What are the different types of paint used to paint a car?

by | Jul 7, 2014 | Auto Repair

When Henry Ford, the Dodge Brothers and Lois Chevrolet were producing early automobiles they were painted but in the last hundred years or so auto paint has changed dramatically. Today, those who do auto painting in Sacramento have four different paint types to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

The four types of paint that is being used to paint cars are three different acrylics; lacquer, enamel and urethane and water based paint.

Lacquer is one of the early entrants used for auto painting in Sacramento. Originating in the 1930s it was popular through the 1960s and is still available. Lacquer paint is very inexpensive and is easy for a novice painter to apply and it results in a high gloss. The down side is that it is soft, chips easy and does not tolerate a lot of UV making it rather a short lived solution.

Enamel paints dry hard, making them very much tougher than lacquer. When auto painting in Sacramento is done professionally enamel paint is baked on in a heated bake oven. Enamel paint, although tougher does not lay down as easily as lacquer making them tricky for someone who is not a professional to apply correctly. Visit Frisco Auto Body & Paint for more information.

Urethane paints are somewhat new on the market, they are more expensive and more trouble but they do have the ease of application that one expects with lacquer with the toughness of enamel. The reason why they are more trouble is that they are a three part product; the color, a thinner and a catalyst which accelerates drying time. Once the three components are mixed the painter can waste no time in applying the paint coat and paint that is not used is simply discarded. Although urethane paint is toxic, professionals who do auto painting in Sacramento are fully aware of this and they enter the spray booth with overalls, gloves and a respirator.

The newest automobile paint on the market is non-toxic water based paint. Of all the four types, water based paints are the most versatile; this paint can be applied to bare metal, to primer or over existing paint. Water based paint seems to be the future for automotive coatings but at the moment there are limited colors available so if the objective is to simply repaint a single panel that has been damaged you may have to wait a while as the industry gears up for the future.

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