Different Car Paints

Whether your vehicle is a compact car, a family electric car, a large SUV, or something entirely different, the colour of its paintwork will be one of the most crucial decisions you will make.

Different automobile paints have a big impact on how a car looks, but it’s not just about the colour. These days, paint comes in a variety of finishes, ranging from solid to matte to iridescent.

We here at Griffin Autos will walk you through the various varieties of paint you can encounter on your car-buying journey


The great majority of cars come standard with a solid paint finish. Solid paint is less expensive to develop and apply to a vehicle during the manufacturing process, and most manufacturers give a limited variety of no-cost solid paint options on a new model.

There’s really no reason not to go with one of the regular paint options – but solid paint doesn’t grab attention in the same way that metallic paint does, and purchasers on the used market may prefer a car with a metallic finish.

Damage to cars with a solid finish is easier to fix than damage to cars with metallic or pearlescent paint. Touch-up pens in a suitable shade can often be used to fix paint with small pieces of damage. Solid paint finishes may not be the most intriguing, but they are undoubtedly the most cost effective and easiest to maintain.


Small flecks of aluminium powder are blended with paint. The shine is caused by metal particles reflecting light. Metallics appear best in direct, natural daylight, but they also shimmer on an overcast day.

Metallic paints are frequently a cost option on new vehicles, adding anywhere from £500 to the vehicle’s price, however metallic paint tends to cost more on bigger and costlier vehicles.

Dirt is more visible on metallic finishes than on solid paint, so you may need to clean your vehicle more frequently. However, be cautious because the paint marks much more easily. Any marks, however, can typically be gently polished off. Metallic paint is more difficult to fix because finding an exact match is challenging. Even manufacturer approved body shops provide no assurances.


Pearlescent paints shine brighter and deeper than metallics, but they are more costly and involve more maintenance. Mainstream manufacturers often provide a small number of pearlescent colours, whereas high-end companies frequently offer dozens.

Ceramic particles in the paint reflect and refract light, giving the paint a pearlescent sheen. This gives the colour richness that even metallics cannot match. Lighter tones become iridescent in bright light, making it appear to be different colours depending on the perspective.

However, it is important to note that this type of paint is more prone to blemishes and scuffs, is more difficult to restore than metallics, and requires extra caution when cleaning.


Matte finishes are uncommon because they are often only available in silver, grey, or black. They are also quite rare because they are more expensive and demand more attention than pearlescent paints and finishes.

The matte paint absorbs more light than it reflects, resulting in a dull sheen with a specific grain to the colour. Matte finishes require a lot of upkeep: they must be cleaned on a regular basis with specialised products. Matte finishes are notoriously difficult and expensive to restore effectively.

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If you are interested in a full vehicle respray or wish to utilise any of our other services please do not hesitate to contact us by either filling out our online contact form or calling us on 01525 402896.</p.