Enamel paint can be the best choice if you are thinking of painting your car to make it look like it just came out of the dealership.
Maybe you know many car painting options, from the cheapest to the most expensive. The ones that save you a little money end up being harmful to the car, or you have to repaint it after a short time.
As you consider this point, enamel paint will be a safe choice for it is quick to dry, gives a shiny coat, lasts long, and most importantly, is resistant to temperature, rain, sun, and abrasions.
But enamel car paint has flaws you must know before going for it. It can emit a toxic odor and be relatively more expensive than other paints on the market.
Here are the detailed pros and cons of using enamel car paint.
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Pros of Using Enamel Car Paint
Enamel paint offers numerous benefits to car owners and is increasingly gaining popularity amongst car owners. Here are some of the benefits of enamel car paint.
1. Resistant to external influence
The enamel paint layer protects the surface on which it is applied. It creates a coating resistant to aggressive external influences, protecting the underlying material and extending its service life.
It is clear that in cars whose bodies are made of steel (which rusts), acrylic paint creates the first line of defense against corrosion.
2. Affordable cost
Most automotive paint costs $30 to $90 per gallon. Suppose you are using acrylic enamel paints for your car.
In that case, it will cost you approximately $50 per gallon, which is affordable and economical in terms of its durability and service life of about 5-10 years.
3. Pleasing to the eye
The enamel paint allows you to individualize your car, make it pleasing to the eye and stand out among many similar cars.
A variety of color palettes and the use of all kinds of spectacular paintwork increase the value of cars and stimulate their sales.
4. Ease in applying
Using enamel saves a lot of time and effort. First, among their many economic advantages, you can apply enamel paints by spraying or brushing on the car’s body.
The spray method is the fastest means of covering the car’s surface. Since the solvents in subsequent coats of enamel evaporate, there is no need to prepare the surface for the next coat.
You must use a particular spray device to quickly and efficiently spray enamel paints. At a minimum, it will cost you from $50 to over $300.
You can also apply enamel paints with a brush, requiring much effort since the enamel dries very quickly.
5. Water-based enamel paint is available
Water-based enamel paint is now available in the market, and it can therefore be easily washed from brushes, cloths, and rags – as long as it is still damp.
Anyone who has worked with solvent-based paint knows how tough it can be and how quickly you can avoid getting your hands cleaned again.
If you don’t clean your brushes with turpentine immediately after use, you can throw them in the garbage after the first use.
With water-based paint, the situation is entirely different. Water and soap are enough to get your hands clean. You can easily wash the brushes and rollers under running water.
6. Good paint ties
Enamel paint has a good bond and firmly adheres to the base. Once the coating film is formed, it exhibits excellent durability and can be expected to have high surface protection.
Since the paint has a good bond, surface treatment is almost not needed before painting. A particular layer is possible without surface treatment except for some materials.
Even if the work is interrupted and restarted, the uneven coating will not be noticeable. The finish will be uniform even if the work is divided over a wide surface.
7. Can be wiped off before the paint dries
An enamel paint exerts a strong fixing power when it dries, but you can wipe it off before the paint dries.
If you accidentally apply it during painting, you can quickly wipe it off before it dries and cleanly wipes off any splattered paint.
If it dries, it will not come off unless dissolved in an enamel solvent, so treat it immediately before it dries.
8. Gives a beautiful sheen
Enamel car paint is excellent option for beautiful sheen, which will give metallic surfaces a beautiful rich appearance. This property depends not only on the film former but on specialized additives.
Most professional painters prefer to paint surfaces with enamel compounds – they are easy to work with, and they are easy to apply and lay down in an ideal layer.
9. Wide selection of color palette
Enamel car paints can be applied in one layer, and modern manufacturers offer a wide variety of such materials with different color options.
All buyers can choose their colors depending on the required shade and preferences. The democratic cost of goods gives the enamel paint a greater dignity than its oil counterparts.
10. Weather resistant
Enamel car paint is not afraid of adverse climatic conditions. It will not lose its color brilliance and will not acquire ugly cracks due to the sun’s influence or rain.
The film, formed based on enamel, has high vapor permeability qualities. Thanks to this feature, moisture evaporates easily and quickly from the surface of the base.
That is why such enamels are often chosen for finishing car surfaces for which contact with water is destructive.
Enamel paints are known to be more flexible than other types of paint. The paint will expand and compress rather than crack as the canvas or frame contracts or expand due to temperature changes.
12. No optimal requirement
This type of paint does not require optimal conditions of use. That is, you can carry out the painting work both at low air temperatures and in hot weather. Thanks to this plus, many painting jobs are greatly simplified.
13. Resistance to mechanical deformation
Enamel paint can stay on the surface and take on a new shape in case of damage to the metal surface.
This quality is especially appreciated when painting cars because you can easily straighten the body in an accidental collision, and repainting is unnecessary.
14. UV resistance
The most well-known paints lose their decorative properties when sunlight exposes. It is not the case with enamel coatings. They can be outdoors at all times without harming the coat or color.
