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Car Paint

What You Need to Know About the Different Types of Car Paint

car paintWhether you consider getting your car painted by yourself or getting it done by a professional, you have to be in the know of the different types of car paint which are being used in the process. Understanding each type will help you come up with a sound decision and be able to find the type of car paint that will suit your needs.

Before anything else, a primer will be put down first and then you will be able to choose between a base coat, clear coat finish, acrylic lacquer, or some other specialty paints.

Here are a few basic points that you need to know about car paints:



Expect shades of grey or black when talking about primer, and just like when you are painting the walls of a house, the primer is typically used to get a surface ready for painting. Primers are the ones that make a surface ready for painting. Putting on a base or clear coat on a metal surface without covering it with a primer will not make the paint bond or stick consistently. This is the reason why you see flaking and chipping, which is why the primer can also be considered as the binding layer.

Spray paint primers are also available, which are very helpful in keeping the moisture away from the bare metal surface. Painting with moisture is a no-no because it can result in oxidation or rust. For those who don’t like the porous texture of the primer, you can try to sand it down to make a smoother finish.

Base coat

The base coat paints are basically the paints that go on top of the primer layer. You need to remember that base coats do not have any hardeners or strengtheners because they are only raw paints coated on top of a primer. They do not offer any protection and are not typically left there by themselves; otherwise, blemishes can be seen in the paint. When this happens, the moisture will creep in and will eventually result in the rusting on the surface of the frame.

To avoid this from happening, base coats are used together with a clear coat or a urethane base coat. This will provide better and effective protection to the paint, primer, and frame from the elements. It also gives a glossy finish to the paint because of the clear coat. Using a base coat and a clear coat is one of the most common methods for painting a car because when combined, they can make a surface protected while looking shiny at the same time.

Clear coat

Clear coat or clear coat finish is usually placed on top of the base coat and does not normally contain any color. It is because its purpose is not to add any color but to provide protection to the paint underneath and to make it look shiny. Clear coat finishes contain chemicals which make it a lot easier to adhere to certain flexible materials and components.

One of the reasons why paint gets damaged is because of the sun’s UV rays, and that is why clear coat finishes contain UV inhibitors in them. UV inhibitors prevent the color of the vehicle from fading.

Acrylic lacquer

Acrylic lacquers are one of the rarest types of paints because they have already been discontinued by many manufacturers as they are considered to be outdated. Base coats with a clear finish on top will do because they can provide better shine and better protection.

Acrylic lacquers are used on classic and antique cars because these vehicles are not necessarily used in daily driving. You can also see them on showroom vehicles. This type of paint is popular for its ability to provide the most glaring and glossy shine to a vehicle.


Specialty paints are not as rare as acrylic lacquers but they are not as common as clear coats either. Metallic finish paints are also considered specialty paint. They are the ones preferred for the cars used for performance because of the way they provide a more jazzed up and attractive version of a base paint color.