Car Paint Finishes

Now, let’s go over common car paint finishes:

4.    Metallic Paint

Perhaps you enjoy the glossy, upscale look of metallic paint. Metallic auto paint gives a glossy look and is mostly used on athletic and sports cars. One of the reasons why we recommend metallic paint is because it’s extremely shiny and reflective in nature, making it a great option for hiding blemishes or minor scratches.

Metallic paint is also good for high resale value. As such, they are considered a high-end paint product on the market and, likewise, are more expensive than other paints.

Note: In case of a big dent or ding, metallic paint can be a lot more challenging to patch up as they need to be matched well. They also have limited color options.

5.    Matte Paint

Matte finishes are trending, especially among luxury cars today. They give a flat look instead of a glossy finish, which some car owners prefer. In addition, matte car paints have a tendency to make your car look great irrespective of the weather.

Note: Matte paints are a bit on the expensive side and are also high maintenance. They require specific care and products that are easier and non-reactive on the surface. They are also not great at hiding scratches like glossy paints.

6.    Pearlescent Paint

Pearlescent paints are similar to metallic paints. The aluminum powder in metallic paints is replaced with mica or ceramic crystals, which not only reflects the light, it also refracts it. This makes the car look colorful at different angles and gives it a dazzling look in the sun.

Note: Pearlescent paints are hard to repair. They also are as expensive as metallic paints and are also difficult to repair.

Check out some color trends for your car here.


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

Types of Auto Paint FAQs

What are the different types of auto paint?

There are several different types of auto paint. These include: urethane, acrylic enamel, acrylic lacquer, and acrylic urethane. The different car paint finishes include: solid, metallic, matte, and pearlescent.

What is the easiest auto paint to use?

The easiest auto paint to apply is acrylic urethane. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you should know that it’s relatively easy to apply, and is durable and long-lasting. As a result, acrylic urethane is likely to not create many problems while applying.

What is the best type of auto paint?

Overall, the best type of auto paint is urethane. When compared to water-based acrylic paints, urethane paints are much more durable. Overall, urethane paints provide excellent resistance against chipping, dings, and UV rays. Not only that, but they also provide a nicer-looking finish.

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

Types of Automotive Paint: In Summary

With this idea of which car paint does what, you can easily choose which paint type to go with for your car. At the end of the day, the finish and look of your car will mirror your personality and individuality.

By weighing your options, your car paint goals can start getting real. Let Paint For Cars help you make your decision of which auto paint to choose!

Read More: DIY Car Paint & Paint Equipment

Contact Paint For Cars

If you are looking for metallic paints, urethane paints, acrylic enamel paints, paint kits, two stage and single stage paint products, etc., look no further than Paint For Cars! Our team can also serve as a resource for you to better understand different auto paint application methods, common auto car paint problems and cures, how to effectively protect your new car paint job, and more.

Still deciding on your automotive paint type? Contact Paint For Cars at 732-600-9770 to help you to choose from the various types of automotive paint.


Auto Paint Application Methods

Is it time for a new car paint job? Auto paint application involves several stages and follows a series of procedures under controlled environments to ensure a sleek finish. All automotive paint types follow similar procedures with slight variations.

Experts first begin by arranging the body parts which is in the form of metal sheets into a temporary assemblage. This is usually called the body in white (BIW), which is painted and baked in controlled temperatures and undisturbed surroundings.

Ready to choose the right automotive paint color for your car? Check out all our auto paint gallon products here. Paint For Cars, in business since 1998, is your online source for automotive paint kits and supplies.

Read More: 6 Key Tips for How to Paint a Car

Common Steps for Auto Paint Application

The common steps for auto paint application on the BIW are:

1. Surface Preparation

To start, first ensure that the auto paint adheres to the substrate. In order to do that, the BIW must be washed with high-pressure water jets to remove all impurities such as oil, grease, chalk, and ink marks from the substrate surface. Also, prior to applying the paint, you’ll need to remove any rust, sanding, cleaning, and will need to prime of the surface to ensure good adhesion of the paint.

2. Priming

The next step is priming the surface of the car. Just before a paint layer is applied, the BIW is dipped in a primer solution for even application of the primer. The primer is essential to create an even surface including microscopic textures for the following coats and also is used to protect the BIW from rusting.

3. Base Coat Application

Next is the base coat application. Usually, 3 coats of the base coat are needed for a rich deposition of the pigment onto the BIW. Each layer is dried thoroughly before painting a new layer on top. The base coat dries to a flat finish in most paint types.

4. Clear Coat Application

The base coat is concentrated with pigments and is prone to attack by UV and other chemicals. The clear coat is a clear lacquer layer that is applied to the base coat to protect the pigments and to provide a glossy finish to the BIW.

Our Two Stage Kits include Basecoat + Clearcoat products are easy to apply. If you’re looking for the best type of paint for your car, take a look at our article here.

