Ingredients in Car Paint


There are three different types of car paint: base coat, primer and clear coat. These different types of car paint vary in color and purpose but often share a series of base ingredients that are found in most types of paint for vehicles. Though the exact ingredients of car paint depends on the manufacturer, some ingredients are standard in all brands and are necessary for proper consistency.

Barium Sulfate

  • Barium sulfate is the primary component of barite and is often used in conjunction with sulfuric acid. Though barium sulfate is used in a variety of applications, including plastics and colored pyrotechnics, its primary use in car paint is as a filler or white base. Depending on the paint, barium sulfate can be mixed as a filler to make paint thicker and more transparent. In other types of car paint, it is used to as a white pigment for mixing and creating different shades of primary colors.


  • Fillers are special pigments that do not alter the color of the paint but instead increase its thickness and weight, and sometimes make it more durable or longer-lasting. The types of filler used vary based on manufacturer but are usually inexpensive organic materials. Typical fillers found in car paint include talc, lime, diatomaceous earth or powered quartz. The amount of filler used depends on the brand, but poorly made paint often contains more filler than better-quality car paint.


  • Resin is a thick material produced by plants and trees, and has been used as a preservative and glue for thousands of years. Resin used in car paint is intended to bind the pigments and solvents of the paint together, and to make it properly adhere to the vehicle when painted. Car paint with a proper amount of resin will dry hard and be more durable than cheaper paint with little or no resin.


  • Xylene is a highly flammable solvent that is found in gasoline and other fuels, and that is sometimes used on livestock to increase blood flow to certain areas of the body, such as the ears. Xylene is used frequently in the production of leather, as it dries the material out so that it can be cured with resins or other chemicals. The presence of xylene in car paint varies, but it is used primarily to thin out the consistency of paint or to increase the amount of time required to dry, which is necessary for applying consistent coats of paint to a vehicle.

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