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Best Type of Paint for Cars

Looking for the best type of paint for cars? Among the steps to paint a car, choosing the type or types of automotive paint you want to use is very important.

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 type of auto paint based on your requirement and goals for your car paint.

Types of Auto Paint

Types of Automotive Paint

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. It can be applied in 65 degrees and is additionally a cheap option.

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 as they are long-lasting and are not prone to chipping. Manufacturers and professionals even use it 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.

As Urethane automotive paint 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 do not catch dust or dirt like other paints.

Types of Automotive Paint

4.    Metallic Paint

Metallic paint gives a glossy look and is mostly used on athletic and sports cars. Metallic paint is extremely shiny and reflective in nature and is best to hide blemishes or minor scratches when on the run.

Metallic paints also gold high resale value and are considered high-end paint in the market and are expensive than other paints. In case of a big dent or dong, metallic paints 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 paints are trending especially among luxury cars today. They give a flat look instead of a glossy finish. They have the tendency to make your car look great irrespective of the weather.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Common Steps for Auto Paint Application

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

  1. Preparation – To ensure that the paint adheres to the substrate, the BIW must be washed with high-pressure water jets to remove all impurities like oil, grease, chalk and ink marks from the substrate surface.
  2. Priming – 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 – 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 and are easy to apply.

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.

Types of Automotive Paint

3 Auto Paint Application Techniques

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 used across the industry for their flexibility in the application. 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. Ensure to maintain a ventilated environment for working with this technique.
  • Airless Spray – The paint is directly forced out of a narrow opening to create pressure. This technique requires precision and skill but does not cause loss of material like in Air atomized spraying technique.
  • 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 offers higher transfer efficiency. HVLP equipment propels large quantities of low-pressure air to the gun applicator and yields lesser overspray and blowback.

Auto Paint Application #2: Brushing

The paint is brushed onto the substrate using a brush. This is usually used to repair finishes and not to paint the entire body part. It 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. This is usually used for painting smaller areas.

Auto Paint Application #3: Dipping

Dipping is predominantly used to coat the entire area of a body part and 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. It is most suited to apply protective layers on smaller parts.


Various 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. Read more on the different types of auto paint here. Shop Paint For Cars online to get great competitive prices on quality car paint!

What is Automotive Paint Made Of & Top Tips

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 both in the hood and the exteriors.

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. This article has a brief on the popular automotive paints and their composition and some bonus tips to preserve your car paint efficiently.

Types of Auto Paint

What is Automotive Paint Made Of?

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.

10 Care Tips for Automobile Paint

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. 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.

10 Auto Paint Tips:

  1. Wash it regularly and thoroughly, preferably with 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 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.
  3. Be quick to treat minute scratches 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 and finishing processes like waxing and polishing are done under controlled conditions specified by the manufacturer for maximum effects and minimal mistakes.
  5. Tiny problems caused by fly’s footprints, bird droppings or tree sap if not cleaned properly or treated on time can lead to permanent damages. Clean bird droppings with plenty of water and 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 to 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 after washing and avoid creating watermarks on the surface.
  8. Use a polishing paste to quickly fix minute scratches. 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. With deep scratches which expose bare metal, a touch-up job is required. This can prevent the metal from exposure to harmful substances that can cause rusting.
  10. Big damages must be rectified by spraying multiple layers of the topcoat and finishing it with a polish.

Summing Up Auto Paint Tips

We hope this article has been informative to help you know what is automotive paint made of and tips for how to apply properly.

Automobile paint can be easily affected by environmental stresses and regular tear and wear from usage. By taking care of it and periodically monitoring its health, can save big bucks in the future and protect your car from the biggest hazard: corrosion. Adhering to manufacturer’s guidelines and professional advice to maintain car paint can make your job easier as a car owner and admirer.

Car paint geeks around the world will agree that automotive painting is an art and requires skill and expertise while getting the job done perfectly. However, everyone, expert or not, can make mistakes. While these mishaps and blunders may not necessarily be the painter’s fault, they could be due to other factors like the working environment, paint, composition, surface texture, etc.

Factors like humidity, temperatures, dry times, and the film thickness can influence the overall quality of the paint and its finish. There could be times when no amount of precision or care is enough for a blemish-free paint job.

Six common problems you could encounter while painting your car and their fixes are mentioned below to make your life easier.

1.    Peeling

This appears after you spray or paint the primer or paint on the surface. It appears like small craters or circular dips.

This usually occurs when the surface has been contaminated with wax, silicone, grease or oil.

To avoid this, thoroughly degrease or remove wax from the surface before going for the primer or paint. Using a fisheye eliminator can also help.

2.    Cracking

Long or shorter lengths of cracks can be seen on the paint wither while painting on a cracked surface or if the undercoat or topcoat film is too thick.

It can also happen when there is too much hardener in the paint composition.

The only way to fix it is by stripping the paint and redoing it to finish.

3.    Bubbling

Sometimes, tiny air bubbles in the paint can rise to the top and pop resulting in small craters. Adjust the spray gun settings to the appropriate pressure and spray the paint from a specific distance from the surface.

