If you've decided to try the do-it-yourself approach when it comes to painting your car, you need to understand that this is a very exact process. You don't want to go through the trouble of painting and repainting your car if you make a mistake, so it is necessary to begin this project with as much information as you can get your head around. First things first though - decide on a color and stick with it. Don't let the details complicate your decision, because if you decide on a color you know you want, the rest should follow easily.
Urethane paints are the most popular type of car paints around these days, and they are readily available on the market in a number of types and shades. Urethane paints help shield your car from ultraviolet rays, in addition to being durable against the elements. Urethane paints often lend a distinct vibrancy in terms of color depth to your car.
You will probably need to follow the established base coat-clear coat painting technique commonly employed today. This means that the basecoat is applied first, upon which a second layer is applied. This second layer is the clear coat, which provides the basecoat with a glossy shine and adds the ultraviolet protection.
There is, however, some debate as to whether base coat-clear coat painting is preferable to single stage painting. Some auto painters find that, while using the two-stage system results in a higher-gloss finish, some would prefer the depth of color that you get from not putting the clear coat on. You can decide to go either way on this, as it boils down to a matter of personal preference.
It is not advisable to mix paints that come from different paint manufacturing companies, even if you feel that you like the resulting color mix. The problem with mixing paints from different companies is that they are not designed to work together. As this is a chemical concern, you risk having to deal with problems in paint adhesion, paint bonding and overall durability of the paint on your car. The best and safest way to go about this is to visit a number of paint companies and look at their color books. Take your time to do the right research, and check out as many paint companies as you can. Once you've decided on a certain color, stick with that company's products from the time you start painting the base metal until you complete your final coating. Doing this also entitles you to any guarantees that the company may have regarding their paints, which are voided if you mix their paints with another company's - they will not be liable for flaking or durability issues if this is the case.
If you are looking for a cheap type of car paint, old-school enamel paints, popular in the seventies, are still available in the market today. Enamel is not expensive at all and is durable car paint. Slapping on a few coats of enamel will leave your car with a thick, glossy paint job.