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FAQs Page

Paint Product FAQ's:

Product FAQ

Can I use this paint on other items like furniture or a tool box to match my truck?
YES, absolutely. People use automotive paints to customize things like guitars, lamps, and furniture with automotive paint. In fact, many, sign makers use it to make beautifully colored signs for business or custom uses. We recommend that all surfaces be properly primed and be prepared before using paint.
How long will the paint last on my vehicle?
It will last as long as your original paint if cared for like the original paint. It will not wash off or fade off over time. It is real paint, tested and designed to last.
How long does automotive paint last?
If you are referring to the storage after use, it can last a long time. Typically, aerosols and professional packaging (touch up bottles / cans etc.) can last 3-5 years if properly stored.
How do I know if my color is a 3ct or tricoat paint?
All Tricoat colors are indicated as tricoat and/or 3ct in the color description. For each tri-stage touch up or aerosol color you order, you will receive a base coat color a mid-coat color and a clear coat.
What is a 3ct or tri-stagecolor?
3ct or Tri-stage colors, aka Tricoats, are colors that require 3 steps for proper application. Mostly pearl whites and many reds are Tricoat paints. They require you to apply a base color, a mid-coat then a clearcoat with appropriate dry time in between each coat. The Auto Paint Depot provides Clearcoat with most 3ct Tricoat paint purchases.
Do I need to use clear-coat?
In a word, Yes. Clearcoat is very important for multiple reasons. First, it gives your paint a glossy shine. Second, the clear coat creates a chemical bond with the base color making it chemical, weather and UV resistant. Without clear-coat, your paint will not shine correctly or be as resistant to natural elements as it should be. Single-stage paints have clear built into the paint and do not require a clear coat.
What are your paints made of?
All our private label paints are urethane-based, base-coat/clear-coat applications and have been thoroughly tested to be as good or exceed O.E.M. quality standards.

Shipping FAQ

Why is my Aerosol taking longer to ship?
We follow all D.O.T regulations for shipping our products which require that aerosols be shipped ground surface service only. Certain restrictions may apply. Shipping Policy
Do you ship to APO/FPO/Hawaii/Alaska address?
We can only ship touch-up bottles to APO, FPO, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. We cannot ship aerosol or pro size to these locations.
Do you ship your products to Foreign countries?
We do not currently ship to foreign countries. We do ship off shore to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and Alaska which may add 2-4 weeks of additional delivery time according to the U.S.P.S. We cannot ship aerosol or pro-size to overseas locations.
Can you send products to PO Boxes?
We cannot send all our products to PO Boxes. We can send, touch-up bottles and other small items such as sandpaper, masking tape and grip handles to PO boxes via US mail. However, we may send larger size packages, gallons, large putty, etc. via UPS, and they do not deliver to a PO Box. 
When will I receive my order?
The Auto Paint Depot is dedicated to fast delivery, easy ordering and quality products. All our products are in stock and ready to ship. You can usually expect to receive your paint within 3-7 business days. Note: All paints are custom mixed to order and will require 1-2 business days to go through mixing and packaging (we don’t just pull your paint off a shelf). Aerosols ship ground surface only and will add to the delivery time. Overseas (Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam) will significantly add to delivery time as well. Shipping Policy


