1. Dupli-Color BSP200 Paint Shop Finish
Why do you need the Best Automotive Paint?
Shopping for the best automotive paint can be a daunting task. There are many types of automotive paints on the market and finding the right one for your car is a tedious process. We will try to explain the basics of automotive paint and break down the different components of paint. There are three core ingredients that make up all automotive paint: the carrier agent, the binder, and the pigment. The carrier is the basic liquid solution that dissolves the binder of the paint. After application, the liquid will evaporate carrier, leaving the binder resin ingredient to bond to the car’s surface.
The pigment is bonded to the binder and is responsible for giving the binder color. The binder itself is a resin usually made of either urethane, enamel, or lacquer, with the first two being the more popular choices. Lacquer is harder to find and even illegal in some states. It also requires higher maintenance but the trade-off is it leaves a sleek-looking glossy finish. Urethane and enamel are further subdivided into single parts vs two parts and basecoat vs clearcoat. The difference between one-part paint and two-part paint is that the latter needs an activator/hardener for the paint to dry and to induce chemical bonding.
This means one part paint dries much quicker and can often be sprayed onto a car using a spray gun. It is not recommended to paint the entire car using one part paint. Two-part paints are generally considered to give your car a better coat overall due to them having higher gloss and color retention, water, chemical, and abrasion resistance, and higher longevity. Finally, you need to consider whether you want a single-stage system or a clearcoat/basecoat system. Single-stage systems generally dry to a glossy finish whereas a basecoat/clearcoat system dries to a matte/semi-gloss finish.
You have to apply an additional layer of clear paint over a basecoat/clearcoat system to make it shine. As a general rule of thumb, if you just want a basic color and want an economic solution, go with a single-stage system. If you want a metallic finish, it is better you get a basecoat/clearcoat system. As you can see, picking the best automotive paint is not easy as there are so many types. Luckily, we have scanned the entire automotive paint market, and below are our top recommendations.
Best Automotive Paint Reviews
- Dupli-Color Paint Shop Finish System (Top Pick)
- Dupli-Color Perfect Match Automotive Paint
- Rust-Oleum Autobody Paint
1. Dupli-Color BSP200 Paint Shop Finish System
Dupli-Color Paint Shop Finish System is a step up from the Perfect Match spray can product. It is the best automotive paint if you want a ready-to-spray lacquer solution that does not require any mixing and has no recoat window. We recommend applying a layer of Dupli-Color primer before applying the Paint Shop Finish System as the paint base needs to bind to the primer.
It usually takes about 3 quarts of this stuff to cover a car so take that into consideration when purchasing. We think the Paint Shop Finish System is very good for the price. It is much cheaper than taking your vehicle to an auto shop to get it professionally painted. This product also leaves a lot of room for error so it is perfect for amateurs who don’t really know their way around painting cars. The Dupli-Color comes in a variety of colors so that it covers almost all cars and models.
As with any good paint job, most of the work is in the prep. If you take the time to follow instructions and prep the different layers of coating, you should have a very nice shiny looking car after. The curing process takes a bit longer than usual, but for a do-it-yourself solution, you kind of have to expect this. All in all, this is a great professional automotive paint without a hefty price tag.
2. Dupli-Color Perfect Match Automotive Paint
If you are looking for the best automotive paint that comes in a spray-on aerosol can, you must look at the Dupli-Color Perfect Match. This is a fast-drying acrylic lacquer aerosol paint that is designed to match the exact color of your car’s original factory coating. This type of paint is designed for touch-ups and painting vehicle accessories. We would not recommend using this for a complete full-scale paint job. The perfect match works really well on scratches and nicks and dries within 30 minutes of application.
The spray-on can is easy to use and has a 360-degree nozzle. Just be sure that you are sweeping it slowly and carefully across. If you use jerky movements, the results will be poor and patchy. Also, this stuff is hard to remove, so you will need to use a lacquer remover.
Ideally, you should have a primer underneath when you first start spraying but it is not required. We would start with one steady spray and add additional layers if needed. The end result should be a finish that is smooth, uniform, and glossy. Compared to other similar automotive paints on the market, the Dupli-Color is the best automotive paint for light touch-ups. It gives your car its original shine and colors back when it is damaged in one spot.
3. Rust-Oleum Automotive AutoBody Paint
The Rust-Oleum Autobody Paint is the best automotive paint if you are looking for professional-grade all-purpose car paint. The Rust-Oleum Auto Body is an acrylic-based formula that is meant for full-body paint jobs. It can also be incorporated into a spray system for easy touch-ups and spot repairs. This basecoat paint is designed for all vehicles and has a tough waterproof road resistant finish.
You can re-coat your vehicle with the Rust-Oleum as many times as you want. While you can brush this on, we recommend you put this in a spray can for more accuracy and a smoother finish. It looks gorgeous after one or two layers of this and looks like you just had your vehicle repainted at a professional auto shop. The Rust-Oleum is easy for beginners to apply and goes on smoothly. In terms of durability, we found it to be acceptable but not the best.
It is brittle and is bad for sticking around edges and corners. But compared to other products on the market for the same price, we found similar results in durability. If you want ultra durability, you have to either pay up or take it to a professional auto shop. For the average do-it-yourself kind of auto paint job, we think the Rust-Oleum Autobody more than gets the job done.