Single Stage Paint: Everything you need to know

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Automotive paintwork requires proper knowledge to get the project done in the right manner. Vehicle painting is quite different than to paint utility equipment. Those take smooth finishing with a depth of base that offers a shining and reflecting look on your car.

You will find two basic types of auto-painting out in the field,

1. Single Stage Paint

2. Clear Coat Paint

Single-stage painting is more often seen. It has been since the first car painting in history. Whereas Clear Coat or Base Coat paint is newer to consider. Today we will learn everything about Single Stage Paint and its application.

Let’s get started.

Single Stage Paint

What is Single Stage Paint?

Single-stage paints are one-layer paintworks for vehicles. In automotive paintings, single-stage paints are top of a line color system. Though, modern-day cars are more likely to come with a clear coat painting. But single-stage painting is still in favor of the most.

Single-stage paint requires a single direct application on a primed surface. It requires no clear coats since all the chemicals are pre-mixed. A single layer of paint will do the job of shining as well. And it dries faster than base coat paintworks. 

But of course, you will also find some flaws in considering the clear coat paint that you will learn in the next step.

Single Stage Paint on car

Single Stage VS Two Stage paint

You will find several differences between the single-stage and clear coat paintwork. Of course, base coat paint is the most suitable one to choose. The differences are given side by side below. You can now find out the paintwork your project can finish off efficiently.

Single Stage Paint

Two-Stage/Clear Coat Paint

Strength, color, and gloss are in one solution

Takes a color coat and a clear coat individually

Happens in only one application

 Application of the color coat and the clear coat is needed one by one

Lack the depth of base

Projects are well finished and shiny

Great for traditional restoration

Best for glossy finishing

Single-stage paint offers you one-time preparation and completion of the project, whereas base coat paint offers chances to correct any mistake between the stages.

Two Stage paint

Single Stage Paint Activator

Activators are used to harden and cure the coating done to the vehicle. Using a hardener or activator makes your paint weather resistant and keeps it from bubbling and fading.

Single-stage paint requires an activator when acrylic enamel paints are used. Hardener increases the durability of the paint in contrast reduces fast drying. But painting with synthetic paints will not require any activator since they are pre-added to the paints.

But it is to ensure that you do not paint the finished coat on an uncured paint layer. Add activator if needed. Otherwise, the result will be disastrous in a few years.

Colors

Single-stage paint offers some finishes to choose from Black and White. The vehicle manufacturers may scrimp to offer, but after-market automotive paints do not. Popular available colors and finishes are,

  • Satin Black
  • Black Crystal Sapphire
  • Black Crystal Ruby
  • High Gloss White
  • Black Crystal Emerald
  • Black Crystal Aquamarine
  • Black Crystal Amethyst

Single Stage Paint Kit

Paint kits are available for single-stage auto painting too. A paint kit is usually included with all the necessary elements, such as paint, reducer, hardener, sticks, strainer, dust masks, etc.

The paint kit brings all the necessary pieces of stuff you will need to paint your vehicle. Whether you are applying a sprayer or an absolute mixture, a paint kit offers you all the types of equipment and the paint itself within it.

Paint kits are available for acrylic enamel and acrylic urethane. You will find them depending on the finish you wish to look on your car. There are satin, star-fire, or glossy finish paint kits available with different color variations and price tags.

How to mix Single Stage Paint?

Except for the sprayer, you will need manual mixing for the paint. Primarily you will need the paint you want to use, a reducer, and a hardener for a final touch.

The following items are needed to complete the mixing of single-stage paint.

  • Liquid measuring cup                     
  • Bucket
  • Urethane paint
  • Clear Coat
  • Floetrol and
  • Paint stir stick

Take a clean bucket and measure the paint using the measuring cup. The initial measurement will decide the perfection of your painting. The measurement ratio is to perform accurately to find the best out of your painting.

Then measure the appropriate reducer in an exact ratio. Select the reducer base on your type of paint following the paint ratio.

Similarly, the hardener needs to measure out with the measuring cup. 8:1:1 is an initial measurement ratio in most cases. But the ratio of the mixture depends on the type of your paint, the composition you want, and the type of reducer and hardener that are proposed to mix.

Using the stirring tool, mix all the components gently. Remember, do not shake the mixture because this will cause bubbles that visualize the orange peel on the surface. Filter the pant out for smoother paint.

Best Single Stage Paints

We believe you have come so far in search of reliable single-stage paint for your car's paintwork. Thus, we are enlisting some of the trusted and popular branded paints that can be your preferred ones too. Our selected products are highly recommended by professionals and experts.

1. Restoration Shop - Fire Red Pearl Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint

Since 1974, Restoration Shop has been a trusted top-quality brand and the source for innovative and premium quality automotive paints. All Restoration Shop stock paint colors are inspired and named after popular classic colors and are not made to match OEM paint manufacturers' color codes.

