LearnAutoPainting.com: The essential source for learning how to paint a car.
 

It's vitally important to discover what type of paint is currently on the surface of your vehicle to avoid ruining your paint job.

"Acrylic Enamel Paint, Acrylic Lacquer Auto Paint or
Urethane Paints..."

"Learn How to Determine the Type of Paint on Your Vehicle Using the Vehicle Identification Number and an Awesome Simple Method You Can Easily Accomplish at Home"

Before high-tech polyurethane paint products were introduced, cars were painted using either acrylic enamel paint or acrylic lacquer auto paint. Each offered its own unique characteristics:

Acrylic enamel paints being quick and easy to work with, generally covered in one or two coats and didn't require any clear coat or rubbing out.
Acrylic lacquer auto paint however, required multiple coats, but allowed imperfections to be easily rubbed out and quickly repainted. The fast drying time enabled the painter to fix surface blemishes almost immediately.

Although both acrylic enamel paint and acrylic lacquer auto paint products offer specific benefits, they cannot be used together on car bodies due to their incompatibility with one another.

With surfaces properly prepared and under proper conditions, it wouldn't be a problem to spray acrylic enamel paint over acrylic lacquer auto paint; however applying acrylic lacquer auto paint over acrylic enamel paint will almost always result in wrinkling or other severe surface blemishes.

Enamel sprayed over Lacquer

Lacquer sprayed over Enamel

This is due to the solvent base in acrylic lacquer auto paint (lacquer thinner) being too potent for the soft materials used in acrylic enamel paint products.

Product compatibility is just as important today. This isn't confined to simply enamel, lacquer or urethane paints either.

Every product in an entire paint system must be compatible with the surface material to which it will be applied, as well as with every other product in the system.

This is very important to the success of any paint project.

For example, using a PPG reducer with a BASF hardener in a DuPont paint product is asking for real trouble.

The individual products were not designed as parts of a single compatible paint system and as a result, the color, adhesion and surface flow of that combination may well be adversely affected.

How to determine the type of paint currently on your vehicle.

Before you purchase paint for your car, you need to find out what type of paint material currently exists on the surface of your vehicle, whether it be enamel, lacquer or urethane paints.

In the case of newer vehicles, all factory paint jobs are going to be urethane based, as enamels and lacquers are quickly being done away with.

For your vehicle, it may be worth asking your local auto paint supply store member of staff for information on what kind of paint was applied at the factory.

To discover this for yourself, there should be a specific paint code listed on the vehicles ID tag.

In addition, you will also be able to determine the exact type of paint and color from the vehicle identification number (VIN) on older vehicles or from a separate paint and options tag on newer vehicles.

This all helps to easily identify materials when you are planning to match the existing paint.

If your vehicle has been repainted since it left the factory, you will need to obtain the paint code numbers from the paint can used during the repaint.

If this is not possible, contact the person who performed the repaint to attain the required information from them.

If you cannot determine the specific paint codes or information relating to the type of paint used on your car, you yourself will have to test a hidden spot on the vehicle using lacquer thinner, you could even possibly test an area already allocated for a repaint.

Take a clean white cloth, wet it with lacquer thinner and rub a spot of paint to test the reaction.

If the color comes off immediately or the spot starts wrinkling, it shows that the type of paint is enamel .
If however the color wipes off onto the white cloth only after vigorous rubbing, it is a sign of lacquer  paint.
If nothing wipes off onto the cloth, the paint is probably urethane  based.

How to determine if your car is coated with clear coat.

To find out if the finish on your vehicle includes coats of clear paint over its base color, simply sand a hidden spot using 600-grit or finer sandpaper.

A white sanding residue shows that there exists a clear coat finish.
A color residue shows that only a color material was used to paint the body with.

Before applying fresh paint on the vehicle, it is vitally important to find out exactly what type of paint is currently on the surface.

About the only exception to this rule is when a totally new paint system has to be taken into consideration after bringing the vehicle body down to its base metal.

If you are at all unsure about the type of paint on your car after this test, or if you have any other related questions or problems, our advice would be to consult a professional auto paint supply store member of staff.

Remember, applying mismatched coatings to an existing finish can potentially ruin your whole paint job.

Next >>

 Home
 About Us
 Surface Preparation
 Bodywork
 Your Questions Answered
 Auto Paint Repair
 Testimonials
 Useful Sites
 Contact Us


Customer
Testimonials

"What can I say, fantastic would not cover it. The most useful videos I have ever bought, been around cars all my life, and have a few parked outside, we have an airport travel company and now I can repair and paint them, I can save a fortune on repairs, thank you." - Reg Dugmore, Millennium Travel, Hartford, CT, USA

"I've done the side of my VW T4 Transporter and I can't believe the results I have achieved, it looks amazing! Even the guy at my local paint supplies shop was impressed. I spent £368.00 on paint and a second-hand compressor and Sata gun. THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR HELP." - Scott Smith, Telford, United Kingdom

"You guys are the best resource for information on how to paint your car. I succeeded in painting the bumpers on my 2000 KIA Sephia they look great, thank you for your help...I really learned from it." - Jose Garcia, Bloomington, CA, USA

"I believe that because of your system, I understand the process of restoring a car, and through practice, will produce the desirable results. I am more positive now than I have ever been that we will eventually have a great looking finish on the car." - Paul Dawson of Happy Valley, Adelaide, South Australia

"The videos are very helpful and I can see the pros at work, this is as good as on hands experience. Beats reading books and trying to work out what they mean, thanks very much." - Robert Zander, Rooty Hill, NSW, Australia.

