automotive paint

What is automotive paint?

Car coating, or sometimes referred as automotive paint, car paint, automotive or vehicle paint, are those applied on cars, motorcycles, trailers, vans etc. Automotive coating is applied during production of vehicles whereas coatings applied later are called vehicle refinishes. Thus, automotive coating or paint is always applied in factory environment and vehicle refinishes can be applied in different environments. A commonly used coating is glass coating for cars.

Glass coating for cars

Glass coating or ceramic coating is one of the latest sensations in the automotive coating industry, even though they are not cheap! So are they worth it? Before we tell you more, please understand that glass coating is not really made of glass, as some manufacturers would lead you to believe. Yes, it contains silica, which is also used for making glass, but that’s where their similarities end. Glass is made of the following materials: silica, sodium, calcium, magnesium, alumina and potassium. Glass coating, on the other hand, is made up of silicon, silica, fluorine and titanium. Technically, glass coating is just another type of car paint protection film. And like any other material, it has its own set of pros and cons.

The pros of glass coating for cars:

  • At first; it is a durable coating and effective for up to two years;
  • Then; it makes the surface scratch, abrasion and stain resistant;
  • Last; It gives the vehicle a beautifully enhanced and superb shine.

The cons of glass coating for cars:

  • Its difficult to apply;
  • Also; it is more expensive;
  • Its a harsh and toxic chemical.

What is the purpose of automotive coatings?

Vehicles are designed for transportation purposes and are always exposed to weather conditions, UV light and dirt and dust. Therefore, a set of coating layers is applied on car bodies for protection. Another function of automotive coating is to give an appealing colour and gloss to the surface. Colours can have influence on buying decision.

Automotive paint types

When one is buying a new car, after choosing the brand and type, the most difficult decision is choosing the colour. Several options are available.

Solid paint

Solid paint is the non-cost option for car coating. It is a solid basic colour often available in white, black, blue and red shades and it is always non-metallic. A solid paint is a single layer of colour finished off with a layer of lacquer.


Metallic coatings are similar to solid paints yet not the same. The metallic paints contain additional powdered metal to give the paint a different kind of glow. Most often the metal used is aluminum.


Pearlescent coatings have a special kind of sparkle and deep colour. This is realized by replacing the metal particles with ceramic crystals which create an illusion that the car sort of changes colour when looking at it from different angles.

Matte finishes

Matte finishes are not very common but available for some niche vehicles. Usually, the matte coatings are either grey or black. The matte surface is often a result of solid paint and epoxy or PVC primer.

Car coating application

Applying automotive paint is one of the most demanding phases of the production. As automotive coating applications always take place in a factory environment, the process is often automated. The coating process must deliver outstanding results with minimized waste and errors.

Usually a car body goes through 20 different process stages before it leaves the paint shop. The main stages include:

  1. Surface treatment
  2. Electro deposition
  3. Curing
  4. Sealing and priming
  5. Curing
  6. Grinding (manually)
  7. Top coating
  8. Curing
  9. Inspection and repair
  10. Assembly line

Trendy colours car coating

The annual Axalta Global Automotive Color Popularity Report — the most comprehensive of its kind in the industry — finds that for the fifth year running, white is the most popular car color across Asia, Africa, Europe, America and South America, accounting for over one third (35%) of all vehicles sold. Black is a distant second — 18% — followed by silver (13%) and grey (10%). So, the majority of Malaysians picks white when it comes to their selection of car colors.

Company cars are most often white due to the fact that white is often the cheapest colour. Company vehicles also usually have tape or stickers presenting company name and logo. These are best applied on white surfaces.


The price of the coating is dependent on the type applied. The cheapest automotive coating is solid paint. Metallic and Pearlescent coatings are more expensive and also add to the price of the finished products. The same counts for matte finishes.

Where to buy car coating in Malaysia

Automotive coating is not available for consumers under the product name. Basically, vehicle refinishes are the same products in smaller quantities and they are also available for the consumers.

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