With so many different types of car paint on the market, it can be quite confusing knowing which to pick to give your vehicle a makeover. It’s equally as overwhelming as picking household paint – will you want matte paint? Metallic? Pearlescent? Standard?
In the end, when choosing different types of paint or finishes for your car’s makeover, it all comes down to the desired effect. Auto paint options like metallic or pearlescent will reflect sunlight and create layers of color and shimmer. A matte finish is eye-catching with a subtle gloss. Lacquer may be applied to a basic vehicle paint finish to obtain a high-gloss sheen.
Let’s look at the many sorts of vehicle paint finishes, from metallic to pearlescent to matte to standard, and how they vary.
Metallic Auto Paint:
Metallic auto paint is essentially the same as standard car paint and can be applied as such, with a main difference of little bits of powdered metal and aluminum added, giving the vehicle lots of glint and shine. The metallic look is determined by the amount and kind of metal added to the paint, which varies by manufacturer, but metallic paint is typically 1 part powdered metal to 50 parts paint.
Pros of Metallic Car Paint:
- Metallic vehicle paint reflects more light than a typical glossy auto finish and provides a touch of glitter and color depth that is unattainable with a basic finish. Because of this reason, it tends to hide small vehicle blemishes and dents better.
- Metallic automobile paint lasts longer than ordinary paint. It resists bleaching or fading better, and maintains a nice gloss longer than a standard finish.
- A metallic paint finish on a car has a better resale value than a conventional finish. This is because metallic auto paint is still viewed as a premium finish option.
Cons of Metallic Car Paint:
- Bigger dents and scrapes are more difficult to restore. While good at concealing smaller blemishes, metallic auto paint can have a tendency to be more difficult to touch-up due to the fact the shades are harder to match exactly. Since not all manufacturers produce metallic paint, it might be difficult to locate more of the same colour.
- Although not prohibitively costly, metallic automobile paint is somewhat more expensive than normal paint finishes, making it an unsuitable paint choice for those on a tight budget.
- Metallic vehicle paints have a significantly narrower color spectrum than regular finishes, so if you were hoping to get a fantastic distinctive tone with a metallic finish, you may be disappointed.
Pearlescent Auto Paint
Pearlescent paint, like metallic vehicle paint finishes, is normally regular auto paint, but instead of metal powder, tiny ceramic particles are added. The ceramic crystals, or “mica”, not only reflect light, like the metallic finish, but also refract it – meaning light is slowed down as it passes through the mica. This splits light into many different colors, and instead of just a glinty sparkle, vehicles with a pearlescent finish shine with deep and varying color shades that alter with your viewing angle. Under direct sunshine, a pearlescent paint finish is a sight to see, as the contours of the car body provide delicate color changes.
Pros of Pearlescent Auto Paint:
- The major advantage of pearlescent car paint is that it makes your vehicle seem really stylish. The mica that refracts particles adds an extra oomph and brings rich color variance to what otherwise might have been a standard monotone finish.
- Much like metallic paint, pearlescent auto paint also conceals small blemishes better than standard finishes. If your car has minor dents or dings, you probably won’t even notice.
- Moreover, as with a car with a metallic finish, one with a pearlescent finish is likely to be seen as more valuable by a potential buyer.
Cons of Pearlescent Auto Paint:
- There are several similarities between metallic and pearlescent paint. While good at concealing minor scratches and dents, because it’s expensive and could be difficult to match, vehicles with a pearlescent finish can be a pain to re-touch or repaint.
- That is costly. Pearlescent auto paint tends to cost even more than metallic paint, so it’s hard to achieve such a magnificent finish on a budget when painting your car.
- It’s difficult to come by. Even authorised body shops or paint dealers don’t necessarily keep the same shades in stock consistently, so it can be a real hassle to repair or repaint a pearlescent finish.
Matte Auto Paint
Although matte car finishes are not always a popular option for painting automobiles, they are steadily making a return, and with more availability comes greater affordability. Car paint with a matte finish has a “flat” appearance – it is not glossy and has a very muted, almost “dull” shine. This is accomplished by applying a priming coat with a high epoxy content, mixing a high PVC content directly into the vehicle paint, or adding a flattening agent to the final lacquer coating.
Pros of Matte Auto Paint
- Matte vehicle paint tends to seem pricey. And that’s because, predictably, it may be, just like all the other specialist car paints. It looks great and is a popular option for automobiles that are grey or black.
Cons of Matte Auto Paint
- Since defects or faults cannot be polished away, a matte auto finish is difficult to achieve.
- A matte auto finish, in addition to being difficult to touch-up, cannot be polished using a standard abrasive polisher, since you will end up with shiny spots all over your vehicle.
Non-metallic (Solid) Auto Paint
This is the sort of paint used to finish all automobiles sold everywhere in the world. Solid or standard auto paint comes in a wide range of colors. Its shiny, uniform look is produced by applying two layers of paint followed by a high-gloss lacquer coat, which also protects it from weather and cracks or dents.
Several manufacturers are now employing “two-pack” paint, which is acrylic paint blended with an isocyanate-containing hardening agent, eliminating the need for a top coat. Two-pack paint also cures a lot quicker, making it perfect for home paint jobs with just a few heat lamps for added speed.
Pros of Solid Auto Paint:
- Solid auto paint finishes are the best bet for home auto painting projects and brand new vehicles alike. It is durable and attractive.
- Solid vehicle paint is also very simple to touch up or restore. Small blemishes and chips can be gone over with a same-color pen, making it cheap and convenient to conduct small home repairs.
- Solid vehicle paint is inexpensive and reasonably simple to match same-color tones if you want greater amounts for your repair operation. Even if you took your vehicle to a body shop for major body damage, it won’t cost an arm and a leg to have it refinished in the matching shade.
- If you use a two-pack car paint, the drying period is substantially faster, making it ideal for home mechanics or painting your own vehicle.
Cons of Solid Auto Paint:
- The only major con of solid paint is that if not done properly a lot of solid paint finishes tend to “orange peel” – a term used to describe a slightly bubbly, raised flaw in the paint. Home mechanics may prevent this if they take care and don’t hurry while painting. A steady, even flow is preferable.
The sort of vehicle paint finish you choose will be determined by what you want, what you need, and your budget. If cost is no object and you’re after a unique and stunning paint finish, metallic or pearlescent paint finishes are truly beautiful to behold and can turn any vehicle from drab to fab with nothing more than a paint job. The matte car paint is the least practical, at least for home mechanics or those who use their vehicle for heavy-duty or work purposes. When it comes to cost, weather protection, and repairability, standard/solid/non-metallic car finishes are the best all-around.
What are the advantages of metallic paint?
One of the main advantages of metallic paint is that it provides a light protection against small damages and against discolouration caused by UV rays. Certain metallic colors provide color changes that make it simpler to disguise minor flaws.
What are the pros and cons of metallic paint on cars?
A metallic layer of paint may often boost the resale value of your automobile. Metallic paints are a form of premium paint that, due to its high reflectivity, may conceal dents and scratches. Although metallic car paint might camouflage scratches, it can also make damage harder to fix.
What are the pros and cons of matte paint on a car?
Pros: Matte paint doesn’t offer a glossy finish, and instead gives your car a completely flat surface. This is a really appealing aesthetic these days. Matte paint will keep your car looking smooth on the road and will look good in any weather condition. Cons: This paint requires a lot of maintenance.
What is the best paint finish for cars?
Urethane paint is the most durable and chip-resistant vehicle paint, and it will outlive most acrylic paints if properly maintained.
Makenzie Berke is Interior Repair Manager at ColorProTech. He writes about technology, answer questions about car topics that people want to know