Owning a car can be an expensive, maintenance-filled commitment if you aren't careful. Do you want to find a vehicle that won't scratch, chip, or dent so easily but have no idea where to start? Is there a car paint color that hides these common imperfections better than the others?
Well, we've done extensive research and have the answer below.
If you don't want the imperfections on your car to be as noticeable, try choosing lighter paint colors, like white and grey. Typically, the softer and less dramatic your vehicle's paint job, the less you will see each scratch, dent, or chip.
In addition, white car paint is also great for reflecting heat away from your car, so if you live somewhere super hot, that could be a win-win situation.
As we begin, we will cover all things car paint and discuss what colors best hide imperfections. Whether it's time for an upgrade or you're curious, we're here to answer all your questions. With that said, let's dive head first into this topic!
What Is The Best Car Paint Color For Hiding Scratches?
White paint is the way to go for those wanting to keep the scratches on their car as unnoticeable as possible. As mentioned above, white tends to camouflage imperfections better than darker options.
Generally, white is great for various reasons, including hiding dents, chips, and even keeping your vehicle cooler on warmer days.
In addition, white car paint is usually free with your new car, meaning you don't have to pay an extra fee.
On top of white, you can also try light grey paint to hide scratches. Although grey is a bit darker than white, it does a great job camouflaging certain imperfections, like scratching and dents.
According to Kirmac, brighter colors minimize imperfections' effects on a vehicle, especially in the sun. Our eyes are easily tricked by these lighter, brighter hues, which can be helpful for those who recently had something damage their car.
Moving back to our grey color suggestion, Kirmac claims that metallic/silver paints are the best for diminishing the appearance of scratching on your car.
The same goes for white, so try to find a vehicle paint with a bit of shimmer to it.
Can My Car's Paint Hide Dents?
It is possible to have your vehicle's paint hide any dents present. Like scratching and chipping, white paint will do the best job of concealing damage.
Of course, no car color will entirely "hide" a significant dent, so if the damage is severe, you may need to have your car repaired instead.
However, lighter paint can better trick the eye into thinking minor damage isn't there, so it's not always useless to consider it. Additionally, car paint with more shimmer will reflect light better, concealing minor dents.
Luckily, most denting is easily fixable at home or when you take your car to the shop. Unlike chips and scratches, a vehicle dent won't remove much or any paint from your car, making the repair process less costly.
What Car Paint Color Shows The Most Imperfections?
Now that you know which colors hide imperfections on your car, which ones don't? Usually, deeper tones tend to show damage, like scratching and chipping, more than lighter options.
Specifically, black and navy blue are notorious for showing imperfections. On top of those, deeper grey paints can also make imperfections on your car look much worse, so that color isn't always a good idea.
Especially for chipping, imagine having black, navy, or dark grey paint. It's much easier to see a large white spot with those colors versus a white-painted vehicle.
According to Clean Tools, black vehicles will show dust, mud, stains, grime, and bird droppings more than lighter options, so that's another thing to consider.
Perhaps you take your car to the wash every other week or even once per month. Although that may fly with a white or silver/grey vehicle, a black one will need more frequent cleaning.
The same goes for deep blue and grey paint jobs, so if you want to save money long-term, you might want to keep your car as light as possible.
Again, that's not to say all dark cars are more prone to damage, but they will show it more.
Is It Better To Have Your Car Be Matte Or Glossy?
Between having a matte or glossy vehicle paint: choose one with more gloss. Especially if you're worried about imperfections, having matte paint can magnify those problem areas.
In general, matte vehicles are harder to clean, repair, and cost more to touch up. On the other hand, glossier finishes will be very easy to maintain and clean and don't cost much to fix.
Considering that most new cars will have glossier paint, it's the standard. Additionally, shinier paint finishes won't show scratching, denting, or chipping as much as matte or eggshell, so keep that in mind.
According to Auto Care HQ, matte cars are better at hiding dust but need to be cleaned twice as much as glossy ones. Also, it's less likely you can touch up a matte vehicle, so you may need to pay for an entire section of your car to be detailed.
What Is The Easiest Car Color To Touch Up?
If the time comes when you need to touch up your car, its color can make a huge difference. In general, a white vehicle will be the easiest to touch up. Surprisingly, many professionals also mention black car paint being an easy fix as well.
This isn't shocking, though, as most black and white paints look similar. Unless your vehicle's paint job is custom, touching up a small scratch or chip shouldn't be a major hassle.
That said, depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to fill in the area, which we recommend leaving up to a professional.
Although trying to repair your car at home will save money, you don't want to botch it. Furthermore, ensure you use vehicle paint, not one meant for your house or furniture.
Car paint will have a different formula than regular paint, meaning you can't substitute it.
You can also try contacting your dealership about buying extra paint for your car, which will help make the touch-up less noticeable.
How Much Does It Cost To Touch Up A Car's Paint?
Depending on the level of damage, a touch-up can cost you a bit of money. With that said, if the scratch or chip is minor, expect to spend between $150 and $250.
Of course, this price will greatly depend on your vehicle, the damage, where you live, and how difficult the repair is to make. For example, if the scratch is less than an inch and it's on your passenger door, you can expect to spend less than someone with a massive chip on their roof.
As we said, paint color can also make a difference here. If you have white dealership paint on your car, it won't cost as much to touch up as someone with a custom shade.
Additionally, you may have someone fill in the chip or scratch it if it's deep. That means you need to spend extra money, which will add time to your repair.
So, if you can negotiate, we think it is a good idea to try.
How Long Does Car Paint Last?
Generally, you can expect the paint on your car to last between ten and 15 years. However, that applies to most modern vehicles, so anyone with an antique car will have a different timeline.
According to Eli's Auto Body, cars painted before the 1960s may only have their finish last between five and ten years on average. Again, this will vary for everyone, but older vehicles don't have paint that lasts very long.
You also want to consider the quality of your paint. Is it from the dealership or a third party? Even though saving some money upfront can seem nice, opting for cheaper car paint will eventually cost you.
For example, a premium-grade dealership car paint will most likely last years longer than the one you had your friend apply in the driveway.
How the paint is applied can also affect its lifespan, hence why we recommend going to a professional.
The last thing anybody wants is to spend a couple hundred on new car paint, only to have it peel or flake off in five years.
What Paint Brand Do Car Manufacturers Use?
If you need to find paint for a touch-up or full-body refinishes, some options will give your car that "dealership" quality.
Considering that the leading producers of automotive paint are PPG, Axalta, AkzoNobel, and BASF, you want to choose one of these fabricators.
Over 80% of dealerships and car makers receive paint from these brands, meaning that the products they sell are most likely used on brand new vehicles.
Therefore, the repair shouldn't be noticeable if you can find paint that matches your car.
Adding to the brands above, you may also find vehicle-grade paints from Sherwin-Williams, Wörwag, Red Spot, Nippon Paint, and United Paint, so you have some options.
To Wrap It Up
Whether you have a new car you're worried about scratching or an older, beat-up one; it's essential to figure out how to fix imperfections.
We found that white is the best color paint to hide flaws on your car. Also, light grey vehicle paint can do a nice job of camouflaging imperfections, as long as it has a metallic finish.
In general, it's best to find light, shimmery paint for your car if you're worried about scratches, dents, and chips, so keep that in mind while shopping.
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