What is the Best Auto Paint?


When it comes to the best auto paint, the chooses, topics and process of choosing can be a very confusing. Especially for anyone who isn’t a professional in the industry. It can be overwhelming, from paint choice to environment and everything else under the sun. Which makes it obvious why having your car repainted or touched up can be such an expensive procedure. In order to understand the best auto paint for yourself first you must understand the basics of paint.

Paint Basics

Paint is made up of three things: pigment, binder, and a carrier agent. If you remember from your finger painting days the actual pigment is the color you see- like skin pigment. The binder is what holds the color together, sort of like glue, its a hydrocarbon liquid that hardens when exposed to air. The carrier agent is a solution that keeps the paint in liquid form until it is exposed to the air and applied to the surface.

Automotive Paint

Automotive paints are very different than your average household paint. Not only does it have to bind to a metal surface, it also has to hold up to the harsh environment; rain, sleet, snow, etc. In order to account for these variables, automotive paint is normally made up of three chemical compounds: lacquer, enamel, or urethane.

Lacquer is rare, mainly because its hazardous to spray but it can still be hand-rubbed,  it provides a lot of maintenance and provides a beautiful glossy finish. Still, it does stand the test of time as well as the other two.

Enamels have a softer appeal to them and dry to a glossy finish, also enamels are the less expensive of the three.

Urethane are referred to as the more durable type of paint and typically is used to repair bodywork.

Types of Paint | Single Stage Paint and Two Component

Now that you understand the basics of what paints are made up of it will be easier to understand what type of paints to choose from. Paints are broken into two categories you can single-stage or two-component. Single stage paints are like your more common paints that come out of aerosol-cans. The two are separated by their need to use a dry activator, a single-stage paint does not require a dry activator. Some single-stage paint may require the paint to be diluted into a solvent. A thinner is typical to help the flow of a single-stage paint through a spray gun. Single stage paint dries to a glossy finish and unlike two-stage it doesn’t require a clear coat. Depending on what type of color you choose from you may have to use a base coat for your vehicle.

Do you need a base coat? For your basic primary colors you typically don’t need a base coat. Colors that are of a varying hue do require special attention therefore need a clear coat.Two-component paint products typically require the more desirable paint colors. If you’re looking for a bold or matte finish you will like a two-component paint. The two-component can stay on the shelf for a long time because un-activated two-component paint takes a longer time to settle.

Also see to whats needed to protect your paint: Shine, Polish and Clean

Urethane V.S. Acrylic

The next step to deciding which type of paint will be best for you is Urethane or Acrylic. Unless an individual is interested in metallic paints Urethane or Acrylic are your two options. Urethane is the two stage solvent based paint that gives your vehicle a more versatile look. Urethane has also been described as the more durable option of the two. Although it is consider more dangerous due to chemicals the paint is made up of its still pretty much the industry standard.

Urethane also provides a option of the matte hue that is becoming more and more popular. The matte colors gives your vehicle of a dull more durable appearance. When painting a matte finish vehicle the main benefit is its a single- stage job, it doesn’t require a clear coat. But that also can been a problem if you live in a city where vehicles get scratched very often. As far as application purposes Urethane paint is easier than Acrylic which is good to keep in mind for future touch ups.

Acrylic paint is different from Urethane because its a water-based which means the carrier agent of the paint is water. If you remember before the carrier is how the paint actually adheres to the vehicle and the colors itself. Acrylic paint is less toxic because of this and is consider the safer option of the two. Although some actually refer to this type of paint as soft because its water-based.

Acrylic paints tend to require a longer dry time upwards 24 to 48 hours because its water-based. Both paints can achieve the same results depending on the application. As long as the appropriate clear coat is applied and the drying time has been taken into consideration it always comes down to personal choice for the best auto paint.

Metallic Paint for Cars

If you don’t prefer the traditional Acrylic or Urethane paints, Metallic paints might be more up your alley. Metallic paints provide a shimmering and flamboyant finish that stands out at all times. Metallic paints contain flakes of aluminum which what gives off the sparkling effect. Also, because of this effect, Metallic paint has the properties to divert peoples eyes from small scratches and dings. The reflective shimmers make the paint can appear to stand the test of time better than standard paint colors. Unfortunately, there are a few cons of metallic paint, for instance matching the original color. Once a vehicle is painted in a metallic color the same exact paint must be used every time for touch-ups. Even the smallest scratch or ding will stand out if its covered with the wrong paint. Second besides the very limited selection of colors that come in metallic its also very expensive. Metallic paints are by far the most expensive of them all which is unfortunate for those who are on a budget.

After reading this I hope you can understand the importance of choosing the right paint and paying attention to detail. Ultimately, the idea is to get the best results and save money when researching the best auto paint. If you are a DIY person be sure to find a guide that teaches you the proper steps of applying the paint. As mentioned above it can be very easy to mess it up and make your vehicle unappealing.

See how to wash your ride! with this inforgraphic 

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