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A Fresh Coat: The Best Spray Paint For Cars

Discover the top spray paints for cars to give your vehicle a fresh, new look. Find out which brands are the best for quality and durability in our comprehensive guide.

Although you made the choice of car color before its purchase, maybe you are ready to add a few changes or touch up a few areas that have seen some wear and tear over the years. With scratches and fades bound to appear as time passes, giving your automobile a fresh coat of paint might just be a great idea. But what are the best spray paints for cars that will make it look perfect again?

We are going to take a look at the different categories of car spray paint, considerations to make before purchasing an automotive spray paint, and notable alternatives on the market.

You are probably wondering, why should you listen to us? 

Over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry allows us to provide you with great first hand knowledge of what works best. Let us take the guesswork out of the process for you and save you some time! 

After all there is nothing worse than spending hours and hours reading blog post after blog post and not finding what you need.

Let’s jump right in and get you touching up that fresh grocery cart ding in no time!

7 Car Spray Paints That Will Transform Your Ride

We’ve examined the major spray paint categories available alongside considerations to make when buying one. Now, it’s time to uncover the best spray paints for cars in the market. Here, we’ll take a peek at seven options that stand out from the rest.

Using durability, thickness, dry timeline, quality, and heat resistance as markers, the seven best spray paint for cars, as highlighted by our experts, include:

Rust-Oleum Automotive Enamel Spray Paint

Rust-Oleum automotive paint can

Best Overall

Brand: Rust-Oleum

Finish Type: Matte

Size: 12 Ounce


  • Rust preventive coating
  • 15-minute drying time
  • It can withstand light scratches
  • Perfect for interior and exterior use
  • Provides UV and weather protection
  • Usable on different surfaces


  • Nozzle leaks on some variations
  • Certain cans don’t feature spray tips

Typical of most enamel spray paints in the market, the Rust-Oleum Automotive Enamel Spray Paint is known for its toughness and durability. With a preventive rust formula integrated in its make-up, using this paint prevents corrosion on your vehicle by protecting its surface from outdoor elements.

Tired of encountering scratches on your car after placing it in a parking lot? The enamel attributes of the Rust-Oleum Automotive Enamel Spray Paint ensure these marks never crop up. Additionally, the Rust-Oleum paint can withstand UV rays from the Sun, preventing surface fading and melting.

It gets better:

The drying time of this automotive spray paint is 15 minutes. As such, you don’t have to worry about smudges or dust ruining your car’s paint job.

Rust-Oleum spray paint has found its way into a lot of storage cabinets over the years. We enjoy this paint due to its ability to resist corrosion, which is one of the main reasons to touch up your vehicle’s paint. Any vehicle with rust needs all the help it can to prevent it from returning.

Dupli-Color Trim and Bumper Spray Paint

A can of Dupli-Color trim and bumper paint

Best Bumper and Trim Paint

Brand: Dupli-Color

Finish Type: Matte

Size: 11 Ounces


  • Simple to use
  • 30-minute dry time
  • Scratch and impact-resistant
  • EZ spray nozzle for even sprays
  • Versatile (usable on bumpers and rims)


  • Only available in three colors
  • Limited stock
  • Highly flammable

Your car’s trim and bumpers rank as some of the most scratched areas of your vehicle. It makes perfect sense as these areas are the lowest parts of your car, easily picking up road debris. To make these areas look new and aesthetically-pleasing, the Dupli-Color team created the Trim and Bumper Spray Paint.

Using this plastic spray, you can easily spot treat or repair scratches on your vehicle’s bumper and trim. Placed among the best spray paint for bumper and trim use this spray paint has a drying timeline of 30 minutes. As such, you won’t have to wait long periods to get your automobile back on the road.

The spray nozzle attached to the Dupli-Color Trim and Bumper Spray Paint allows you to spray paint evenly across your vehicle’s bumpers. With this spray paint in your corner, commencing that DIY (Do It Yourself) spraying spree without professional supervision is POSSIBLE.

This paint is perfect for ongoing touch ups on your vehicle. If you are selling a used car and want it to look in tip-top shape, this is the perfect paint for those black bumpers. The flexible design in the paint allows it  to flex and not crack, this ensures the paint lasts as long as possible. 

Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer

kyrlon multi purpose spray paint

Multi Purpose Spray Paint

Brand: Krylon

Finish Type: Gloss

Size: 12 Ounces


  • Usable on multiple surfaces
  • Has over 50 different colors
  • EZ Touch® Nozzle available to promote grip
  • CoverMax Technology makes colors vivid
  • Has a 10-minute dry time frame


  • Strong odor
  • The “Blush Pink” variation looks more like gold

If you’re looking for a spray paint that ranks as a “jack of all trades,” it’ll be best to consider the Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer. Featuring over 56 color options, you’ve got plenty to choose from and revive your car’s exterior aesthetics.

This spray paint also incorporates Durable CoverMax Technology, ensuring your car’s colors are vivid at all times. If you find it immensely difficult to maintain a grip on the nozzles of other paint guns, the Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer fields an EZ Touch® Nozzle. Besides preventing red fingers after long  sprays, this add-on ensures you’ve got maximum grip.

While not a typical automotive spray paint this paint finds its way onto many vehicle parts due to its ease of use and amount of different colors. This is a spray paint for painting interior trim pieces and other vehicle accessories. Make sure that you keep this spray paint from the engine and other underhood components. This paint will not withstand the high temperatures of these components. 

VHT Hood, Bumper, and Trim Paint

scratch resistant VHT hood and trim spray paint

Scratch Resistant Bumper and Trim Paint

Brand: VHT

Finish Type: Satin

Size: 11 Ounces


  • Adheres seamlessly on several surface types
  • Heavy-duty urethane coating
  • Scratch-resistant


  • Doesn’t work great on metal surfaces
  • Bare metal surfaces require primer

Car bumpers suffer from more aesthetic damage than other parts as they’re regularly in contact with oncoming debris during drives. If your vehicle’s bumper doesn’t look the part and you’d like to remove chips and scratches, consider using the VHT Hood, Bumper, and Trim Paint.

Unlike many automotive spray paint variants, the VHT Hood, Bumper, and Trim Paint seamlessly adheres itself onto multiple surfaces — metal, plastic, and fiberglass. This spray paint also stands the test of time and isn’t prone to scratches. 

If you do repairs at home on your vehicle you should always have a can of bumper and trim paint on the shelf. The paint is very easy to use and can quickly turn an ugly bumper, beautiful again with a few simple sprays. 

If you do not already have bumper and trim paint, get a can and touch up those bumpers. Make your vehicle look great again!

Performix Plasti-Dip Black Multi-Purpose Rubber Coating Aerosol

A can of Plast-dip spray paint for automotive use

Best Spray Paint For Blacking Out Trim

Brand: Plasti Dip

Finish Type: Matte

Size: 11 Ounces


  • Offers removable coating
  • Provides flexibility
  • Safeguards surfaces from impact and abrasions


  • Available in just three colors
  • Its 11 oz volume requires multiple cans depending on size of paint job

If you’re on the lookout for a one-size-fits-all spray paint, set your sights on the Performix Plasti-Dip Black Multi-Purpose Rubber Coating Aerosol. When applied, this car spray paint provides a rubberized layer that aids protection against outdoor elements like UV rays, moisture, and sudden electrical surges.

The Performix Plasti-Dip Black Multi-Purpose Rubber Coating Aerosol also ticks the versatility box. Besides spraying this paint, it can be applied with a brush or even dipping.

Plasti-Dip is the spray paint that ticks all of the boxes. With this spray paint you can paint a part and if you do not like the color or it gets damaged, you simply peel the coating off. Yes, it takes some time, but it really does just peel off. 

So if you have ever wondered what your vehicle would look like with blacked out badges. Now is the time. After all, if you do not like it you can peel it off again. 

PJ1 Gloss Black Epoxy Spray Paint

can of PJI gloss high heat automotive spray paint

Best High Heat Spray Paint

Brand: PJH

Finish Type: Gloss

Size: 11 Ounces


  • High heat paint, great for engines
  • Offers a glossy finish
  • The paint is durable
  • Easy to use


  • Drying and curing takes long periods
  • Heat is required for certain applications

Are you on the lookout for one of the best spray paints for cars? If yes, look towards the PJ1 Gloss Black Epoxy Spray Paint. Using this automotive paint on your car’s body assures you a glittering sheen that lasts for many years. The paint’s strong enough to protect your car’s surface from rust and UV rays.