15. Overall protection of your car
Most car owners think enamel paint comes in glossy ad shiny form. However, flat or matte enamel paints are available in the market, gaining popularity among car owners.
The flat enamel paint emphasizes the body’s unique shape and adds aggressiveness to it with better protection against mechanical damage.
Therefore, owners of cars painted with flat enamel paint are much less likely to complain about all kinds of scratches, chips, and other defects.
Another undoubted advantage is that with the help of this color, you can hide various body defects: repair sites, minor dents, scratches, and so on. Such defects are obvious on glossy coatings, especially when the sun’s rays hit their surface.
Due to the roughness of such paint, all kinds of pollution accumulate less on its surface, and traces of prints are not visible here. Accordingly, owners of cars with a matte body finish visit a car wash much less often.
Cons of Using Enamel Car Paint
Although enamel paint is easy to handle and has excellent durability, it also has disadvantages.
If you use enamel car paint without considering the disadvantages, you must be careful because applying and damaging your vehicle may be challenging.
1. Potential Harm
Enamels can be harmful. Oil-based enamel paints have strong odors that can irritate and are sometimes harmful.
Because they are made from solvents such as urethane, they are potentially flammable while still in wet form.
The volatile content of enamel paint can also cause severe damage to the environment, mainly when spills occur.
Water-based enamel paints are not as toxic and allow painters to work without worrying about inhaling toxic fumes or putting up with strong odors.
It would be best to do the finishing work in a well-ventilated area using personal protective equipment and strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
2. Drying is slow
Enamel paint, which reacts with air to form a paint film, takes time for all the applied paint to dry.
Lacquer paints dry in a few hours, but glossy enamel paints take at least half a day to volatilize all the solvent.
Please note that the inside layer is often not dry, even if the surface is dry. Allow sufficient drying time to avoid accidental touching before drying.
3. Cannot be reused once dry
You cannot reuse the enamel car paint once it is solidified. Enamel paint exerts a strong fixing power when it dries and solidifies.
It is ideally solidified as a coating film, but care must be taken when handling the paint before use. It can never be used again because it will solidify in the paint can in response to the air.
Take out only the required amount from a container and use it. Immediately cover the paint can to prevent it from coming into contact with the air.
4. Cannot be mixed with other brand products
You cannot mix the enamel paint with other brand products. Even with the same enamel paint, the ingredients and manufacturing methods differ from brand to brand.
Enamel paints differ significantly in properties, even with slight differences in ingredients, so do not mix them with other brand products.
If you mix it with other brands and use it, not only will it not be finished cleanly, but it will not settle and fall off.
5. Water-based enamel paint can be less resistant to humidity
Due to its water-based composition, this type of enamel paint is less resistant to humidity. It is therefore not recommended during the rainy season or, if applied, not to wash your car regularly.
It tolerates infiltration quite severely and cannot be washed with household products. Only a little soapy water will help by cleaning it from the bottom up.
Also, these types of paint require several applications because their oil-free composition inevitably adheres slightly less to the car surface.
For better preservation of colors over time, applying a minimum of 2 coats and, ideally, an undercoat beforehand is necessary.
6. Difficulty removal
High adhesion of enamel paint can often be a disadvantage because, for example, coat of paint can be tough to remove if you want to change the color.
There is no separate washing for enamel coatings; this has to be removed mechanically, which is challenging.
7. Difficulty in DIY
Though applying enamel paint seems easy, it is advisable, especially for slow painters, to seek professional help as the paint tends to dry faster when exposed to air.
Applying enamel paint requires specific equipment and the ability to handle that equipment, such as brushes or sprayers.
Unless you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t even try to paint yourself, as this will only result in wasting paint.
8. Hardly flexible
A disadvantage of enamel is that an enamel layer is rigid and hardly flexible. The car’s metal surface can be more flexible than enamel paint, causing cracks in the coating.
In the first case, cracks can occur, and pieces of enamel can jump off the base material. It can expose the underlying metal to oxygen, water, and chemicals, thus causing corrosion.
Enamel is currently used that has an equivalent expansion coefficient as the underlying material to prevent damage to the enamel.
Pros and Cons of Using Enamel Car Paint (Quick Glance)
|Resistant to minor mechanical damage and chemicals|
|Resistance to temperature changes|
|Retains its bright color for many years, even under direct sunlight|
|Does not emit harmful substances|
|Dries quickly enough without requiring high temperature|
|Resistant to mechanical damage|
|When dried, it becomes dense and shiny, which eliminates the need for additional polishing|
|Contain high content of flammable varnish|
|Last for 5 to 10 years, and no need for repaint|
|Special storage requirements for cans. Must be placed in a vertical position|
|Toxic when applying|
|Pungent odor when applying|
|Unrestorable mechanical damage due to negligence in maintenance and operation|
|Fake enamel in stores that cannot boast of good quality and ease of application|
As you can see, using enamel car paint can be beneficial or filled with nuances. The selection process has its subtleties that you need to consider; else, numerous mistakes and embarrassments can occur when painting a car.
(Last Updated on September 2, 2022)