Key specs: 

Manufacturer

Restoration Shop

Paint type

Acrylic, Enamel

Weight

12 pounds

Surface type

Metal

Color

Red

Finish type

High-Gloss

Is discontinued

No

Product Details

Paint color can be sprayed as is but has an 8 to 1 mix ratio when it's used along with a hardener. AE3001 Wet-Look Acrylic Hardener is not included but is available separately or in kits along with the paint color. AE Paint is 2.8 VOC when used as packaged, as no reducer is required (optional reducer sold separately).

The Restoration Shop (AE) Acrylic Enamel System is a Professional Easy-To-Use Single-Stage High Gloss Paint Coating System that is designed for Overall Automotive Refinishing but is also used as a Fleet and Industrial Equipment Coating.

AE is an easy-to-spray fast-drying topcoat system that provides a long-lasting and very high gloss finish result.

2. Eastwood Cruise Night Blue Metallic 3:1 Topcoat Paint

This premium 2-component topcoat system is blended with top-quality raw materials and advanced composition coatings technology. This is superior to acrylic, alkyd, and lacquer coatings. Eastwood's single-stage urethane paints hold their gloss longer and won't be yellow.

Key specs:

Manufacturer

Restoration Shop

Paint type

Acrylic, Enamel

Weight

12 pounds

Surface type

Metal

Color

Red

Finish type

High-Gloss

Is discontinued

No

Product details:

This Classic Blue is a just bit lighter than Eastwood’s Burn-Out Blue Metallic.

Catalyzed urethane for unsurpassed durability and longevity of the coating.

Highly resistant to UV rays, chemicals, chips, and other environmental elements and, Approximate coverage is 125sq/ft.

Makes 1 spray-able gallon when mixed 3:1 with a required activator.

3. Speedokote High Gloss Bright White 2K Acrylic Urethane

Acrylic Urethane High Gloss paint by Speedokote is one of the most positive reviewed single-stage paints. Speedokote has been one trustworthy and reliable paint manufacturer for automotive paintworks.

Let’s take a look at the product specifications. The details will provide an in-depth discussion.

Key specs:

Manufacturer

Speeedokote

Paint type

Acrylic, Spray

Weight

1 gallon

Surface type

Exterior

Color

White

Finish type

High-Gloss

Is discontinued

No

Product details:

This sale is for High Gloss Bright White 2K Acrylic Urethane, 4:1 Gallon Kit; which includes one activator, SMR-9710/1260.

Bright White Single Stage Paint SMR-9710 is a 2 component acrylic urethane coating. It mixes 4:1 with a 5% optional reduction with Urethane Grade Reducer.

This coating is a high-quality single-stage urethane topcoat. Features true 2K Urethane durability. Uniform bright White color.

Excellent exterior stability from UV Light. Fast dry and easy 4:1 mix ratio.

How to choose a Single Stage Paint?

Picking out the best suit of paint isn’t the easiest job to do. Once you are mistaken the whole appearance of your vehicle may fade to the cloud. That is why the perfect combo for the paint is required for a better and long-lasting paintwork project for a car.

Here, we are suggesting some elemental steps that will help you find the right color option for your vehicle.

Select the type of paint first. Since the paint is the principal material of the project this has to be the most accurate selection. Urethane, Acrylic Enamel, Acrylic Lacquer, and Acrylic Urethane, these four types of paints are available for your single-stage painting. 

Check the quality and the chemical information from the catalog. Only knowing the exact amount of chemicals can help you find the proper ratio between the reducer and the hardener.

Yes, figuring out the ratio of the paint, reducer, and hardener is the most valuable mid-work on your project. We suggest following the manual provided with the paint or contacting an expert to find out the exact ratio of the paint and other elements.

Prioritize better brand and paint kits for toll-free painting. Pick the suggested reducer and activator for your paint, Sometimes it can use heavy equipmets paints.

Which paint is more durable, single-stage or clear coat?

Ans. Single Stage paint will provide you a stronger grip on the surface. This provides factory-like painting on the car and gets a long time with regular abrasions.

How do I select which one would be best for me?

Ans. Our comparison chart would help you to find the best suit according to your project.

What is the duration for single-stage paintwork on a vehicle?

Ans. A lifespan of 10 to 15 years is offered if the paintwork is done in the right manner.

Read more: Degreaser for car paint

Final Verdict

Painting reintroduces your car with a more aggressive and acceptable look. A shiny coating enhances the beauty of a car. Where single stage paint does the job without making trouble. Moreover, it takes less of your time.

Single-stage paint can be suggested to most vehicle owners looking for a new look for their buddies. This paintwork even saves money considering two-stage paints. Therefore it could be a real choice for instance. 

Source: SINGLE-STAGE URETHANE PAINT .pdf

U350 Single Stage .pdf

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