One of the most popular car paints available on the market today is urethane paint. Because of its durability, versatility, and excellent color retention, it is a favorite auto paint solution for many DIY enthusiasts.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using urethane paint for cars, answer some common questions, and also discuss its main pros and cons.

Benefits of Using Urethane Paint

Here are some reasons why we recommend urethane car paint for your DIY painting project:


To start, urethane is highly durable and resistant to scratches, chipping, and fading. This makes it an ideal choice for cars that are frequently driven and exposed to the elements.

Color Retention

Along those lines, urethane paint is also known for its excellent color retention. This means that the color of your car will stay vibrant and bright for years to come. At Paint for Cars, our urethane paints provide UV resistance to maintain the colors for the best long-lasting results!


It’s also worth noting that urethane car paint is very versatile. This means that urethane paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, and fiberglass. As a result, urethane is an excellent choice for painting cars with a variety of materials.

High Gloss Finish

Urethane paint produces a high gloss finish that looks fantastic on cars, giving them a sleek and polished appearance. At Paint for Cars, we have more than 39 colors that produce a gorgeous high gloss finish that you’ll enjoy for years to come!

Common Questions About Urethane Paint

Here are some of the most common questions we get about urethane car paint:

Does urethane paint need clear coat?

Urethane does not necessarily require a clear coat, but adding one can provide additional benefits. For example, a clear coat can help enhance the gloss and protection of the paint, making it more resistant to UV rays, chemicals, and scratches.

It also helps to prevent the color from fading or oxidizing over time. However, adding a clear coat may not be necessary depending on the specific application.

Our Metallic Blue Urethane Basecoat Clear Coat Car Paint Kit w/ Starfire Clear Coat

Which auto paint is better: enamel or urethane?

When comparing enamel paint with urethane, note that it’s overall less expensive and easier to apply. However, it is less durable and has poorer color retention compared to urethane paint.

Urethane paint, on the other hand, while being more expensive and also more difficult to spray, does provide a more durable and longer-lasting finish. Additionally, urethane provides better color retention than enamel.

Ultimately, the choice between enamel and urethane paint will depend on the specific needs and budget of the car owner. Read more here about urethane vs enamel paint.

Should you sand between coats of urethane paint?

Yes, we recommend that you sand between the coats to ensure proper adhesion and a smooth finish. Sanding helps to remove any imperfections, such as dust or debris, that may have settled on the surface during painting. It also helps to create a rough surface that the subsequent coat can adhere to better.

The specific grit of sandpaper to use between coats of urethane paint depends on the specific application and the type of paint being used. Contact our team for more details on sanding between coats.

How many coats of urethane paint should I apply?

You should apply two to three coats of a single-stage urethane paint to achieve the desired color and coverage. The number of coats required depends on the color of the paint, the specific application, and the skill of the painter.

Applying too many coats can lead to excessive thickness, which can cause the paint to crack or peel over time. Meanwhile, applying too few coats can result in poor coverage and an uneven finish. Always be sure to follow the application instructions on the label of the paint product you receive.

How long does urethane paint take to set?

Our paints take approximately 30 minutes to be dust free, 45-60 minutes to clear, and 4-6 hours to be tack free. Make sure you allow 24 hours to pass prior to sanding. Also allow 7-10 days for the paint to be fully cured, buffed, and polished.

Remember that rushing the drying process can lead to poor adhesion, bubbling, or cracking of the paint.

The Pros and Cons of Urethane Paint

Lastly, let’s go over some pros and cons of urethane that you should know:

Example of Our Beautiful High Gloss Finish


  • Durability: One of urethane paint’s greatest strengths is its durability. For example, it is highly resistant to scratches, chips, and fading. Additionally, urethane can be exposed to harsh weather conditions and regular wear and tear.
  • Resistance to Chemicals: Urethane paint is highly resistant to chemicals or other things in the environment. For example, it can resist damage from acid rain, bird droppings, tree sap, and other environmental factors that can harm the paint.
  • Color Retention: As we mentioned earlier, urethane has excellent color retention. As a result, the color will stay vibrant and bright for years to come. This is due to its high pigment density and UV inhibitors which protect against sun damage.
  • Versatility: Urethane paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including metal, plastic, and fiberglass.
  • High Gloss Finish: Lastly, our paints produce a high gloss finish that looks fantastic on cars, giving them a sleek and polished appearance. The finish is smooth and reflective, making the car look brand new and adding value to its overall aesthetic.


  • More Expensive: Urethane paint is more expensive than other types of automotive paint. The cost is due to its high quality and durability, as well as the equipment and safety measures required for proper application.
  • Requires Proper Equipment & Safety Measures: In addition, this paint type requires specialized equipment and safety measures, such as protective clothing, ventilation, and a spray gun. This can make it challenging for DIY painters to use, and it may require hiring a professional for proper application.
  • Harder to Apply: Urethane paint requires a skilled hand and experience to apply correctly. The paint is sensitive to temperature and humidity, and it can be challenging to achieve a smooth and even finish without experience.
  • Takes a While to Dry and Cure: Lastly, urethane can take a long time to dry and cure fully, which can be frustrating for those who want to finish the job quickly. The drying time can vary based on temperature and humidity, and rushing the process can lead to poor adhesion and finish quality.

Despite these drawbacks, this paint type remains a popular choice for automotive painting due to its many benefits. Its durability, versatility, and high gloss finish make it a top choice for those looking for a long-lasting paint job on their car.

Our Urethane Paint Products

So now that we’ve covered many common questions and pros and cons to urethane paint, let’s discuss how Paint For Cars can help you achieve your car painting goals. We have several urethane auto paint kits available:

Auto Paint Gallons

Our auto paint gallon products (Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint – Starfire Gallons and Basecoat – Starfire Gallons) consist of a premium, single-stage OEM/refinishing system which gives you an excellent, long-lasting gloss and durability in an easy-to-apply single-stage package.

These Hawthorne Starfire Urethane Acrylic products are a state-of-the-art, 2.8 VOC formulation that offers excellent resistance to solvents, chemicals, gasoline, UV fading, chipping, and scratches.

Single Stage Kits

Need a urethane single stage kit for your project? Let Paint For Cars be your source for Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint Kits – Starfire, Flat or Satin Finish, and High Gloss – Xtreme single stage kits.

Our single stage acrylic urethane auto paints deliver on premium quality. In fact, each single-stage refinishing system provides excellent gloss and durability! Experience an easy-to-apply, OEM quality, economical, single-stage automotive paint package!

Two Stage Kits

We are also your source for two stage kits! Browse our good quality Basecoat + TCI Clearcoat kits, our improved Basecoat + Starfire Clear products, or our best, most premium Basecoat + TCI Clearcoat paints.

Our Starfire urethane basecoat products are of superior quality, and both meet and exceed OEM quality finishes. For your convenience, each two stage kit includes what is necessary for its application: from paints and reducers to sticks and the dust mask.

Why Choose Paint for Cars for Urethane Paint?

Paint For Cars has been a trusted source for high-quality auto paints and automotive body supplies since 1998. Our commitment to continuous improvement in product quality and customer service has earned us the highest word-of-mouth car paint sales in our history. Additionally, our team can also give you pointers on how to paint your car.

If you’re looking for car paints and other supplies, Paint For Cars is your go-to online source. We offer a wide selection of products at competitive prices, and our FAST and SECURE shipping ensures that your order arrives on time and in excellent condition.

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