How do I fix small blemishes in my paint job?
Sometimes paint blemishes happen before you apply your clearcoat. If so, you can lightly wet sand the area with 1500 grit paper and then apply more of the color coat. Then proceed to clear coating. If a blemish shows up after you have clear coated, sometimes it can be fixed, sometimes not. If it's just a little piece of dirt or a dust bunny, then wet sand with 2000 and then use our polishing compound. This should take care of the blemish. If the blemish is too deep into the paint job, then you have no choice but to redo the paint job or live with the blemish.
Why doesn’t my paint feel completely dry?
If your paint will not dry properly then you have too much on. Remember to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next coat. Also, do not apply heavy coats. Nice, even, medium coats are what you want. The same holds true with the clearcoat-two: apply thin coats allowing them to dry in between is all that’s needed. Too heavy coats will not dry properly.
My Paint looks cloud or hazy, how can I fix it?
This is caused by too much moisture in the air. Sometimes it will just go away on its own, sometimes you need to redo the paintjob. Prevention is key here; don't paint when it's very humid out. Wait until it's under 50%-60% humidity and you won't face this issue.
Why is my paint lifting or bubbling?
This is a chemical reaction caused from using incompatible products. You should not run into this trouble if you use all Auto Paint Depot products and follow the included directions. There are some tips to help avoid chemical problems: always allow the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. Apply even, medium coats of all products. Don't go too heavy; paint doesn't like being apply too thick.
What is “Orange Peel” and why does my paint look rough?
Orange peel is the rough look you sometimes see after your clearcoat dries. It looks like the skin of an orange. It's easily rectified. Just let the paint dry for 5-7 days and then wet sand the area with 1500, then buff with the polishing compound. You may need to repeat the process a couple times, but you will smooth the surface and achieve a nice gloss.
Why does my color look too dark?
Some metallic colors, usually silvers and grays, sometimes look too dark. This is caused by the orientation of the small flakes or "metallic" in the paint. When sprayed from a spray gun or aerosol these flakes usually lay very nice and even. But when applied from a touch-up, they sometimes do not lay properly in the same direction as the original spray. Very often clearcoat will make the color look better by adding gloss to the color and allowing it to sparkle more. But if it still looks to dark, you may want to lightly sand the finish with the 1500 grit paper and then apply a little more paint. Be sure to apply is very lightly and evenly; this will also help with the color. You can do this a few times to build the paint up a bit.
Why isn’t my paint glossy or shiny?
Sometimes the clearcoat does not shine like you want it to. Varying atmospheric conditions and application techniques usually cause this and can be resolved by doing the following: First, wait 5 days from painting and then try using a fine grit polishing compound on the area (follow instructions for compound). If this does not help the situation, then use the 2000 grit sandpaper. Again, follow the directions for wet sanding. After wet sanding then use the compound again and you should have a very nice gloss. Wax after a few days.
How much paint do I need for the part I am repairing?
Most individual car parts can be painted entirely with 2-3 aerosol cans of paint. Small repairs will only require one can of paint, but if you are painting an entire door, hood, roof, fender, bumper or trunk, you will likely need 2-3 cans. If it is a larger car part, go for 3 cans. If it’s a more compact car part, 2 cans should do. Trucks are typically larger than cars, so they will usually take between 3-4 cans to paint the comparable part of a car. Truck tailgates usually take 2-3 cans. Again, all of this is subject to the vehicles relative size. A Hummer will take more paint than a Ford Ranger although both are trucks. A Cadillac DeVille will take more paint than a Kia although both are cars. Most Aerosols are base coat so you will need the matching number of clear coat aerosols to finish.
Can this paint be used on brake calipers or in the engine bay?
The paint does have a relatively high temperature tolerance. If you paint your calipers and use your car as a daily driver you will be just fine. If you take your car to the track or autocross it, then you may eventually have some discoloring. The paint will hold up fine in the engine bay. Not recommended for extreme high temperature areas like manifolds.
My paint job doesn’t look smooth. It looks wrinkled or bumpy. What can I do?
If you are painting in the proper temperature and the area you are painting is properly prepared and smooth, the paint should apply smoothly. It may not be shiny, but it should be smooth. After you have applied the coverage needed and have clear coated the color, then you can wet sand the clear. Wait a few days before wet sanding the clear, but once you do this it will make the paint very shiny and very smooth. We do not recommend sanding between color coats so that the clearcoat works properly when applied.
Is your paint premixed and ready for a spray gun?
Yes, all our professional size paints are pre-reduced with medium reducer ready to spray. Depending on your spray gun you may need to further reduce using urethane reducer to get the result you need.
If I ordered paint in aerosol, will it turn out as good as a body shops paint job?
An aerosol can produce a very nice paint job, but it simply cannot reproduce the original finish as well as a body shop can. The color will be exactly the same, but there are many other variables that can be controlled in a body shop. Dirt, spray pressure, spray-gun atomization...all these things can affect the outcome of a paint job. The only way to control these variables 100% is in a spray booth at a body shop.
Which application should I choose; aerosol or professional sizes?
Aerosols are the ideal answer for do-it-yourself jobs. They are easy to use, produce excellent results and cover approximately 4-5 square feet depending on how many coats are needed. Professional sizes are only recommended if you have the appropriate spray equipment and painting experience.
Do I need a touch-up bottle, or an aerosol can to do my job?
It all depends on what you are repairing and how large an area you are repairing. If you have a minor nick or scratch, our touch-up paint bottles have a brush included in the cap. You can also purchase one of our touch up kits which include micro applicators for small nicks and scratches. If you are color matching a part or repairing a larger area, you will probably need an aerosol can.
I see wheel-paint on your site. What kind of wheels can I paint?
You can paint virtually any wheels. With the correct preparation, primer, and clear-coat, your wheel paint will last for many years.
Do I need to apply primer to aftermarket parts?
If the parts are not primed, you will need to prime them.
Can I use other brand primers and clears with your paint?
We only test with our own products and therefore do not recommend combining any other company's products. Any alterations to our products are the sole responsibility of the purchaser / customer / user.
What supplies do I need to do a proper paint job?
For touch ups, see our Instruction page. For any paint job, start with a clean surface, use wax & grease remover to clean the area to be painted. For large areas like a major part, fender hood etc, use sandpaper to remove clearcoat (if it's there) and to make the surface smooth. Next, mask the area you are painting with a masking tape. Apply the primer if the surface is down to bare metal or plastic as it helps "build" the surface. Then apply color and clear coat. Clear coat protects and adds shine to the paint. Color application is sold separately, so please find the color code of your vehicle and order the correct color code following the easy step ordering system first, then add the products you will need. There are many video tutorials on line and coming soon, more tutorials on this site. Always use proper protective equipment such as gloves, goggles and respirators rated for solvent vapor.
What is a spray-out?
A spray-out is a color test. ALWAYS CHECK AND TEST THE COLOR BEFORE PAINTING YOUR ACTUAL PIECE. THE AUTO PAINT DEPOT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAS BEEN PAINTED THE WRONG COLOR OR INCORRECTLY. If you test your color, and it does not look right, STOP, Contact us immediately and we will work with you towards the best solution.
Should I wax my car before or after touching it up?
You should remove wax before touching it up and wait at least one month before waxing fresh paint. Wax, silicone, and oils may cause fisheye. Don't worry, prep solvent is designed to chemically remove these contaminants. A liquid dish soap like Ivory or Joy will remove most of these paint contamination problems. Regular car soap often contains car wax so this product may not be used.
Where is my color code?
We have provided you with a basic chart on our site Finding my paint code. However, even experienced painters can have a difficult time finding paint codes. Don't get discouraged. Some car manufacturers keep paint code locations consistent, others change year to year and plant to plant. Also, when a vehicle is wrecked, a door or fender with paint code information may have been replaced. If we can detect that you ordered the wrong paint code, we will contact you via email with extra help to find it as well as give you paint code examples for your vehicle. A previously repainted vehicle may be difficult to match. You can try to find out that information through the body shop that repainted the vehicle or arrange for a color spectrometer analysis of the paint direct from a body part. This will have additional costs involved.

