What You Need To Know About Automotive Paints

May 25th, 2022 by

Car Paint 101

Car Paint 101

There are many instances in which you want to know about automotive paint in more detail. You might be picking out a new car or considering changing the color and finish of your current vehicle.


Just like when painting a wall that seems smooth, a primer is the best way to guarantee a lasting, consistent, and strongly adhered finish on your vehicle. Primers are often grey or black in color. Primers can help protect the metal body of the car from rust and oxidation. Primers possible flaking of the base coat, and possible flaking or chipping.

Base Coat

This stage is where you apply the desired color of the vehicle. While solid color paint seems to be the standard some drivers want a little more pizzaz. Metallic and pearlescent paint are two more options for base coats. Metallic paint has a small amount of metal powder usually, aluminum, added to the pigment. The small metals reflect light to deliver an increase in shine and emphasize the shape and curves of the vehicle. Pearlescent automotive paint also has additives but instead of metal, ceramic mica powder is added to the paint. These mica crystals not only reflect light but refracts light as well. This results in a more dynamic color expression. The Base coat however is not the finishing touch. Base coats do not always contain hardeners or have properties that significantly resist chips and scratches from daily use.

Clear Coat

The final part of the painting process is the clear coat. The clear coat is also the protective coat that shields the base, prime, and metal from the outside environment. Clear coats are chemically formulated to withstand UV light and when cured have a hard surface to resist scratches and chips.

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