Painting a car is a more complex process than you may think

A palette showing Ford exterior colors for 2008 is shown next to a row of Ford Edge vehicles at the Bob Maxey Ford dealership in Detroit, Sept. 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

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Adding color to a car is a bit more complex than simply slapping a coat of paint on the body.

Modern-day automobile paint is applied in several layers, with a total thickness of just 0.1 millimeters.

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First, the car’s body is dipped in an electrocoat paint, or an “E-coat.” This helps the other paint layers stick.

After that, the car is primed, which protects the body and also makes the basecoat easier to apply. The basecoat is the color you see when you look at your car.

There are three categories of basecoat pigments:

  1. Solid
  2. Metallic
  3. Pearlescent

Finally, the car is covered in a clearcoat, which protects the paint against the elements.

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