You can fix air trapping and bubble problems by sanding the spot with 1200 grit sandpaper and then polishing it.

4.    Fading or dulling

You may have noticed a loss of gloss or dieback after completing your paint job. This could be due to multiple reasons.

Some of the common reasons for dull appearance is contaminated hardener, porous primer, when solvent from topcoat attacks primer, uneven temperature of the environment, very thin topcoats. It can also occur with some metallic basecoats.

To prevent this, you must ensure to use fine sanding paper, increase topcoat thickness, provide even baking temperatures, and seal solvent sensitive primers like lacquer.

To fix dulling or fading, buff the surface and polish and if it is extremely dull, sand and refinish.

5.    Orange Peeling

After painting, the uneven texture of the finished surface may resemble an orange peel. This is the most common problem that can happen when painting a car.

This is caused when the paint is under thinned or is sprayed at low pressures. It can also happen when the environment is too hot while painting and baking. Very rarely, it happens when too many heavy coats are applied.

To avoid the orange peel effect, use paint mixing and thinners as instructed by the manufacturer. Use spray gun settings that are appropriate and schedule your painting sessions when the weather conditions are not too hot.

To fix orange peel, sand and buff using mild polish for enamel coats and use a compound for lacquer. In case of extreme conditions, sand the surface till it is smooth and re-spray the topcoat.

6.    Chipping off

Sometimes, small paint portions may chip off from the surface due to a lack of adhesion.

This can happen when the metal is not treated properly, improper mixing of paint components, when cleaning or preparation of the surface is done poorly or when a good sealer is not used in the process.

To avoid paint chipping off, make sure to measure and mix the paint components thoroughly, and use compatible products as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Degreasing the substrate and using proper metal conditioners can also help with chipping.

The only way to fix it is by removing paint from a larger area near the chipped area, smoothening the surface by sanding, preparing the metal and then refinishing.

Summing Up

Automobile paint jobs can be challenging when proper conditions and expertise are not available. Mishaps when painting a car is normal and every problem has a solution that does not require stripping off the paint of the entire car. This article has insights on the most common problems and ways to avoid them or fix them with simple yet efficient solutions.

For a lot of people, it is not an uncommon decision to choose to paint your own car when necessary. There are attractive options in the market today for car painting and many supplies have made this process easier. While you can always get this done from an expensive garage, you might want to consider doing this by yourself. This not only allows you to save up a ton on costs but also lets you customize your painting experience. You can go about the paintwork the way you want.

Once you hire professionals to color your automobile, it may be rather costly. If you get it performed well, it will cost you big bucks. You might be able to save a lot of cash by doing it personally. While this seems like a daunting challenge, handling paintwork is quite easy a task that you are fully capable of taking care of.

Coloring an automobile personally is expensive by itself. In general, painting your personal vehicle costs approximately $200 but there are ways for you to reduce this cost.

Try ‘Do It Yourself’

The most cost-effective approach to save money on car body painting is doing it yourself. It will not only save you money but will also give you the creative liberty you desire. The issue is that doing a fine job on an automobile requires both time and experience. For example, you’ll have to build a car paint booth. This is completely doable, and you will possibly manage it in a few bucks, but it will require time and dedication. Doing it all by yourself is usually not the best option if you need your car to be on the road soon.

Otherwise, you simply need to buy the bare necessities. You may even lease a spray gun if you need one, avoiding the cost of purchasing one. You may, however, get one at a reasonable price if you wish to buy it nevertheless.

Prepare in Advance

When it is about car body painting, proper preparation is crucial. You must already have mended any sections that require it and filled any dents with the filler. Allow plenty of time for the filler to settle before sanding it smooth. Remove any dust with the help of sanding with a wet towel. Don’t rush your preparations. The stronger the connection to the paint, the smoother the final finish, and the better your surface will turn out. Make sure the top is as smooth as possible by going over it again and again.

The Primer Talk

Choose between using urethane primer and epoxy primer. Each of these choices come with their own set of benefits. An epoxy primer will provide a far better seal with minimal applications compared to a urethane primer. This might help you cut back on both time and money when it comes to car body painting.

Get to the Painting

The painting step is the most vital when it comes to the success of your DIY painting project. Car body painting is one such place in which you should not strive to save money. Purchase the finest paint you can get your hands on and apply many coats. If you get trapped with the idea of trying to save money by using less, the finish will be compromised in terms of depth. Moreover, it will not last as long. You can save money in other ways, including building your own vehicle paint booth out of PVC plastic and poles.

Practice operating a spray gun well in advance before you start spraying. It is important you become an expert in it. This way you will be more confident when you go into the job.

If you have been worried about a car that needs a re-paint, you can also take the hassle-free route and take the professional way out. A vast majority of individuals, on the other hand, are on a tight budget and must save money. That is why they accomplish it with DIY car body painting.


Overall, it is quite easy to get started on your car painting experience with these helpful tips. There are many DIY supplies promoted by automobile brands that offer all kinds of materials for you to enhance this experience. If it is your first time doing so, be sure to go by the book and refer to helpful videos and tutorials. Remember to be careful at each step so you don’t end up increasing your work.