Hot Rod Paint: What Is It and What Is It Used for?

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If you are a fan of classic cars, you are most likely drawn to their timeless style and just about every aspect of them. Paint jobs are a big part of what keeps classic cars so current and eye-catching.

If you have never heard of hot rod paint, you are probably not the only one. However, you have most likely seen it before without realizing.

We consulted classic car maintenance and repair experts at Chimera Motors to learn more about this fascinating type of paint and what it is used for.

What Does the Name Refer to?

The name suggests that it is a paint used to paint hot rod cars. However, the name, in this case, might be a bit misleading.

In fact, hot rod paint is an umbrella term for the type of low gloss or matte finish which is used on cars, motorcycles, and trucks mostly. The finish started out as a black-only option, but over time, it evolved and now it includes a variety of colors.

The low gloss of the finish is really striking, especially when compared to the high gloss which is common in the automotive world.

Types of Hot Rod Paint

There are numerous types of finishes for cars, and the complexity is present in the hot rod paint world as well. You are most likely to find hot rod paint as urethane, enamel, or as a lacquer.

Naturally, the urethane option is the most durable and the best option, but it is also the most expensive. That’s why it is not the most frequently used.

However, if you can afford it, you should definitely consider going with this option. Not only is it not much more expensive than the other options, but it is also significantly more worth the time, money and effort.

Products which claim to be the primer are probably not worth the time and money. Even though they can look good, sun exposure damages them and they will fade much sooner.

Maintenance of Hot Rod Paint

This is a big downside for hot rod paint and a potential deal-breaker for many. Seeing how it is matte or low-gloss, any and every oily spot will appear glossy on it and will be very obvious and visible.

This is why people with hot rod paint need to take special care of their vehicles and constantly make sure that there are no spots.

People who are not completely devoted to their vehicle typically give up and opt-out at this point. However, true enthusiasts don’t back down and aren’t afraid of putting in the extra work to ensure that their vehicle looks its best.

The dirt and regular grime are typically no more a problem for a matte finish than it would be for a glossy finish, but scuffs and scratches can be problematic, since you can’t really polish and buff a matte finish on a car.

Prevalence of Hot Rod Paint

No more than a decade ago, this type of paint was rarely seen, typically reserved for special vehicles, such as hotrods (hence the name). However, just like many other niche trends, this type of paint really blossomed and is now widely available for purchase in most specialized stores.

Alternatively, you can take your car to a classic car professional for a paint job. However, that is not the end of the story of hot rod paint, because it is becoming more and more available as an option from major car manufacturers who have recognized the potential and the appeal of this type of paint.

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