Color Code Questions

I am looking for a black color to apply to my bicycle; can you help me find a color?
We really cannot recommend colors because there are simply too many different styles of color. We can make any color you want if you find a color that you like, but we cannot send you paint without a code or some sort of reference.
I have a Toyota two tone truck and I found the color code 1C7 on the driver’s door jamb. I need to purchase trim color. Where I can find the color code for the trim?
If you cannot find the two-tone code from your vehicle, please email us.
The color code on my vehicle is PFA, but I can only find the code color on your web site PFA/ MFA, is this the correct color to choose?
Yes, many colors have more than one code. PFA/MFA is same as PFA or MFA. Color code is more important than color name.
Can I order touch up paint for my car by color name?
Many times, car manufacturers may have several names for the same color but only one code for that color. For instance, Toyota and Lexus share colors and codes, but have different names for the same color. As do GM brands, Honda and Acura, Ford and Lincoln. Sometimes Isuzu shares codes with Honda, Nissan with Ford, Ford with Mazda etc. For example, there are many names for the color black. There’s black, ebony, jet black, onyx, super black, midnight, etc. They may also have different metallic or pearl tint additives with endless possibilities. That’s why color codes are important. The same goes for the rest of all the colors in the rainbow. If you provide us with a color name, year, make, and model of your car; we can give you examples of paint codes to look for. We can also look up what colors were available on your vehicle through the VIN number. We need to verify a color code before shipping to qualify for our color match guarantee.
I located my color on your site, but the color looks different than my car. Is this the correct color?
Colors on the web do not look like the actual color. Computer monitors simply cannot duplicate the pearls, metallic, and hues that are in paint. The paint swatches provided on our website are for guide and reference only and may not look like the actual finished paint product.
I found the color code on my car and located the code in your database. However, the color name is different than what I thought. Is this the same color?
Yes, it is the same color. It is very common for automobile companies to have multiple names for one color. This is the reason the color code is so important. The code will always identify the correct color.