Types of Automotive Paint

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

3 Auto Paint Application Techniques

The process of paint application is the same for almost all paint types. Depending on the paint manufacturers and the nature of the paint and finish required, there are various paint application techniques that are widely used in the auto paint industry.

Choosing the right paint application method can be based on your budget constraints, the kind of finish you require for your car and the resources you have access to for completing the paint job efficiently. Check out our Single Stage Automotive Paint Kits to see all our fast-drying auto paint application options.

Auto Paint Application #1: Spraying

Spraying is the most economical and preferred technique for auto paint application. It has different types of spraying methods that are predominantly used in the industry. Below are the different types of auto paint application methods:

Air Atomized Spray

This is a conventional spraying technique that’s used across the industry for its flexibility in the application. With this auto painting method, the setting for the spray gun can be adjusted based on the requirements. The pressurized mist is sprayed onto the substrate evenly and works effortlessly for paint application. As this technique uses compressed air mixed with liquid paint to produce a pressured mist, it can be hazardous for workers increasing harmful airborne chemicals content. For your protection, ensure you maintain a ventilated environment for working with this technique!

Airless Spray

The paint is directly forced out of a narrow opening to create pressure, without using compressed air. This technique requires precision and skill, but does not cause loss of material like the Air Atomized spraying technique does. This method is often used for larger auto paint jobs and provides a more efficient and cost-effective alternative when compared with traditional spray painting.

Electrostatic Spray

This technique requires expertise and precision, but is highly efficient in saving material loss and even coating. The paint particle is charged with high voltage which is attracted to the body part with increased transfer efficiency. This is a modern technique that requires expert assistance as it can cause fire hazards in uncontrolled environments. It can also be used only with specific paints with specific compositions with a specific conductivity.

High Volume, Low Pressure

This method offers higher transfer efficiency. HVLP equipment propels large quantities of low-pressure air to the gun applicator and yields lesser overspray and blowback, reducing the amount of wasted paint. HVLP spraying is a good choice since it is a more environmentally friendly option than traditional spray painting. It’s also great for producing a high-quality, smooth finish.

Read More: 6 Common Auto Car Paint Problems & Cures

Auto Paint Application #2: Brushing

With this traditional paint application method, the paint is brushed onto the substrate using a brush.

This is usually used to repair finishes and not to paint the entire body of the car. Keep in mind that this method has a risk of uneven surfaces and brush strokes to the finished surface, which may not look as smooth as an air spray or dipping finish.

In addition, this is a slower process than spray painting.

However, it can be useful for small touch-up jobs in smaller areas, or for applying paint in hard-to-reach areas of your vehicle.

Read More: 5 Major Threats to Your Car Paint

Auto Paint Application #3: Dipping

Lastly, let’s talk about dipping.

Dipping is an auto paint application method predominantly used to coat the entire area of a body part. This technique requires the least expertise – the part is simply dipped in a primer solution or a coating solution and taken out and hung to dry.

The larger parts require larger tanks for dipping which is the major drawback of the method.

Dipping is best suited to apply protective layers on smaller parts.

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

Summary of Auto Paint Application

Is your car showing signs of needing a new paint job? Various auto paint application techniques have evolved over time with new paint compositions and advancements.

Using the right application method that fits right into your requirements and budget, nature of the finish, type of paint and coat can greatly improve and enhance your overall automotive paint job.

If applicable (your vehicle was in an accident), here are 3 things to know before approaching your insurance company for a repainting.

Contact Us

Read more on the different types of auto paint or crucial painting tips here. Or, shop Paint For Cars online to get great competitive prices on quality car paint!

As always, please reach out to our knowledgeable team with questions about auto paint application.

Further Reading:

DIY Car Paint & Paint Equipment

Are you a vintage car collector that’s interested in auto paint? Or does your car need a new paint job and you’re looking for a new color?

This article is a brief on the popular automotive paints and their composition and some bonus tips about auto painting and preserving your car paint efficiently.

What is Automotive Paint Made Of?

Auto paint – also called automotive paint or car paint – is a type of paint specifically designed for use on cars. It is made up of several key components. These usually include a resin or binder, pigment, solvent, and various additives.

Types of Automotive Paints


The resin is the main component of the automotive paint. Resin acts as a binding and protective property in the paint. Usually, resin can be made from a variety of materials such as urethane, acrylic, or polyester.


Another key component to auto paint are pigments. Pigments are important since they provide color to the automotive paint. Additionally, pigments in car paint can be made from natural or synthetic sources.


Next, solvents are used to thin the paint to a workable consistency and evaporate as the paint dries, leaving behind the resin and pigment.


Lastly, additives are included in automotive paint to help improve the performance of the paint overall. This includes strengthening its durability, improving the quality of the gloss, or boosting resistance to fading and chipping.

From the resin and pigments, to the solvents and other additives, the composition of auto paint is carefully balanced to meet the specific requirements of the automotive industry. Quality components such as these ensure that the car’s surface is resistant to extreme temperatures, weathering, and impact.

