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Ok I am no pro by any means when it somes to painting....In fact I have only painted a few cars in my life. I use acrylic enamel over epoxy primers becaus ethats what I was taught to do. But in all reality I have no clue as to which paint ot use for whatever reason!! There are acrylics, polyurethanes, lacquers, whats the difference? What type of paint do you prefer and why?
 

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Use 2K primer (generic if on budget) because it builds thick film fast and sands nice.

I prefer 2 stage base coat/clear coat system because of durability, shineability and repairability. I use Dupont chroma base/clear system only when I must match color exactly (I would use all the time if not so expensive). I quit using PPG because prices at my local shops are outrageous. Many seem to have good luck with cheaper Dupont Nason and other generic paint systems.

PPG 2020 paint system lasted over 10 years on my Dads ungaraged car (car failed before the paint); PPG 2020 which was a urethane base/clear system was discontinued.

Lacquer paint (almost extinct) will fail after about 5 year on ungaraged car.

Enamel lasts many years on garaged cars. Enamel is somewhat repairable. Enamel does not typically have wet look of the clear coat system but I kinda still like enamel. My enamel is starting to fail on my garaged car with 20 year paint job.

Emron is a good single stage paint. Emron is not as shiny as urethane BC/CC paints.

Paint systems are always changing...so by the time you identify a great durable paint system it will likely be discontinued.
 

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Choosing type paint is generally is a budget choice. I will choose straight enamel whenever possible over BC/CC. Basecoat always requires twice as much paint as a single coat. The pigment in basecoat really sucks in my opinion. However, if that’s what the customer wants that’s what they’ll be charged for.
 

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Based on chemistry not brands...

Basecoat/2K Polyurethane Clear

- Best overall weathering/durability (10+ year system)
- Easier to spray metallics/pearls
- Easier to polish
- Highest cost system
- Clear has isocyanate which is very hazardous to health

2K Polyurethane Single Stage

- Best weathering single stage althoug not as good as Base/Clear (5-10 year system)
- No clear required
- Less expensive than base/clear
- Contains isocyanate which is very hazardous to health
- Less spraying (no clear step)

Acrylic Enamel Single Stage

- Fair to good weathering with hardener; fair at best without hardener
- less expensive than polyurethanes
- can be used without hardener to reduce hazards

Alkyd Enamel Single Stage

- Poor to fair weathering with hardener; poor weathering without hardener
- Least expensive topcoat
- Slow drying
- Less hazardous without hardener

Acrylic Lacquer

- Fast dry
- Mid level pricing (~same as acrylic enamel)
- weathering is fair at best but polishes back to gloss easily; good colro retention comapred to enamels
- no hazardous isocyanates
 

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Nice post Eagle...jives with my experience.

Avoid breathing all paint fumes especially isocyanate's.

I developed a DIY, cheap, homemade, easy to don, supplied air respirator to reduce my inhalation of paint fumes (may not work safely for others, don't try this at home). I use a high end respirator with organic vapor cartridge such as 3M 5201 or better ( about 30 USD). The respirator will not remove all of the isocyanate's or other VOC's, especially when the cartridge becomes saturated.
I purchased two second hand nebulizers for cheap. I placed both nebulizers in a clean air environment. I ran small clear tubing from the nebulizers to my 3M respirator. The sum of the clean air from the nebulizers produces a positive pressure of clean air in my mask and I am sure I inhale less paint fumes than my friends who only use the respirator with no clean air. If I had rich friends they would buy an expensive bulky supplied air respirator system.
 
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