A quality paint job can elevate even the most neglected vehicle into a head-turning showstopper. While most modern car manufacturers and body shops use two-stage paint to restore cars and trucks, vehicles from 1980 or earlier typically have single-stage paint.

What is single-stage auto paint? At Cutting Edge Collision Center, one of Tucson’s best auto paint shops, we use this process to restore antique and classic cars to their former glory. Here, we explain how it works and its pros and cons, but if you want to learn more, give us a call at (520) 339-6901.

The Basics of Single-Stage Auto Paint

As the name implies, single-stage auto paint is a type of paint that combines the base coats and clear coats into one layer. When you spray single-stage paint onto the vehicle, it will dry into a shiny finish that doesn’t require any additional protection. 

The paint job on the typical modern vehicle is a two-step process that starts by applying the color as a base coat. Once that dries, the technician applies several layers of clear coat for a high-gloss finish and protection. 

The Benefits of Single-Stage Auto Paint 

The biggest advantage of using single-stage auto paint is speed. It doesn’t take as long to paint a car with this product since you don’t have to allow for drying time between coats of sealant. High-quality paint is also more forgiving if you’re making repairs or touching up the paint, as the single-stage product will blend with the surrounding paint more easily. 

The Drawbacks to Single-Stage Auto Paint 

What is single-stage auto paint’s greatest disadvantage? It’s simply not as durable as the high-quality two-stage options available today. Multiple layers of clear coat prevent fading, oxidation, and chalking much better than a single layer of combined paint and protectant. Ongoing exposure to harsh conditions (like Tucson’s harsh sun) can cause single-stage paint to deteriorate quickly. 

How to Prolong Your Classic Car’s Paint Job 

If you have an older or antique vehicle with this kind of paint, caring for it and keeping the finish shiny and new requires some TLC. Some of the ways that you can protect the paint job and enhance its appearance include:

  • Applying a ceramic coating, a liquid polymer that bonds to the paint surface to form a protective barrier.
  • Applying wax to add shine and protect the paint from the elements.
  • Applying a sealant that keeps the paint looking like new by blocking UV rays, acid rain, and more.
  • Applying a polishing compound to remove scratches and oxidation by hand or using a buffer. 

Let Cutting Edge Collision Center Repair and Maintain Your Vehicles

Whether you need to repair your car after a collision, fix a dent from a run-in with a shopping cart, or restore the appearance of sun-faded car paint, Cutting Edge Collision Center is ready to help. Call our Tucson auto body shop at (520) 339-6901 to schedule an appointment or get answers to all your questions, like “What is single-stage auto paint?” and more.