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The Difference between Re-painting a Commercial Vehicle and a Car


When your car or commercial vehicle sustains any form of damage, the chances are that you will need to get the body work repaired and repainted.  But not all vehicle paint jobs are the same – and that is particularly the case when it comes to a commercial vehicle compared to your beloved car.

The team at IPS Paint Supplies explains the differences and why it’s important to follow any suppliers guidelines when it comes to the use of paint on a variety of vehicles.

Difference between a car and a commercial vehicle

The main difference between a car and a commercial vehicle is how it’s used. While a car is intended for personal use such as travelling to work or for leisure activities, the commercial vehicle is a work tool that is subjected to more demanding and severe use .

As a result, paints intended for refinishing commercial vehicles sometimes require products which provide a more resistant and durable coating, rather than creating an eye-catching finish. However, the good news is that this trend has been changing over recent years and it is increasingly common to find a greater variety of colours and qualities in the commercial auto-paint sector.

Purposes of Different Auto Paints

There are a number of variables when it comes to the purposes of different auto paints as follows:

  • When painting cars, the main objective of the manufacturer is to provide paintwork that stands out for its attractiveness and colour variety as well as good durability. With commercial vehicles, the paint that is developed is focused on producing a product that shows a perfect balance between mechanical and chemical resistance, durability and cost..
  • The colour finishes used for painting cars focus on choice with a variety of metallic, pearlescent, plain and special effect colours to choose from. In commercial vehicles, the choice of colour palette is much more limited with a few solid colour predominating.
  • Although primers should be used on both types of vehicles, these are used less frequently in car painting. However, in heavy commercial vehicles, agricultural machinery and similar vehicles, the use of primers is more widespread. A primer helps the paint adhere to bare metal and without primer as a buffer, the metal surface won’t bond with the paint well which is particularly important for commercial vehicles which undergo a lot of wear and tear.
  • Topcoat paints for cars tend to be more sophisticated than those used on commercial vehicles as they need to provide exceptional levels of finish without reducing other features such as the protection offered. These paints tend to be water or solvent-based. When we talk about the types of topcoat paints for commercial vehicles, the objective is different and resistance and protection are more important than the appearance so tend to be more robust, particularly on heavy commercial vehicles.

In Summary

The general criteria for re-painting cars and commercial vehicles can be similar but it’s important to bear in mind that these vehicles are designed and manufactured for different purposes.  That’s why it is necessary to consider the working procedures and the type of paint to apply to different vehicles according to what they are used for.

At IPS Paint Supplies, we sell a complete range of auto-paints for cars and commercial vehicles from leading brands including Baslac, Mipa, Octoral, Profix and RM Graphite.

We also offer a colour matching service. You can find out more on our website here or you can call our teams on the numbers below:

Swansea: 01792 784078

Cardiff: 02920 022461