Deciding between car paint colors can be a daunting task for the casual car or bike owner trying to choose that perfect color for their ride. There are literally more than 60,000 auto paint colors available on the market and at some point each of those colors was considered to be an “in” color. It’s easy enough to recognize a color you like. In fact, it’s often easy to recognize LOTS of colors you like. Narrowing down the pool of colors to make a final choice can be challenging. Adding to considerations are types of paint colors that you may have heard about from friends, and colleagues. While we may not be a able to review thousands of color for your, we can share our knowledge on the various classes of colors and give some features of each with examples.
Custom Paints vs Factory Paints
Let us first break down automotive paint colors down into two general categories; custom paints and factory paints. Factory paints or Original Equipment Manufactur (OEM) colors are those in which are used in the production of commercial vehicles being manufactured in mass quantities. Essentially, these are the paints that are being applied to assembly produced vehicles by brands such as Ford, GM, Chrysler etc. Custom car paints are basically those that are not factory paints. Generally speaking custom paints are made to be unique when compared to factory paints of the era. There is a strong market of car and bike owners looking for colors the stand out and custom paints fill that need. Custom paints range from “loud and proud” to subtle and sleek to fit a wide range of tastes. While custom paints may not be as easily attainable as factory paints, they are readily available and worth the effort if you are looking for a unique finish. Whether custom paints or factory paints there are numerous categories of paints which we will discuss below.
Metallic colors are colors which have a sparkle to them originating from a finely ground aluminum pigment. This metallic pigment gives paints a sparkle with numerous variations in sparkle size and and brightness based on the type of metallic pigment used. Combining these metallic pigments with a wide range of transparent pigments yields thousands of distinctly different car paint color possibilities. To learn more about metallic paints visit our metallic paints page over here. Click the image to the left to download our digital color chart or purchase a hand sprayed chart in the color selectors area in the store.
Pearl Paint Colors with colored shimmers are made by combining special pigments called pearlescent pigments with traditional transparent pigments. Unlike metallic colors that give a silver colored sparkle, pearls are available in a wide range of sparkle colors and sizes. As such, pearl colors are said to have more “color depth” than the average car paint color. Pearl colors can be 2 stage where a pearl base color is applied then cleared or a 3 stage system where a solid base color is applied, then a pearl midcoat, and a protective clearcoat. Lighter colored pearl car colors such as white pearls are often 3 stage systems whereas darker and medium shades are well suited for 2 stage applications. To learn more about pearl colors visit our pearl colors page in the colors menu above. Click the image to the left to download digital pearl color selector or purchase a hand sprayed one in the store.
Solid colors are those which do not contain a sparkling agent such as a pearl or metallic. Black and white are the most popular examples of solid colors but there are literally thousands of other identifiable shades. Solid colors are generally easier to apply than pearls or metallics since there are no sparkling agents to orient evenly. Many of hte most popular classic colors of all time fit into the solid color category. Download our most popular solid colors collection by clicking the image to the left. To see the actual colors, purchase one of our hand sprayed color charts in the color selectors area in the store by clicking here.
Candy colors have unmatched “depth of color”. These colors offer unique looks due to a unique process to make a true candy effect. Candy colors are made by in a 3 step process where a sparkling basecoat is used and then a transparent colored midcoat, the candy coat, is applied and finally protected with a high gloss urethane clear. This process creates a sparkling color where the sparkle appears to be immersed in the color. Candy colors are often referred to as “wet” due to the deep wet shine often obtained. To learn more about candy paints and see our candy offerings visit our candy paint page.
2K Urethane (EKU Series), Candy Base (EKB Series), and Candy Concentrate Colors (EKK)
Color Changing Colors
Color changing paints have the ability to display different colors depending on how or where they are viewed. The most common type of color changing paints are “chameleon paints” that change color based on changes in the viewing angle. Often 3-5 distinctly different colors can be viewed on one object from one paint. These colors offer maximum viewing impact for those that want a ride that really stands out.