Best Application
House Of Kolor Shimrin2 Kandy Basecoat

A high-quality car paint with good coverage and high pigmentation.

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Best Value
Rust-Oleum 252468

An affordable car paint with good weather-resistant properties.

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Best Paint Kit
Restoration Shop Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint

An acrylic enamel car paint kit with everything you need.

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Best UV Resistance
Speedokote High Gloss Jet Black

An acrylic urethane-based car paint with a high image distinctiveness.

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Best Gloss Finish
Dupli-Color Clear Perfect Match

An automotive top coat with perfect color matching to your car.

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There are a variety of factors worth considering when looking for the best car paint for your vehicle. But wading through samples of different types of paint with differing applications takes time and expertise that many people don’t have. 

The best car paints will stand up to the elements, be easy to apply, and be easy to match to your car’s color. Read on to learn more about the characteristics of the best car paints and options from some of the biggest brands in the industry.

Car Paint Buyers Guide

When seeking the best paint for cars, consider the following before making a purchase.

One-Stage Paint Vs. Two-Stage Paint

There are two methods for applying enamel paint to your vehicle.

  • One-stage paint: This type of paint was most popular in the 1980s prior to new technologies emerging. It is an all-in-one paint solution that consists of both basecoat and clearcoat in one formula and is typically cheaper as well as quicker to apply than two-stage paint.
  • Two-stage paint: This type of car paint is applied in two phases. The first stage involves applying the basecoat. However, it should be noted that primer should be applied before using this paint method or the single-stage paint method. The second stage simply involves applying the clear coat after the base coat dries. This type of paint tends to offer a longer-lasting finish than its counterpart.

Types Of Paint

There are four types of paint that you’re likely to encounter during your search for the best car paint.

  • Urethane: This type of paint is typically the longest-lasting option and is highly resistant to chipping as well as fading. Urethane paint is more expensive than enamel paint due to its high quality, and it’s often considered a solid alternative to lacquer.
  • Acrylic enamel: This type of paint is relatively long-lasting, as it forms a hard shell over the entirety of the car. It has two different application methods: single-stage and two-stage paint.
  • Acrylic lacquer: This type of car paint was the first (and only) option for car paint for many years. It is the easiest to apply, but it fades quickly. This paint does leave a high-gloss finish, but it’s illegal in several states due to its environmental impact.
  • Acrylic urethane: This type of paint hybridizes the two factors that make enamel and lacquer paint great. It is long-lasting like enamel and easy to apply like lacquer. This paint contains a catalyst to make it dry quickly, so it must be used as soon as it’s mixed.

5 Best Car Paints

Our Review Standards

To select the car paints featured in this buyers guide, we consult our network of experts for their thoughts on paint. These experts have over 100 years of combined experience in aftermarket auto fields ranging from detailing to accessories to tires, and everything in-between. These experts helped us identify the qualities that would be most important to someone looking for car paint and the standout brands in each category.

Our team then combed through dozens of resources such as DIY mechanic and auto enthusiast forums, manufacturer and paint-specific websites, instruction manuals from manufacturers, and reviews from online retailers. We pay particularly close attention to quality reviews and recommendations that highlight the quality of warranties, customer service support, build quality, materials, and overall reliability.

We also factored in the quantity and quality of online retailer reviews from websites such as Amazon, RealTruck, Advance Auto Parts, and more. We looked at factors such as notable customer reviews, prices, meaningful superlatives, and discount shipping eligibility. We did the research so you don’t have to.

Why You Can Trust Us

Since 2020, we have published over 200 auto product reviews in an effort to make shopping for auto products easier. Our team of writers, editors, researchers, and product experts collaborates to thoroughly vet top products. We try to perform in-house testing on real vehicles whenever possible before making our recommendations.

When testing is not feasible, however, our aim is to make your life easier by doing all the online research for you and presenting that research in the form of easy-to-read product comparisons and buyers guides, rather than outright recommendations. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

#1 Best Application: House Of Kolor Shimrin2 Kandy Basecoat

The House Of Kolor Shimrin2 Kandy Basecoat is both durable and easy-to-apply. This car paint uses a special basecoat technology that hasn’t changed since 1982, and for good reason. This auto paint features fast coverage, high pigmentation, and low solids. Though this specific car paint is Kandy colored, Shimrin2 by House of Kolor is available in metallic and pearl as well.

This car paint has an extensive range of effects that go beyond industry-standard pearls and flakes. This paint has a three-component system consisting of its own Karrier Bases, Effect Pacs, and Kosmic Reducers. Additionally, this paint meets California standards as it has a low 3.5 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $140
  • 3.5 VOC
  • High pigmentation
  • Low solids

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 250 ratings

Reviewers note that you’ll consistently get a smooth finish if you use sanding primer and that there’s a strong color match to their vehicles when using this product for touch-up paint. Many reviewers sing the praises of the paint color, as it’s rich and pops in the sunlight.

