When was the last time you had a thought about your car paint? The fact that this thing is responsible for adding that “bling” to your car should be enough to stress this point why automotive paints are important.
Everyone wants a shiny-new-looking car but doesn’t know what factors to consider when it comes to automotive paint.
Unlike any other generic paint, automotive paint is meant to be on the car’s body for its lifetime…well, almost. Automotive paint is a very different kind of paint made as a compound mixture of certain products where a particular product plays its respective role.
How is automotive paint made?
Automotive paint is made up of three main components:
- Pigment: Gives colour to the paint.
- Thinner: Levels out the consistency of the paint
- Binder: Binds the pigment and thinner
Further, you will see terms like waterborne paint or solvent paint, which could confuse you when selecting the perfect automotive paint for your car. In this blog, we will see all aspects of how automotive paint can be divided into various categories and which would suit your needs the best.
Here is what you need to know about ceramic coating and paint protection film.
Also Read: All About PPF (Paint Protection Film)
What is solvent-borne paint?
Solvent-borne paints are made up of mixing paint in certain solvents such as lacquer, urethane or enamel. The solvent base comprises a large part of the paint mixture, due to which the overall paint mixture has many VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These compounds are very harmful to the environment. Therefore, these paints are losing popularity daily. Environmental concerns have made people use less of these paints.
What does waterborne paint mean?
Waterborne paints are the ones that use no solvents that would be harmful to the environment. Water is the only solvent these paints use. You can apply waterborne enamels on primers, bare metal, or present coatings. Waterborne paints have become popular nowadays because of environmental concerns. These paints don’t cause any harm to the environment and also don’t contain any VOCs like the former. Modern technologies have let us develop waterborne paints which match the quality of already existing paints without causing any harm; therefore, many paint shops prefer this paint type.
After looking at the two broad paint types, one may ask how the painting process is carried out. The following section answers this question as well!
What are the stages of painting a car?
- Stage 1: Primer
Ever thought about what is the base coat paint for cars? The answer lies right here!
Primer is the first stage of the automotive painting process. The primer serves several purposes, like levelling the body’s surface and overcoming manufacturing defects if any. The primer also prevents the body from rust, heat differences, stone chips, UV light etc.
- Stage 2: Base Coat
This is the second stage of the painting process, which follows the primer coat. This is the stage where visual properties and colour effects come into being. The base coat is usually of three types: solid, metallic and pearlescent. These three categories differ based on paint quality. Solid paints have no sparkles and are comprised of solid colours. Metallic paint has all the glitter and shines you see in cars nowadays.
- Stage 3: Clear-coat
Clear-coat is the last part of the painting process, where a transparent coating is put on the base coat, which comes in direct contact with the environment. It must be durable enough to resist abrasion and chemically stable enough to withstand UV light. This coat can be either solvent or waterborne.
- Stage 1: Primer
After all these processes are carried out, the automotive paint process ends. All these processes are used in every case, but the outputs may vary depending on the paint you have chosen for your car!
What are the types of automotive paint finishes?
- Metallic Paint:
In basic form, metallic paint is the application of colour followed by an additional layer of lacquer (also known as the clear coat). Additionally, a small quantity of powdered metal is added to the paint layer to deliver a much more appealing shine than the basic solid paints. The metal particles reflect more incident light than the solid colours, leading to a better paint output than solid paints.
- Pearlescent Paint:
Pearlescent paints are the compilation of basic paint components included in the metallic paint, where the metal powder is replaced with ceramic crystals, also known as mica. The unique property of mica is that along with reflecting the light; it refracts the light too. This refraction gives a deep colour to the paint along with the shine. The colour changes according to how you look at it. The pearlescent paint has a clear edge over the metallic paint, which is visible if you glance at it in direct sunlight.
The automotive paint can enhance the look of your vehicle but, at the same time, can also make it look shabby. Your car experiencing even a minor scratch can damage your paint. Protecting your vehicle’s paint is important if you want to maintain the new-like shine. We at GoMechanic provide denting & painting services with industry-grade paints that make your car look new-like. Also, you can get your car wrapped or detailed at a GoMechanic workshop near you!