Brief History Of Automobile Paints

The first thing that most of us realize when we see a gorgeous car is its color. This is why a paintless dent repair company can be so vital to make sure there are no creases within the body of the car.  Not just the hue but the entire finish whether the paint is light, pretty, or gentle. Over the years cars and their paintings that shield and embellish them have grown. Applying car paint was also advanced from the handprint to the fully automatic machinery aside from changing from natural to synthetic. Let’s look back at the history of car paint in time.

The Beginning Of Car Paint

Cars were hand-made in the early 20th century, much like the way horse-drawn carriages were painted. The color used in those days, like linseed oil and natural pigments, was natural-based. As brush application of several coats was necessary and painted cars took days to dry, the painting process was tedious. In the car industry, this phase was a significant tailback.

Paints And The Growth

In 1923, when they invented nitrocellulose lacquer paints and primers to accelerate application and dry time to a week or less, DuPont significantly advanced the automotive paint scheme. To spread this form of paint, spray guns were used and it helped speed up the manufacturing time of cars. This helped to cut down the time needed to paint a car, but to make the paint finish smooth, it also took labor-intensive and time-consuming hand rubbing. Lacquers have a low tolerance to such solvents dependent on petroleum as well. Repeated exposure to fuel spills, for instance, may affect lacquer finishes.

The Enamel Paints

The car color technique was applied to the alkyd enamel paints in the 1930s. In general, enamel paint was a thicker medium that demanded fewer coats. After spraying on the car, this sort of paint formed a rather durable film and was baked in an oven. The paint layer that was cured was very resistant to solvents such as fuel and was 2 mils thick. Enamels, which only take 2 to 3 steps and 3 to 4 steps for lacquers, are quicker to add compared to lacquers. The downside of alkyd enamel was that when it is oxidized under sunlight, often just after a few months, the colors would disappear or appear grey easily.

The Acrylic Paints

Acrylic enamels were introduced at the beginning of the 1960s. The quality of enamel finishes has been improved. They offered much-improved longevity and a broader range of mainly metallic, vivid, and stunning colors. A new form of finish was created in the late 1970s and it was called basecoat or clear coat.

The Introduction Of Basecoat Method

The cost of the basecoat coating method was high, and only certain high-end car finishes were used. Yet refinements in paint manufacturing helped lower costs in the late 1980s to 1990s and the basecoat paint scheme became popular. Apart from the high cost, the peeling clear coats on many vehicles was another concern with the basecoat paint scheme, resulting in many cars and trucks being repainted by manufacturer warranty statements. Luckily, big paint suppliers fixed those concerns easily. They have created modern finishes that are the most resilient in history, and for those to survive, no care requirement is practically required.

As the equipment for car painting began to develop, further shades of paint were also added. Monochromatic white, black, and grey became popular in 2014. There are plenty of paint schemes and shades to pick from today. We will now see vehicles in natural earth colors, vivid colors, pastels, reds, oranges, plums, indigo blues, and much more from 2015 to the present. When exposed to light, there are also automotive paints that modify the color and those that have a mixture of more than two shades.


Over the years, the car painting technique has truly advanced. If you don’t want to temper with your original car paint, do contact the paintless dent repair company now! We can also see how much car painting technique has changed from the hard job of hand painting and smoothening several layers of natural-based paint that took many days to achieve the car paint technology we have today. And it is certain that the technology for car painting will continue to develop in the future.

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