What You Need To Know About Automotive Finishing

For many car owners, their vehicle’s paint job is one of its most important features. They may spend hours every weekend giving it the care it needs to look showroom-new for as long as possible. Others may only think about their car’s finish when choosing a color at the dealership. But no matter how much thought you put into your car’s exterior, a lot of thinking goes into its finish behind the scenes. That’s because automotive finishes are an essential means of protecting your vehicle from corrosion and other damage. Here are some of the essential facts you should know about the process and why it matters so much.

Why Does Finishing Matter?

Regardless of the level of protection it offers your car, a paint job’s most crucial function is providing a barrier against rust and other hazards. Sealing your chassis and covering the bare metal protects against water, salt and grit that can eat away at it over time. This extends the lifespan of your vehicle. It also makes cleaning the exterior easier because dirt and mud won’t stick to it as easily.

What Are the Different Types of Finishes?

Depending on your preferences and requirements, you may choose from a number of formulations, colors and materials for your vehicle’s paint, including:

  • Waterborne vs. solvent-based paint — Traditional paints contain a solvent base such as enamel, urethane or lacquer. However, recent concerns about the volatile organic compounds contained in these and the associated environmental and health impacts have caused many to switch to water-based paints. These contain far fewer solvents and tend to be safer to use.
  • Single-stage vs. two-stage — The main difference between these is the application process. The former includes clear coat in the formula and goes on complete in one pass. The latter must be applied in two phases, with the clear coat going on after the basecoat. A primer is required in both cases.
  • Basic vs. metallic vs. pearlescent — These paints differ in their appearance. Basic colors are the most common, but metallic and pearlescent paints offer enhanced effects and shine.

What Does the Process Look Like?

Paint processes require a controlled environment for the best results. This is because fluctuations in temperature, humidity and other environmental factors can affect how paint adheres to a surface. Typically, the process begins with the application of a primer followed by paint that usually is sprayed onto the car with the use of sophisticated equipment. Finally, if a coat of clear finish is required, it is applied after the base paint has dried.

What Can Rhinehart Finishing Do For You?

The automotive sector is just one of the many specialty areas in which Rhinehart Finishing excels. Our capabilities include liquid spray-painting as well as military-grade, highly durable powder coating. We do everything necessary to ensure a high-quality finish, from mechanical cleaning and pre-treatment to comprehensive coatings. With our complete services, automotive manufacturers and body shops can count on receiving the some of the best paint and coating finishes available anywhere.