Additionally, this spray gun provides a glossy finish that lets dust and other particles run off easily during a thorough wash.

Due to its toughness, applying this fresh paint on your car’s exterior will feature a longer drying and curing timeline. To speed up the drying and curing timeline, applying heat is a must.

This paint is a high heat paint that will withstand high engine temperatures. If you are looking to paint a rebuilt engine this spray paint is a must. With high heat resistance it will make sure the paint stays looking great even under the most extreme of conditions. 

USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol

professional can of clear coat spray paint

Clear coat the pros use

Brand: Spray Max

Finish Type: High-Gloss

Size: 11.8 Ounces (2 pack)


  • Compatible with different types of existing paint — base coat and enamel
  • Unique nozzle guarantees spray gun outcomes
  • Easy to apply
  • Excellent glossy sheen upon application


  • Small paint volume
  • Droplets might fall from nozzle, running the paint job

The USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol is one of the best automotive spray paint variations as it delivers a top-tier coat featuring UV stabilizers. This add-on ensures that paint fading is practically non-existent on sprayed surfaces.

With the manufacturer’s roots traced to Germany, this car paint spray features a patented technology that’ll see your vehicle’s paint job showcasing a professional finish. The USC Spray Max 2k High Gloss Clearcoat Aerosol also integrates a unique nozzle that promotes even and seamless sprays.

Using this product doesn’t require supervision — just shake and SPRAY! What’s more? This high-quality clear coat can be used for spot touches and protecting repaired surfaces. 

If you have ever wondered what the pros use when spray painting, this is it. This clear coat is the real deal. If you have any clear coat damage on your vehicle you should make

Different Types of Automotive Spray Paint

Before purchasing an automotive spray paint, it’s important to know the different types of spray paint  available and what type fits your car’s surface. Getting a hold of this knowledge is particularly important if it’s your first time buying spray paint and spray painting your vehicle or accessories.

Water-Based paint

Water based paint ranks as one of the most used in the entire automotive industry. To apply this environmentally-friendly automotive spray paint onto your vehicle, experience in mixing water based paints is ESSENTIAL! 

Thankfully if you are picking up a spray can of paint this problem flies right out the window. Spray paint is premixed and ready to apply after you have shaken the can 10 million times. 

Well, maybe that is an exaggeration but it can be a lot of shaking. 

Nitro-Cellulose paint

Sometimes when touching up the paint on your car you are looking to match the original paint job. With vintage cars you the use of a nitrocellulose automotive paint may be necessary. As such, it’s unsurprising most classic car owners turn towards the nitrocellulose automotive paint to conduct touch-ups and repairs on their vehicles’ paint.

While matching vintage paints is great,  nitrocellulose spray paints, unlike water based paints, are toxic to the environment. Thus, putting on safety gear is a must while painting with this type of spray paint. That said, one notable characteristic about nitro cellulose car paint is that it can be applied via a spray gun or brush. Be careful however if you apply with a brush, it takes great technique and experience to make sure the paint is smooth when you are finished. 

Acrylic Urethane paint

Another spray paint category you should consider is acrylic urethane automotive paint. But this spray paint category can be a bit more expensive than other options available in the market.

Nonetheless, the acrylic urethane car paint is worth the $$$ as it delivers a professional looking paint job on your vehicle’s exterior. Additionally, urethane paint finishes are durable, retaining your automobile’s pristine look after many years.

Acrylic urethane spray paints are quite difficult to work with as they require some add-ons to reach the right fluid resistance for your vehicle’s paint job. But if you’re ready to go the extra mile to use acrylic urethane paint, you’ll reap the benefits. Besides delivering an aesthetically-pleasing finish, urethane paint has a lengthy lifespan.

Acrylic Enamel paint

Acrylic enamel paints, once applied onto a vehicle’s exterior, immediately bonds with it. Unlike other vehicle spray painting alternatives, acrylic enamel paints can last 5 to 10 years longer. Thus, it’s no surprise that most auto shops utilize these paints when spray painting cars.

