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Your Simple Guide to Understanding Types of Car Paint

Your Simple Guide to Understanding Types of Car Paint

Car paint options can be a mystery to those who don’t know what they’re about. However, if you take a closer look at them you’ll see that car paints are quite simple and straight-forward. There are a few basic types of paint jobs that you should familiarize yourself with. These typically have to do with how the paint catches and reflects light.

We’re not talking about color options, as there are just too many colors out there to mention! Read on to learn some basics when it comes to types of car paint.

Solid Paint

This is your most basic, cost-efficient paint finish that nearly all stock cars come with. Solid paint typically consists of a single color application, followed by a protective lacquer coat (“clear coat”). Solid paint coats are beneficial because they can be repaired easily if chipped and are generally easy to match.

Solid paint colors used to come in a variety of colors. However, nowadays we’re seeing more and more conventional, non-intrusive colors being used as stock solid paints- blue, black, white, grey, or red.

Metallic Paint

Metallic paint jobs are essentially the same as solid paint jobs, with one exception- a small amount of powder metal is added to the paint mix to give the overall finish a “fleck” and “shine” to it. The metal particles reflect light in a very unique way. Depending on the mixture, the effect can be somewhat subtle or it can be very distinct and pronounced.

A good thing about metallic paint options is that they can add a bit of life and uniqueness to an otherwise “dull” ride. They can also hide minor blemishes in some cases. The downside is that they can often be very difficult to match completely if it needs a repair or a touch-up.

Pearlescent Finishes

Pearlescent paint options work similarly to metallic finishes, except they use small ceramic particles rather than metal to reflect light. This causes a refracting effect too, splitting the finish into different colors (somewhat like a prism). This gives a swirly, iridescent effect like that of a pearl (hence, the name).

Special Finishes- Matte and Carbon Fiber

Matte finishes are best described as “non-shiny”. This look is usually achieved through the use of some sort of primer coat at the end or through other agents in the clear coat. This yields a velvety, satin or silk-like finish. The look most likely originated from hotrod and muscle-car drivers who drove their cars around in between paint jobs with just the primer coat on.

Lastly, “carbon fiber” finishes or “bare carbon fiber” finishes are at the very high end of the paint job spectrum. These involve the use of carbon fiber materials to give the car a futuristic look. In some cases, the body of the car is made out of the carbon fiber, making it more lightweight and actually eliminating the need for paint. Carbon fiber is usually reserved for super high-end sports car.

Paint jobs are considered one of the funnest and easiest car mods that you can do. It gives a unique touch to your car and can be done relatively easily. If you’re a car lover, you’ll also want to keep your car in top running shape. Stop by Convoy Auto Repair today for complete car checkup services and other top-notch repairs. Our team of professional mechanics is on hand to keep your car ready to go!


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