Different Paint Types And Finishes That Work Best For Your Car

Different Paint Types And Finishes That Work Best For Your Car

  • There are many different types of paint, so the first thing to do is decide on your colour, whether it's a new colour or an existing one.
  • The next step is to decide what type of paint and finish you want.
  • These details are essential whether you are going to paint the car yourself or you're using a professional company.

Different Chemical Make-Ups


  • Urethane is long-wearing and is highly resistant to stone chips and colour fading for over ten years. This paint also allows you to use on top of any existing paint.  
  • Urethane doesn't tend to run when you apply unlike some enamel paints and is also quick drying.
  • Urethane paint is more expensive than the standard enamel paint.  
  • Urethane is a high-quality paint and is an excellent alternative to lacquer. However, ensure this is absolutely the right paint for your car as lacquer cannot be painted onto urethane paint.
  • We wouldn't recommend using urethane if you're painting the car yourself as it could be a little difficult and you could end up in a bit of a mess.

Acrylic Enamel

  • Acrylic enamel is very long-lasting as it creates a durable cover on the painted surface.  
  • The two different enamel paints are single-stage and two-stage, where single-stage enamel paint uses a clear coat and base coat mix together that enables you to apply just one layer.
  • In contrast, two-stage enamel paint requires the clearcoat and the basecoat to be added in two stages.
  • Enamel paint is not recommended if you are painting your car yourself as it can be tough to apply and the paint needs to be baked onto the car. Therefore, we recommend you visit a professional company if you're looking to apply enamel paint.

Acrylic Lacquer

  • Acrylic lacquer was the original car paint and many years ago was the only option.
  • Acrylic lacquer is a high gloss paint and is the easiest paint to apply.  
  • The only downside is that it's not a long-lasting paint and therefore will quickly fade overtime, more so in the summer when exposed to UV light.

Acrylic Urethane

  • Acrylic urethane is a fairly new paint, is easy to apply and is very long-lasting.
  • One of the downsides of this paint is that it comes in a two-part, with a catalyst to help dry quicker, which can make it challenging to apply for the inexperienced if you are doing so at home.

Different Car Paint Finishes

Solid Paint

  • Solid paint is the least expensive and by far the most common. This paint is easy to colour match and therefore is a popular choice to repair small dents and scratches.  
  • The only negative of solid paint is that it may not be the most exciting option.

Metallic Paint

  • Metallic paint gives the vehicle more of a sparkle in the sunlight, as it contains an aluminium powder that reflects the sunlight into different colours.  
  • One of the advantages of this paint is that due to its sparkle, it helps cover up scratches and small dents.
  • Metallic paint is also relatively inexpensive but is a bit more challenging to cover up any bodywork damages. You are also limited to different colour types.

Pearlescent Paint

  • Pearlescent paint is very similar to metallic, but instead of having the aluminium powder, pearlescent paint contains ceramic (mica) crystals.
  • These ceramic crystals don't just reflect, but also refract light and therefore, can look to show any type and shade of colour.
  • Pearlescent paint is a great colour choice if you're looking to stand out from the rest of the vehicles on the road.
  • Pearlescent paint is a lot more expensive than the other paints mentioned, and it is difficult to cover up bodywork damage and imperfections as it's so hard to colour match.

Matt Paint

  • Many high-value sports cars that you see on the roads today are choosing matte paint.  
  • Matt paint is expensive, and maintaining your prestige paint job is a tough task.  
  • We hope this has provided you with an insight into different car paints and finishes.
  • Choose a paint that meets your budgets from the paint job to any car paint repairs needed in the future.
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