Over the years, car painting techniques and car paint products have changed drastically. However, any average Do-It-Yourself-er may still be able to paint his own car with finesse. Automotive paints are available in spray guns or aerosol cans.
Used primarily to decorate, preserve and protect cars, automotive paints come in four kinds: acrylic lacquer, enamel, urethane and water-based. The lacquer kind is the cheapest among the four types. It provides a nice gloss to cars and is easy for beginners to use. However, this kind of automotive paint is not recommended because it chips easily. It cannot stand against the harmful effects of UV rays and chemicals.
Acrylic enamel automotive paints are tougher than lacquer paints. However, beginners may find the application of this kind of paint a tougher job. This paint does not lay down as easily as the lacquer type and may require more finishing work. This kind of automotive paint can be used in two ways: two-stage system where the enamel color uses a topcoat and the single-stage system where the color can be used alone.
Acrylic urethane automotive paints are more expensive than the enamel type although it has the same toughness of the enamel paint. Unlike the enamel type, though, this kind of paint lay down easily. The use of this paint requires the utilization of three products: color, color reducer and a catalyst which is needed to accelerate drying time. This kind of automotive paint is highly toxic; thus, gloves, coveralls, respirators and a face mask must be used while applying this kind of auto paint.
The water-based automotive paint is the newest kind of auto paint. This is best used when adding graphic or changing the car's color. Water-based automotive paints are non-toxic; thus, they are recommended for use by the DIYers.
Automotive paints are available in different colors. Popular colors include silver, white, green, blue, red and naturals.