Read More: Trends for Popular Auto Paint Color

1K & 2K Auto Paints

Most automotive paints are water-based compositions that are designed to fix themselves to a substrate, in this case, the car body. It is composed of polyurethane- enamel which helps to protect the car body from environmental damage like rust.

1K Auto Paints

There are different types of automotive paint classified based on their composition. First, let’s talk about 1K auto paints.

1K paints indicate paints that do not require catalysts or hardeners to dry.

2K Auto Paints

Meanwhile, 2K paints are mixed with a hardener or activator to dry and are effective against UV, weather damage and chemical effects.

Depending on the paint application technique, there can be a varied number of stages for painting a car. Most modern automotive paint jobs use multi-stage paint applications for better results and long-lasting gloss and shine.

Find out the best types of paint for your car here!

Types of Auto Paint

Maintaining Your Auto Paint

Watching your dream car roll out looking like eye candy and everything you imagined it to be, can give you an amazing rush and thrill. To ensure that your car continues to look like that you need to maintain your car’s auto paint.

Maintaining your automotive paint efficiently is less complicated and effortless when you know what your paint is made of and what it needs to stay fresh and new for longer periods.

Now that we’ve discussed what automotive paint is made of, now let’s talk about 10 care tips for maintaining your auto paint!

10 Auto Paint Tips

Car care techniques must be carefully curated based on the type of paint used. Periodic maintenance and preservation steps can help keep your car paint protected from damage and deterioration in quality and looks.

Here are 6 common auto car paint problems and cures to look out for. It is very important to weigh in multiple factors that can affect paint efficiency and take necessary steps to avoid iron fallout and dulling of paint:

1. Wash it Regularly and Thoroughly

Preferably, you should do this using a high-pressure wash. Make sure to wash the nooks and corners of the car and remove dust, dirt, grime, etc.

2. Remove Dirt and Muck Immediately

Next, you’ll want to remove any dirt from the paint surface. Substances like tree gum or sap, bird droppings, and insects if left for too long on the paint surface or if it dries on it, can lead to corrosion and create cracks in the paint. It can also make the paint turn dull which can’t be reversed. Use a good cleaner to remove filthy much immediately and ensure to not leave any residue. Read more here about the 5 major threats to your car paint.

3. Be Quick to Treat Minute Scratches or Dents.

The next step is to make sure to take care of any scratches, scuffs, dings, or dents caused by keys or tiny stones while running. Take expert advice in treating such minute blemishes to keep the car body from rusting.

4. Ensure that the Painting & Finishing Processes Are Performed Under Controlled Conditions

When waxing or polishing the surface of the car, be sure to perform these under controlled conditions. To ensure you do this correctly, follow guidelines specified by the manufacturer for maximum effects and minimal mistakes that may cost you in the long run.

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

5. Clean Up Issues Like Bird Droppings & Tree Sap

Bird droppings or tree sap, if not cleaned properly or treated on time, can lead to permanent damages to the car paint. To avoid this, be sure to clean bird droppings with plenty of water. Tree sap must be thoroughly removed and must not be directed to sunlight when it is in contact with the paint surface as it can lead to cracks and chipping.

6. Every Six Months Use Wax Polish

Twice a year, you should maintain the shine and glossy finish. Use paint cleaner, sealants, and polish for old cars to ensure that the surface is even. Light lacquer cleaning and paint polish are recommended by experts every three years for maintaining a smooth, even finish.

7. Use a Clean, Soft Cloth to Dry the Car

Once finished with washing the car’s surface, you’ll want to use a soft, clean cloth to dry the car. This helps to avoid watermarks from appearing on its surface.

8. Use a Polishing Paste to Quickly Fix Small Scratches

Another tip is to be sure to also polish the surface as soon as possible. In case of deep scratches, use a wax crayon as a quick fix which can act as a protective layer. But this can wear off with a few washes.

9. Perform a Touch-Up Job for Deep Scratches With Exposed Bare Metal

In the case of deep scratches that have exposed bare metal, a touch-up job is required. This can prevent the metal from exposure to harmful substances that can cause rusting.

10. Spray Multiple Layers for Large Amounts of Damage

Lastly, whenever there are big changes, you’ll need to resolve these by spraying multiple layers of the topcoat and finishing it with a polish.

Read More: 6 Key Tips for How to Paint a Car


We hope this article has been informative to help you know what automotive paint is made of and maintenance tips for how to apply properly. For more info, please visit our crucial tips post.

Automobile paint can be easily affected by environmental stresses and regular wear and tear from usage. By taking care of it and periodically monitoring its health, you can save big bucks in the future and protect your car from the biggest hazard: corrosion.

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

Adhering to manufacturer’s guidelines and professional advice to maintain car paint can make your job easier as a car owner and admirer.

Contact Us

Questions? The helpful staff at Paint for Cars is here to help! Contact our team here today for more information about auto paint maintenance or choosing a car paint color for your automobile! At Paint for Cars, we are your source for automotive paint kits and supplies!

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