The History of Automotive paint from "Then to 2023"
The history of paint is hard to put together just like detailing.
The History of Automotive Paint: From Its Origins to Today. The history of paint is crazy!
Did you know nitro cellulose paint was made from cotton?
Automobiles today typically use one of two types of paint: solvent-borne or water-borne.
Solvent-borne paint, also known as oil-based paint, has been the traditional choice for automotive painting for many years. It is characterized by its high durability and resistance to weathering and fading, making it a popular choice for cars. Custom paints such as cany coat or tri coat paints can have a tinted or mid coat that contains pearl, metalic or shades of tint.
Automotive paint has come a long way since its early beginnings. Like all industires the needs of the people applying or using the products tend to help imporve them over time. Each phase of paints used had a lot of pros and cons. Unfortunatly, it still does today.
In the 1920s and 1930s, car manufacturers began experimenting with more durable and long-lasting paint formulas. These new paints were based on synthetic resins and were much more resistant to fading, chipping, and rust. One of the most significant developments during this time was the introduction of cellulose nitrate, a new type of paint that became the standard for automotive painting in the 1930s.
During World War II, the demand for military vehicles increased, leading to further advancements in automotive paint technology. New types of paint were developed that were resistant to chemicals, heat, and impact, allowing vehicles to better withstand the harsh conditions of the battlefield.
In the 1950s and 1960s, a new era of automotive design emerged, characterized by bold colors, metallic finishes, and intricate designs. This was made possible by advancements in paint technology, which allowed for the creation of vibrant, long-lasting colors and finishes. During this time, new types of paint were developed, including acrylic lacquer and enamel, which became popular for their durability and ability to produce a high-quality finish.
Many of these paints failed to protect acainst staining and damage due to being porous in nature.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the trend towards more complex and sophisticated automotive designs continued, with manufacturers incorporating multiple colors and finishes into a single vehicle. This was made possible by the development of new paint techniques, such as clearcoat, which allowed for the creation of multi-layered finishes that were both durable and eye-catching.
Today, automotive paint continues to evolve and improve, with manufacturers using new materials, techniques, and technologies to produce ever more complex and sophisticated finishes. With the advent of water-based paints, which are environmentally friendly and produce a high-quality finish, car manufacturers are able to create an ever-increasing range of colors and finishes that are both durable and attractive.
The use of digital technology has also revolutionized the way that cars are painted, with manufacturers now able to create intricate designs and patterns that are not possible with traditional techniques. This has led to a new generation of custom-painted vehicles, with owners opting for unique and personalized finishes that reflect their individual style and preferences.
The future of automotive paint looks bright, with continued advancements in technology and materials leading to new and exciting possibilities for car owners and manufacturers alike. From simple, single-color applications to complex, multi-layered designs, the history of automotive paint has been shaped by the need for durability, protection, and style, and will continue to evolve to meet these needs in the years to come.
In conclusion, the history of automotive paint is a fascinating story of technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and the pursuit of beauty and durability. From the early days of single-color applications to today's sophisticated and intricate finishes, automotive paint has come a long way and will continue to evolve and improve in the years to come.
Some of the brands that lead automotive apint ad clearcoat are PPG, BASF, House of Kolours and more.
We talk about the history of paint in our Advanced wet sand and polishing classes held by Gloss University, Here is a list of most of the automotive paints used over the years -
Acrylic Enamels - A type of paint that is made with resins and solvents and dries to a hard, glossy finish. It is one of the most popular types of automotive paint due to its durability and ability to produce a high-quality finish.
Acrylic Lacquers - A type of paint that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s due to its ability to produce a vibrant, glossy finish. It dries quickly and is easy to apply, but it is also brittle and can crack over time.
Urethane or PU polyurathane - A type of paint that is made with resins and solvents and dries to a hard, durable finish. It is often used in conjunction with clearcoat to produce a multi-layered finish that is both attractive and long-lasting.
Water-Based or water-born Paint - A type of paint that is made with water instead of solvents and is therefore more environmentally friendly. It produces a high-quality finish and is becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers due to its low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions.
Cellulose Nitrate (nitrocellulose laquer) : A type of paint that was popular in the 1930s due to its ability to produce a durable, long-lasting finish. It was the standard for automotive painting for many years but has since been replaced by other, more advanced types of paint.
Basecoat-Clearcoat (usually a urathane base paint) - A type of paint that is made up of two layers: a basecoat that provides the color and a clearcoat that provides the glossy finish. This type of paint is commonly used today due to its ability to produce a high-quality, durable finish.
Powder Coat: A type of paint that is made from a dry powder and is applied to the vehicle using electrostatic spraying. It dries to a hard, durable finish and is often used for its ability to produce a smooth, even finish with no drips or runs.
These are some of the most commonly used types of paint in automotive applications. The type of paint used on a particular vehicle will depend on various factors, including the manufacturer's preferences, the intended use of the vehicle, and the desired finish.
Even know we have new forms of paint and paint protection. In Europe we have started to see high solid clear coats that can self heal. Other brands offer sprayable paint protection film that is able to be sanded and polished to paint like finish but can peel off too! The future is going to be interesting for the paint and detailign world headed to 2030.