Additionally, the acrylic enamel ranks as a versatile automotive paint. Unlike a dedicated automotive paint geared towards car surface use only, you can use acrylic enamel paints on engines and other high heat areas due to their heat-redistributing capability.

IMPORTANT: Some paint categories are more toxic than others. Regardless of your preference, ensure you wear protective gloves and overalls during the DIY automotive paint spraying process.

can of spray paint with a painted rotor in the back ground

Don’t spray and pray – Consider these things before buying the best spray paint for cars

When you are looking to buy the best spray paint for your car there are things that you need to consider before buying.  It is always worth picking the paint that is right for what you are doing instead of spraying and praying. 

Size and volume

When you want to purchase automotive paint, consider its size and volume. 


To make sure the available content of the can can cover your vehicle’s surface area without issues. It won’t only be an inconvenience when you run  out of spray paint cans with a half-sprayed vehicle but can also ruin the entire paint job in the process. 

What could make it  worse?

Not finding the right product as you had when starting automotive spray painting and you car ends up featuring different color tones. As such, ensure you purchase a spray paint can (or more if needs be) that’ll deliver a smooth finish to the parts designated for spraying.


Another important factor to consider when buying spray paints for your car is the price. If you don’t have the finances to pull off a car spraying project, it’ll be best to save up and start this project when you’ve got enough funds to spare.

Trying to spray paint your vehicle or other accessories without enough funds might see you purchasing subpar products that will result in a paint job that looks bad and does not last. 


The quality of a car paint is crucial to the look of the accessories that you are painting. When you purchase a high-quality spray paint, you enjoy superior paint adhesion and heat resistance. Additionally, the automobile’s paint coat will stand the test of time.

Heat resistance

Vehicles aren’t exactly known for their coolness when running. When you start the engine and drive your car in humid territories, the tendency of it getting hot is high. Therefore, you’d want to ensure the car spray paint you purchase can withstand high heat without melting or fading away.

The heat resistance attributes for car spray paints differ. While normal variations can resist heat valued at 300° to 400°, some expensive types can withstand more than 500°. Therefore, if you live in an area where the sun shines often, choose an alternative with a higher heat resistance.

If you are painting the engine or engine components that are underneath the hood you will need to make sure you pick a high heat resistant paint. If you do not the paint will start to peel and damage the paint job in a very short time. 


Spray paint for cars is usually made up with two critical components — solids and solvents. Paints that last long typically feature more solids than cheaper alternatives. Thus, these paints give your automotive paint project a thicker layer of paint that’ll last for long periods.

By utilizing a durable car spray paint, you’ll save money as you won’t need to repaint the parts more than once.

Time to dry

Car surfaces are susceptible to external elements like dust and dirt. Unless you’re in an area where these elements are non-existent, which I am going to say is next to impossible. Make sure you buy a car spray paint that dries quickly.

We recommend purchasing spray paint with a drying period hovering around 15 to 30 minutes. If you purchase a variant with a lengthier drying time frame, be careful of dust that might otherwise ruin a great paint job. 


Considering adhesion when purchasing spray cans is important as they determine the lifespan of your vehicle’s paint job. Some paints adhere only to specific surfaces; so, ensure the vehicle’s surface suits your preferred car spray paint.


As we’ve established, the thickness of a car spray paint determines its heat-resisting attributes and lifespan. To enjoy these advantages, ensure the spray paint you select has a high thickness consistency. 

You may want multiple coats on a project depending on the protection that the part needs. If you are painting an interior trim panel that sees a lot of scrapes and damage, multiple coats will ensure the paint is thick and able to resist damage. 

sure that you touch it up with a product like this as soon as you can. 

Parting Shot

This article has examined the different categories of spray paints and what you’d need to consider before purchasing one. We’ve also listed the top spray paint alternatives car owners can use to paint their cars without patronizing a professional auto shop. Regardless of your selection, you’re guaranteed a top-tier and glossy paint job when you choose one of the best spray paints for cars. 

John Morris
John Morrishttps://autoknowit.com
John Morris is the technical editor for AutoKnowIt.com. His years of experience in automotive repair as well as an automotive professor have prepared him to ensure that even the most technical information is accurate and concise at all times.

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