Paint Science


Active Member
Has anyone given an in depth analysis or lecture about auto paint?
I want to know the differences between primer, enamel, acrylic, epoxy, urethane, oil based, sandable, rust converter, when you use clear coat, hardener etc. Everything about paint, even getting into the chemical structure and properties if possible. And where to use these paints. What makes a paint chemical resistant or resistant to high temperatures?
There’s so many different brands, marketing and misinformation out there.
I’m currently cleaning up the engine bay and will be painting the firewall, chassis, engine, inner fenders, radiator core support, control arms etc.

Link about epoxy and enamel.


I will be interested to read some responses. The choices are mind numbing. Having only painted a couple airplanes, one mostly covered in fabric, the other all aluminum, the whole single stage, base/clear, etc. has been a challenge. I chose single stage recently for my K30 project and believe it will be just fine.


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member


The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
as with any auto related skill set, it will take you doing some research into the skills, and tools required,
and it certainly would help immensely,
if you can find and learn from a skilled and experienced mentor
obviously having some real hands on, experience before you tackle some larger project will be very useful.
Id suggest talking to a few auto body shop managers, painters and taking the effort to buy and read a few books,
and watch a few videos, with the internet,
now available you can rather easily find, watch and if necessary purchase a great deal of info.
you can certainly get into some web sites and read through discussions on different equipment, and how to increase your skill sets.
and if there's a local car club, join it and find the local guys that have projects they are doing that require the skill and tools you need to learn,
and yeah, VOLUNTEER , to help some guy doing body work, paint prep, and painting and watch and learn from his mistakes and successes,
and make damn sure that you show up and yes it may take a few days,
but be there, and help work, do the hours of sanding and body work,
its called "paying your dues" and in the long term its going to pay off in a great deal of experience, especially if you ask questions,
take notes and take the required effort to make personal contacts (friends),
with the guys suppling the paint and supplies used at the auto paint stores and body shops. get the guys names and phone numbers,
write the shop addresses and phone numbers down.
you will eventually be dealing with these guys on a regular and continual and on-going basis.
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