What’s Car Paint Made Of?

Paints are used on cars mainly to protect and beautify them. It is usually necessary to know what car paints are usually made of so as to have broad knowledge on how to take care of your car and also to know the type of paint best suits your vehicle. The main materials used in the production of car paints are listed below.

What car paints are made of?

Interestingly, car paints consists of three (3) main ingredients. They are the Carrier Agent, the Pigment, and the Binder or Resin.

Carrier Agent

The Carrier Agent is the solution either water or solvent in which the car paint is suspended, it is what liquefies the paint used on the car. Car paints are usually in solid form but when it is required to be used on a car it needs to be liquefied.

  • Water carrier agents which are sometimes called Latex uses addictive like resin with a very little solvent like tiny meatballs, albeit meatballs which are coated with velcro to put the pigment in suspension. The main benefit of water carrier agent is that it is environment-friendly and the main disadvantage is that it is not durable because it will fall off when the water completely dries off.
  • Solvent carrier agent on the other hand also uses additive to put pigment in suspension and will help the pigment to stick to the body of the car. A solvent is added to dilute the resin (binder) and pigment so that they can be sprayed on to the car. Also, the main advantage of the solvent carrier agent is that it is more durable than the water carrier agent. The con is that it is not environment-friendly like the water carrier agent.

The Resin or Binder

The resin which is also known as the Binder consists of one of these three elements which are Urethane, Enamel, and Lacquer. The first two are the best and common elements which constitute the resin.

They are also the common terms used for the chemical combinations of hydrocarbon that formulates the Resin in paints. The type of element that is used in the formation of the resin usually affects the durability of the paint and the look of the paint finish.

Let us be familiar with the three elements and their effect on the car paint below:

  • Urethane and Enamel looks alike and has the same impact on the car paint but their differences show up in their cost when it is applied on the car and how durable they are. In the part of enamel, it is the cheapest one and it has a softer appeal compared to the other two and it also dries to a glossy finish. But for urethane, it is referred to as the most durable out of the three and it is mainly used in the repair of the body of the vehicle.
  • Lacquer is very rare to find because it is very hazardous to spray but it can still be rubbed on the car by hand. It gives a lot of maintenance and also provides a beautiful glossy finish. It also stands the test of time like Urethane and Enamel. The main advantage is that it is easy to spray and it dries to a smooth, glossy finish. It disadvantage is that exposure to sunlight quickens its aging and because of that it needs a lot of maintenance

Via: amazon.com

The Pigment

The pigment is the main aspect of the car paint and it consists of the color, hiding, and the control Gloss. Pigment are also divided into two groups which are the Prime Pigment which includes the pigment such as Titanium Dioxide (white), Chrome Green Oxide, Yellow and Red iron oxide.

The other pigment is known as the Extender Pigment which includes Calcite (calcium carbonate), Talc (magnesium silicate), Mica, Barytes (Barium sulphate) etc.


Via: hotrod.com

Additives are also materials which are used in the production of car paints. The main purpose in which additives are added to materials in which car paints are made are to resist drying and sagging, scuffing and molding, and for ease of brushing.

Type Of Car Paint That We Have

To know the paint that will be appropriate for your car, you need to have broad knowledge about the type of paints that are available and which of them best suits your vehicle.

There are two main types of car paints. They are as follows:


Single stage paints are just like an ordinary house paint that are made from aerosol-can. A dry activator is not required for single stage paint but some of the single stage paints may be required to be diluted with a solvent before use. A thinner is required to aid the flow of single stage paint through a spraying gun and also it dries to a fine finish and does not require a clear coat.


Double stage paints unlike the single stage paint requires the use of a dry activator and does not need to be diluted with a solvent before it can be used. Also, the double stage paint requires a clear coat because it doesn’t dry into a glossy finish.

Repainting a car is a tedious and expensive task so to make sure that you get the job done properly (if you are a DIY guy), you will need to have a very good knowledge on what car paints are made of and which car paint is perfect for your car repainting job.

A good knowledge on this area will allow you find and use the paint that suits your car needs. This will also allow you to save money in the long run because you will know which car paint will last for a very long time thus, you will not need to repaint your vehicle anytime soon.

Please comment if you need to make enquires on any part of the article or you need more orientation on what type of paint to be used on your car.

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