"I got a lot of help from your info. I painted my car and it came out a lot better than I thought I could have ever done. Thanks for all the help." - Paul Harvell, NY, US.

"Watching a professional along with details about the why and how of every step was just what I was looking for. Being able to download the videos and have them available to watch at any time is well worth every penny." - Dave Holden, Bayard, New Mexico, US

"I believe the cost of this system is a drop in the ocean if you look at the details and demonstrations given. So yes, I am happy I have definitely saved money so far. I have already recommended the system to a few friends." - Ben Walker, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK

"I have really enjoyed the information that I have gotten from LearnAutoPainting the System, it is very good information and well worth the cost. I appreciate your personal and quick response. Thank you so much." - Calvin Woods, Queen City, TX, US

"The videos are priceless pieces of information and excellent value for money." - Jeremy Lanfranco, Birkirkara, Malta

"Hi XXXXX, I have been an auto body technician for about 20 years now and I like the ideas and expertise that you guys supply. I don't have many problems with my work, just from time to time such as with matching pearl paint and other small blemishes like dust and other things. I want to thank you guys for your site, it helps to educate people. I've learned a few things from you guys like what a stud gun is. Thanks again for all of your tips and help." - Rodger, St. Lucia, Caribbean

"Thanks a lot for all of the high quality information that has been prepared and so graciously forwarded on to many people like myself. All of the tips and techniques have helped to produce an outstanding result in my restoration of my 1975 two door Range Rover. Once again thank you." - Mike Remkes, Adelaide, Australia

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank XXXXX and all his staff in making this amazing book 'How to Paint a Car - The Written Guide' available. It helps a lot, especially for those who are trying to excel in the car painting business like me. It's given me a lot of tips and techniques on preparation ready to paint the desired color." - Troy in the Philippines

"Thanks a lot this is really helpful and I could not have done the job without the system. The money was well spent. Now I just have to sand like that boy from the karate kid!" - Steven I, Chicago, IL, US

“Following substantial paint work damage due to vandalism, my aging car was practically a write off. I had no knowledge whatsoever of where to start but this pack, along with some time and patience allowed me to remove all of the scratch marks for £120. Bargain.” - Tom McCombie, Manchester, UK

“Looking at the video clips for the first time I’m getting a lot of ideas and info and I believe I am confident that I can do a good job.

The reason I bought this system was to have some tips and ideas on how to go about painting my whole car and also using the correct grades of sandpaper, what sort of paint, plus many different techniques in doing it the proper way. I’m absolutely happy with my purchase.

Number one benefit about this system would be mainly the correct approach in painting, fixing dents, spraying, masking, materials and tools used to perform the task. Sure, I can recommend this to anyone.”
- Peter Stephens, Perth, Western Australia

"I love cars and how they would look if painted but I can't do it since I don't know how to paint. Now I've found a tutorial that teaches how to do it. 'How to Paint a Car - The System' teaches you how to paint professionally and do it right the first time, also some good techniques in paint preparation. I like the idea that I could readily get what I purchased; probably this is one of the reasons that I immediately purchased this product." - Aldwin Aurelio, Quezon City, Philippines.

"It is a pleasure and wonderful to know there are people like you who have got a web site like this to help people like us who need help with our cars, to have the knowledge that we can gain from experts. I am glad that I have come across your web site and I want to thank you all for your anniversary sale at such a low price. Happy 1st Anniversary and may you have many more. Excellent work guys you deserve an A+." - Peter Stephens, Perth, Western Australia

"I restore Austin minis and do all the work except the paint and I wanted to try the painting as well for the experience and the cost saving. I am very pleased with the information provided. I am a beginner. Never painted a car before. By studying 'How to Paint a Car - The System' I was able to successfully carry out the required work to my vehicle. So far I have primed two cars and painted/clear coated one car on the underside/firewall. I got an excellent result the first time. The number one benefit of this system is being able to see how a professional does the job. I would recommend this to others." - Mandeep Jawanda, Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada

I got ‘How to Paint a Car – The System’ to update myself on the new clear coat paint. I did some painting years ago and I am at intermediate level. The course was a lot of help to me. I benefitted by seeing how the new 2 step painting was done and done right. I have painted a Harley motor cycle and it came out good, and a car hood and it looked new. Thank you for the help. Ken Windsor, CA. USA.

For more glowing testimonials please visit our testimonials page.

Additional Options