Since the early 1900’s, there have been some dramatic changes in the types of auto paint that have been used in the auto painting industry. Consequently, there are no less than 4 different types that are being used in auto painting shops in Miami today. These include acrylic enamels, acrylic lacquers, acrylic urethanes, and water-based paints. For the sake of simplicity in content, the different acrylics will be referred to as enamels, lacquers, and urethanes.
Enamels – these are more durable than lacquers and dry to a harder shell. Paint and auto body shops will bake these paints on using an “oven” or heated bay. However, you can also find enamel paints in aerosol containers or they can be used with spray guns. Despite being more durable or tougher than lacquer paints, enamels are more difficult to apply or lay down. As a result, more finishing work is involved when using enamel paints. Some enamels can be used alone while others require a clear topcoat or “two-stage” system.
Lacquers – although paints that are lacquer-based were extremely popular from the 1920’s until the 1960’s and are still available today, they have been deemed illegal in certain areas of the US. There are three key advantages of lacquer-based paints – 1) it’s cheaper, 2) it dries to a nice high gloss, and 3) it’s easier to apply. However, it’s a “softer” paint and chips easily. Furthermore, lacquer-based paints don’t hold up well against chemicals and the sun’s harsh UV rays. As a result, there are a number of auto painting shops in Miami that shy away from using lacquer-based paints.
Urethanes – like enamels, urethane paints are available in multi-stage systems or can be used alone. The two-stage system is the most popular because it’s easy to apply, requires a minimum amount of finish work, and delivers optimum results. Furthermore, a protective clearcoat is utilized in the multi-stage urethane paint systems. With these types of paints, you’ll have a high quality paint job requiring very little maintenance to keep looking brand new for many years to come. The urethane-based clear-coat is comprised of three products – a catalyst, clear, and reducer.
Water-based – the newest auto painting technology in Miami is water-based paints. You could say these are eco-friendly in that they are non-toxic. Plus, they are extremely versatile in that they can be applied to bare metal, existing body paint, and primer. If you want to add graphics to your motorcycle or vehicle, this is the type of paint to use. But you can also paint the entire vehicle with it. This is perfect for DIY use as well since it’s non-toxic and can be used in your garage. However, you’ll need to protect the paint with a clear urethane top coat.