Auto Body Paints: What are the Differences?

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A fresh paint job can truly take a vehicle’s appearance to the next level. Contrary to popular belief, all paints are not created the same. Here are the key differences between the various types of auto paint.

Acrylic Lacquer
Acrylic lacquer is the oldest type of automotive paint. Not only is acrylic lacquer extremely inexpensive, but it is also very easy to use. However, there are a few disadvantages to using this age-old paint. Acrylic lacquer is far less durable than most of the modern paints on the market. Although acrylic lacquer is an economical choice, it will not last for a very long time.

Acrylic Enamel
In terms of durability, acrylic enamel is a significant step above acrylic lacquer. When properly maintained, this type of paint can retain its luster for many years. Acrylic enamel actually remains a favorite among car painting professionals. Unfortunately, acrylic enamel is not the best option for amateurs. As many car enthusiasts may already know, a botched paint job can ruin a vehicle’s curb appeal. Acrylic enamel is also a tad bit more expensive.

Urethane
Over the past two decades, urethane has become more popular than ever. Urethane’s attractive finish is definitely one of its standout qualities. Urethane is also extremely resistant to the environmental elements. Unfortunately, the paint’s toxicity makes it a legitimate safety hazard for amateurs. From a cost perspective, urethane is far more expensive than acrylic lacquer and acrylic enamel.

Water-Based Paint
Water-based paint is the newest type of automotive paint to hit the market. Many professionals find water-based paints to be extremely easy to apply. If desired, water-based paint can even be used over an existing paint job. However, water-based paints must be protected by a urethane clear coat in order to remain durable. Unlike the other types of paint, water-based paint is only available in a limited number of colors.

Although selecting automotive paint can be confusing, your auto body shop will advise you on which one is the best for you. The professionals will make sure that the paint meets your specific needs.