#2 Best Value: Rust-Oleum 252468

The Rust-Oleum 252469 car paint is enamel-based and comes in a 12.0-oz spray paint can for easy application. For a professional-quality paint job, this auto paint features a wide spray nozzle, making application a breeze. It also comes in at around $10 per can, which is an unbeatable bargain for spray paints.

The car paint works well on any exterior automotive metal, whether that metal is painted or bare metal. To protect your paint and car body from corrosion, this car paint is not only weather-resistant but also UV-resistant.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $10
  • UV-resistant
  • Weather-resistant
  • Wide spray nozzle

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 3,500 ratings

Reviews point to the spray paint’s ability to leave a high-quality paint job on your vehicle and that this enamel paint leaves a glossy finish after buffing. Many reviewers rave that the auto paint is the best product they’ve used for a DIY repaint job.

#3 Best Paint Kit: Restoration Shop Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint

The Restoration Shop Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint includes a gallon of acrylic enamel paint, a pint of acrylic hardener, five strainers, and five wood paint mixing sticks. The acrylic enamel has an 8-to-1 mix ratio, and the car paint as a whole is 2.8 VOC. This car paint is a single-stage and high-gloss paint that’s designed for overall automotive refinishing.

The acrylic enamel paint is extremely durable, as it features both chemical- and solvent-resistant coatings. Additionally, the car paint is resistant to chipping, cracking, fading, and even UV rays. It should also be noted that this auto paint doesn’t require the use of a reducer.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $150
  • 2.8 VOC
  • Resistant to UV rays
  • Eight-to-one acrylic enamel mix ratio

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 250 ratings

Reviews mention that, if you have access to a spray gun, paint gun, or sprayer, you’ll be able to give your car a professional paint job with this auto paint. Others note that this auto paint is easy to use for beginners. Many reviewers are impressed with the quality of the product they receive for the price. Negative reviews complain about the paint canister being damaged upon arrival.

#4 Best UV Resistance: Speedokote High Gloss Jet Black

The Speedokote High Gloss Jet Black is a two-piece set including a 0.75-gallon can of SMR-9705 and a quart of SMR-9705A medium activator, which yields 1.0-gallon sprayable. The acrylic urethane paint is less than 2.8 VOC, and it mixes at a 3-to-1 ratio. This car paint is designed to withstand the elements with its UV resistance. Additionally, the paint is medium dry and medium cure.

This car paint from Speedokote is a high-gloss paint with a high distinctiveness of image (DOI). It should also be noted that the auto paint is chemical-resistant, meaning you can trust this paint job to last.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $150
  • High DOI
  • 2.8 VOC
  • UV-resistant

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 320 ratings

Reviews note the paint and hardener mix is enough for two full coats and that the paint gives a factory-quality paint job even on a 25-year-old Ford F-150. Many reviewers are impressed by the high-gloss finish of this car paint. Negative reviews mention that you need to buy Speedokote’s fish-eye eliminator and reducer with this product for the best single-stage paint results.

#5 Best Gloss Finish: Dupli-Color Clear Perfect Match

The Dupli-Color Clear Perfect Match is a three-item bundle that includes two topcoat spray paint canisters and a Dupli-Color PW100 prep wipe towelette. The included towelette is specially formulated to remove oil, wax, grease, and other contaminants from your painting surface. This car paint is an acrylic lacquer paint that’s high-quality, fast-drying, and easy to use. It also leaves one of the best gloss finishes in the industry.

Dupli-Color’s Perfect Match line of car paint is available in a variety of exact-match colors for current, as well as late-model, imported, and domestic vehicles. The paint is specifically designed to perfectly match the color of the original factory paint that was on your vehicle.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $15
  • Comes with a prep wipe towelette
  • Available in exact-match colors
  • Fast-drying

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.3 out of 5 based on over 260 ratings

Reviews note that applying a clear coat prior to applying this top coat will yield the best results and that there is a short drying time. Many reviewers are impressed by the high-quality paint job they received for the price. Negative reviews complain that the spray paint shoots spurts of paint rather than a consistent spray.

Best Car Paint Comparison Chart

Approximate CostFinish TypeSize
House Of Kolor Shimrin2 Kandy Basecoat$140Satin32.0 fl oz.
Rust-Oleum 252468$10Matte12.0 oz.
Restoration Shop Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint$150High-Gloss1.0 gallon
Speedokote High Gloss Jet Black$150High-Gloss1.0 gallon
Dupli-Color Clear Perfect Match$15Gloss8.0 fl oz.

Best Car Paint: Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best car paint, there are a number of different things to consider. Price is an obvious consideration, but what kind of finish are you looking for? Knowing whether you want a matte black finish on your classic muscle car or a glossy, electric blue finish on your new Jeep will make the world of difference. From there, it’s simply a matter of deciding which type of car paint will work best for your needs.

Best Car Paint: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.