Gloss Paint Alternative?

Well, once again time to pick the crews' brains. Instead of finishing a car with a gloss paint, would it look just as good to lay down a mat finish and then overcoat with either Future or another gloss coat? Or, would the final product make a better presentation using gloss paint from the start? I've always used gloss paint for car finishes, but never tried clear gloss over mat. I've done this many times on aircraft with excellent results but I'm just not sure how it would look on an automotive subject. Would be nice to do, however, since gloss paints are usually a pain to lay down perfectly. Any insight, advice or exoeriences would be greatly appreciated. As always, thanks.


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It depends on the car and your preferences. Modern cars are painted with a system requiring a clearcoat for the final gloss and most custom paint jobs also use a clearcoat. Older cars were painted with gloss paints and the 'look' is definitely different.

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Al Superczynski

i've been finding that one of the hardest bashs' is making a car a realistic looking shitbox. i am turning a 72 chevelle into a courier car i drove in the early 80's. dents, rust, mismatched panels, cracked windsheilds and other wear is hard.

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I've heard of people getting some great finishes on car models by airbrushing them with nail polish.

Would expect you'd need to prime first...I seem to think most comercial nail polishes are laquers. Hence the nice, hard, shiny finishes.

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From Mike:

Two of the best auto finishes I was lucky enough to end up with started with a matt color.

56 Tbird in Desert Turquoise craft spray. Wet sanded then polished like crazy before clear enamel (then a BUNCH more polishing) 69 Z28 Flat Black from a rattle can, wet sanded then polished out. I ended up with a more realistic sheen that I liked better than a clear gloss finish.
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]-- Chuck Ryan Springfield OH

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Charles Ryan

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