worker painting car in paint room

What is the Difference Between the Different Types of Car Paint?

When shopping for a new or used vehicle, you often look for one that has a paint color that you like. Or maybe you’re looking to change things up with your current vehicle and switch to a darker or lighter color. You might think choosing a color might be as simple as picking between red or blue, however, there are different types of car paint as well. The three most common types of car paint are: solid, metallic, and pearl/pearlescent. Today, we will be looking at the difference between the different types of car paint. Keep reading to start learning!


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Solid paint finish

This is the most common paint finish that you see on cars. Solid paints are often the basic colors of blue, black, red, and white. These paints are simple to produce so they’re also a lot lower in price. Solid paints are the easiest to use yourself to repair chipped paint or give your car a new look. Although this paint is the cheapest option, it is also seen as the most boring one.

Metallic paint finish

If you’ve ever seen a car sparkle in the sun, it most likely has a metallic paint finish. This paint contains aluminum powder that will catch light and create a shining effect. The light-affecting ability can also help to hide scratches in the paint. Although this paint may look prettier, it costs more to repair dings and scratches. You also might be limited on color choice with metallic paints.

mini models showing paint choices for car

Pearl or pearlescent paint finish

Pearl/pearlescent paints are very similar to metallic paints. However, instead of using aluminum powder, they use ceramic (mica) crystals. These crystals both reflect and refract light which means they can appear as any color of the rainbow. This means as you look at your car from different angles, you’ll see subtle color changes. Just like metallic paints, however, pearl paints are more expensive.


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Learn more about your car with Dan’s Car World

If you want to learn more about common car features, keep on reading the Dan’s Car World blog. Not only do we explain the difference between the varying types of parts, but we also teach you how to do your own repairs and maintenance.