How to Buy the Right Paint for Your Car

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How to Buy the Right Paint for Your Car

A car's colour, to many people is a significant statement of style and personality. It is for this reason that there are many auto shops that specialise in nothing but painting cars. Of course, it is also possible for the layperson to buy paint and equipment in order to fully customise their car to fit their liking. In some cases, this may be simply to touch up an area that has been damaged or scratched, but it is also possible to repaint a car completely transforming it.

Buying car paint is not, however, as straightforward as simply selecting a colour and placing an order with an auto parts store, or looking for it on eBay.. There are many factors that go into properly painting a car, including finding the right equipment, stripping the original paint colour, selecting the right primer layer, and finally getting the paint itself. Having a solid understanding of all of these factors should make it possible for anyone to find the right paint for their car.

Finding Painting Equipment

Car paint, unlike house paint, is not applied with a brush. Rather, it is usually applied using a sprayer that allows the paint to form an even layer that should not only look nice, but help maintain an aerodynamic surface as well. For this reason, it is important to find the best equipment possible, along with the paint that would best work with that equipment.

While some may find that spraying a car with aerosol is less expensive, and therefore fine for smaller jobs, applying paint with a sprayer is generally recommended for larger areas of a car's surface. Most sprayers make use of an air compressor that allows the paint to be applied in an even, consistent coat. In some cases, these sprayers can be attached to any air compressor, a device that can easily be rented in order to save costs. Other sprayers have their own air compressors.

Auto Paint Meter

An auto paint meter is a device used by large auto dealerships to evaluate the paint job on a car that is being considered for resale. For an amateur planning to paint a car themselves, an auto paint meter can be a valuable tool to ensure a quality finish. Auto paint meters basically allow the user to check and evaluate the thickness of paint. A good paint job should have the paint applied evenly across the car, without any spots that are overly thick and thin. Checking for thickness can ensure that the paint job is adequate, and ensure that the car's value is enhanced or maintained.

Stripping Paint

Before applying paint, it is important to strip the original paint from the car. There are two main options for making this happen; sanding and using a paint remover. A sander is a difficult piece of equipment to use and manipulate, and sanding a car body back to the metal can be a frustrating process. Not only does it create dust, but it might cause imperfections in the metal that can create unsightly bumps and grooves when the metal is painted. Using a specially designed paint remover is much easier, but still requires the use of abrasive paper to smooth the metal.

Buying Primer

Primer is different than paint, but buying the two should go hand in hand. Primer is a substance that is designed to not only protect the metal from corrosion, but to also provide a surface for the paint molecules to cling to, making the paint more durable and easier to apply. There are various types of primer, each one with different properties that are ideal for different situations.

Type of Primer


Etching Primer

Designed for protecting cars from the spread of rust

Epoxy Primer

Made to bond with metal and offer a high degree of protection

Urethane Primer

Designed to provide a glossier surface, which is reflected in the paint.

Primer is generally found only in basic colours, like white, grey, and black. In some cases, it might be possible to see primer through a thin layer of paint. For this reason, there are primers that are tinted to match a specific paint colour for a better appearance. Primer is extremely important in climates where corrosion is more likely, such as in coastal areas, where humidity and salty sea air cause rapid oxidation.

Buying Paint

Paint is, of course, the most important part of painting a car, and buyer have many options to choose from in terms of colours and styles. There are two main types of auto paint available: cellulose paint and two-pack paint. Cellulose paint, which was used in decades past for cars, and is still used on classic automobiles, is favored by those who wish to maintain a more authentic feel.

Two-pack paint is a modern kind of paint and comes in a wider variety of colours, including metallic options for those who desire that type of style. While both kinds of paint can be used with a sprayer, two-pack paint is considered more user friendly, and for this reason is usually faster and easier to apply.

Paint Colour Codes

For many people, the most difficult part of buying the right paint for their car is choosing the colour. For others, there is no choice because they want to maintain a car's original colour. Choosing the right colour can be difficult if someone is planning to match a colour simply by using their eyes. Paint colours often look different in liquid form, or on a label than they would on a car. For this reason, auto manufacturers and paint supplies have developed a paint colour code that helps car owners understand exactly how their car was painted.

This colour code can actually be found in various places throughout a car, as well as in the owner's manual of most cars. Of course, this information is also readily available on the Internet. Once the colour code is in hand, a buyer can easily match it to colours available in stores or on eBay's website.


It is important to use primer and good quality paint in order to ensure that a car's metal does not corrode. It is equally important that one should beware of the fact that paint can corrode as well. This is usually due to the oxidation of the minerals used to colour paint. Oxidised paint can look dull and even ugly. The best way to protect paint from oxidation is to use wax and to apply it frequently. Luckily, paint corrosion usually only affects the surface, and corrosion can usually be removed with polish or paint cleaner. There is a third option in rubbing compound, but rubbing compound can easily strip paint off of the metal if the user is not careful.

Buying the Right Car Paint on eBay

Car paint is not something everyone might think to find on eBay,, but there are sellers on eBay who are located all over the world, and who offer unique and affordable options for car paint and supplies. The available paints cover all the colours of the rainbow and then some, including metallic colours. The best way to find the right car paint on eBay is to simply use the search bar located on eBay page. A simple term, such as, 'car paint&' can provide a wide variety of options. Of course, this term can be added to or modified when one is searching for a specific colour of paint, or just a paint made by a specific company.

Be Thorough When Searching

Finding the right paint colour often requires choosing between subtly different shades of one colour. For this reason, it is important to read the product description thoroughly. In many cases, this description makes it easier to understand paint colours as it contains serial numbers and other information as well. Reading the description, along with seller history and feedback, makes it easier to make a wise choice.


Buying new paint for a car can be an exciting prospect. A new colour can revitalise a car and provide a sense of ownership and satisfaction to the driver. At the same time, paint can be used to restore a car to its former glory, making it worth more, and increasingly attractive at the same time. Buying paint for a car involves understanding several important factors. First, it is necessary to understand what supplies might be involved.

Since car paint is applied using a sprayer, it is important to understand what kind of sprayer might be used and whether or not it would work with a certain kind of paint. Next, it is important to know how the paint might be stripped from a car in order to prepare it for painting. Then, it is necessary to select the right kind of primer that protects the metal, and provides a surface for the paint to adhere to. Finally, choosing the right paint involves determining what kind of paint is best for an individual car, and understanding how and where to find the right colours. Keeping these things in mind should make it possible for anyone to find the right paint for their car.

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