Car paint not only gives the vehicle color and shine; it also provides protection from possible damage from a variety of factors like weather, scratches, dirt, and other possible matter it may encounter throughout a car’s life.
Types of paints
At present, there are four types of car paint: acrylic lacquer, acrylic
enamel, acrylic urethane, and water-based paint. Lacquer paint is the oldest kind of paint and is now difficult to find and illegal to spray in pollution-controlled areas of the country. Enamel paints dry to a hard shell and are baked onto the cars with heat. This kind of paint is tougher than lacquer, but harder to apply. Urethane paints, on the other hand, are newer and more expensive, but combine the toughness of enamel and the ease of application of lacquer. The newest kind of car paint is water-based paint. This paint is non-toxic and very versatile. It can be applied to metal, primer, and even existing paint jobs, but it requires an application of a clear coat of urethane on top.
The evolution of car paint
The use of car paint dates back to the start of the 20th century, around the time the Ford Motor Company was founded. The paint used back then was a type of varnish that was brushed on to the vehicle and allowed to dry before being sanded, refinished, and polished. The painting process took up to 6 weeks to finish and color choices were limited.
In the century that has passed, the automotive painting process has changed drastically. Today’s application is almost entirely done by machines in a process that consists of three stages. First, the vehicle undergoes primer spraying or electrocoating. Then, a color coat is applied. Lastly, a clear final coat is applied. Car paint now comes in a variety of colors, is faster to apply, and is also more durable compared to its early incarnation.
Car paint maintenance and cleaning
Car paint maintenance is a major factor in keeping a vehicle looking as good as new. The major aspects in maintenance are keeping a car clean and repairing any scratches or damages to the paint finish in a timely fashion. Keeping the car in the shade, either under a car cover or in a garage, will help to protect its paint. When the car is dirty, washing must be undertaken to clean it. Washing by hand with proper car shampoo is the best way of cleaning. Dishwashing liquid should not be used to wash cars, because it can strip the car of protective wax coatings. Start at the top of the car, wash with soapy water, and rinse with clean water. Lastly, waxing is done to help enhance luster and add a protective film to help protect the paint.
Car paint repair
Nicks and scratches in the car paint can be repaired at home. After the affected area is cleaned, touch-up paint is applied in several thin layers. The area is then sanded until it is level with the surrounding paint. After buffing with a buffing pad, the repaired area is then cleaned and waxed.
For advice on the best product to keep your car as beautiful as possible contact the friendly and knowledgeable people at Meyers Auto Parts.
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