Painting your car can instantly breathe new life into it and be a fun way to make your ride feel fresh and attractive. And while it’s a project that most people leave to the professionals, you can also do it yourself.
One thing you need to figure out is what paint to use. If you’re having your car painted professionally, you can consult with the painter and have them choose a paint for you. But if you’re doing it yourself, you’ll have to come up with the paint on your own. Here’s what to opt for.
What is the easiest paint to use on a car?
If you’re painting a car by yourself, the easiest type of paint that you can use is acrylic urethane. Acrylic urethane is great for do-it-yourself car painting, because it’s very easy to apply. It won’t give you fits, even if it’s your first time painting a car. And it doesn’t run very much, which means you can be comfortable painting the car, regardless of your skill and experience level.
Acrylic urethane also has the benefit of lasting for a very long time. Some car paints that get marketed as being good for first-time car painters have a very short shelf life, and you’ll find yourself needing to repaint the car with great regularity. That’s not the case with acrylic urethane, which will last for a very long time. As long as you’re happy with the paint job that you did, you’ll get to enjoy it for many years to come.
The one thing you should be aware of when painting with acrylic urethane is that it utilizes a drying catalyst that makes it dry quickly (which is how you don’t get runs). So once you mix the paint, you’re going to need to get immediately started on the paint job.
Another option that used to be more common is acrylic lacquer. Acrylic lacquer isn’t super common anymore because it has a really bad environmental impact, and is now illegal in many states. It also doesn’t last very long, unlike acrylic urethane. However, it’s extremely user-friendly, and the easiest paint to use if you’re new to painting cars, as long as it’s legal where you live.
What is the best paint to use on a car?
It’s hard to say that any type of car paint is best, because so much of it depends on what you want out of a car paint. However, the paint that most frequently gets high grades for being good quality is acrylic enamel.
Note that there’s a difference between “best” and “easiest.” Unlike acrylic urethane, acrylic enamel is extremely difficult to apply. That’s not to say that you should avoid it as a DIY project, but you should be comfortable with painting a car if you’re going to use this type of paint. If you’ve painted a few cars before, or just feel like you have that skill set, or even are merely OK with taking the risk that your car might not come out perfectly, then acrylic enamel is the way to go. It lasts a long time, and looks stunning.
Should you paint your own car?
Only you can answer this question. Painting your car is a fun project, and it undoubtedly saves you money. However, it can also be a hassle, and you’ll usually do a worse job than the professionals. And you run the risk of doing an actively bad job.
Consider all of that before painting your car. And then decide whether you want the easiest paint to use, or the best.