How to Choose the Right Car Paint for Your Vehicle

Don't underestimate a car's paint color--they can practically change your life. A luxurious car color can make a good impression on your boss so you get that promotion. Silver or white can help you use less fuel for your car's air-conditioner because they help reflect light and heat away. The color yellow attracts more flying insects to your car, which is a big no-no if you're allergic to them in the first place. And yes, white or bright colors make you more visible on the road, which can lessen your chances of getting into an accident.

It's really quite easy to choose the color you want; however, choosing the type of paint that goes along with it is a far more complicated process. Here are ways to help make things easier for you:

1. Choose the right kind of resin.

Paints come in various forms: Urethanes, Enamels, or Lacquers. Urethanes can be durable, although more expensive compared to the glossy Enamels. Lacquers, on the other hand, are often softer, with less chemicals used. This makes them less durable (and therefore more difficult to maintain in the long run). Oftentimes, body shops combine lacquers with enamel as base coat to make the paint more durable.

2. Decide if you need an activator for the paint.

Using the right activator not only starts the paint's drying process, but it can also help make your vehicle's surface look smoother and shinier. There are two kinds of activators:

  • One-part paints that don't need an activator to set
  • Two-part paints that need an activator to bond the paint on the car's surface. It may take more time, but the result is a sleeker appearance.

3. Choose what kind of paint application you want.

There are two ways you can do this: Single-stage paint offers a glossy finish--and you don't need a base coat to apply this on your vehicle, while the Basecoat process have a semi-gloss or matte finish to it and will require a basecoat with pigmented paint when applying on a vehicle.

4. Choose the kind of paint you want.

There are many types of paint in the market right now. However, they all fall in either one of these categories:

  • Solid paints are the standard ones used today; they are inexpensive and easily available.
  • Matte paints don't have any light-reflective properties so they aren't shiny.
  • Pearl paints have a dash of sparkle due to their light-refractive and light-reflective properties.
  • Metallic paints have small fragments of metal to give the paint a more "metallic sheen".

Things to remember


There is a practical side to choosing colors. Make sure to keep these in mind before you decide to splurge your hard-earned money:

  • Black cars are the most difficult to maintain because dirt shows on the surface easily. What's more, black paint--together with the color red--makes swirl marks look more prominent. This can dull the color's paint if you let them remain on the surface for a long time.

  • Gray and black cars are the most difficult ones to spot on roads at night. It's better to choose white or bright color car paints to make them look more visible.
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