Which paint colors last better over time

This is an odd question, but are there certain paint colors that last better over time? I remember reading once that red paint oxidizes and starts to look flat much sooner than other colors. Since I plan to keep my car a long time, I’d like to avoid situations like that ahead of time.

Blue and silver used to be bad and gray used to peel. Clear coat has inproved them a lot. Maroon used to rub off when waxed.

Back 30 or 40 years ago there were big differences. Today, they are all very good.

Today there will occasionally be one with a problem, but that is only one color on one car model.

I suggest you buy what you like and not worry about it.

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I’ve seen grey, red, green and blue cars fade but not black.
The best way to minimize paint fade is to garage your car, park under a shade (with no bird droppings of course), wash and wax periodically.

Here are some random thoughts.

Black and other really dark colors show minor scratches more than lighter colors. You need to be a little more careful with your car washing procedures with these colors and you might want to buff the car every few years.

Some white cars seem to yellow over time. It’s very noticeable and unappealing to me, but I’m sure there are many people who don’t notice or care.

I’ve been told by people who do body work that white is the easiest color for matching and blending paint and that black is the hardest.

I live in the South and my red car needs waxed every couple months because red absorbs a lot of the sun’s rays. A white or silver car would probably only need waxed once or twice a year. Red and black fade in the sun. White and silver hold up to the sun’s UV rays better than red and black. Anything else in between should be fine, especially if you don’t live in a hot sunny climate.

Like others have said, there used to be major differences (silver used to be bad, for example, because the metal flakes would oxidize), now clear coats make it much less of an issue. One remaining slight difference is the ease of matching colors in the event of repair work, with solids being slightly easier to match than metallics or pearls. That said, I just got a silver car.

Some have observed that the problems with colors like metalic maroon and metalic blue no longer exist. It takes a decade or more to really tell, but my observation is that those colors are still intolerant of sunshine, so far as I have been able to tell. I have driven white cars all my life because:

  1. They are highly visible to oncoming traffic.
  2. They are easy to repair and forgiving of minor door dings and other imperfections.
  3. The interiors are cooler in summer.
  4. They are completely undamaged by sunlight. I tend to drive my cars 20 years and I live in sunny Sacramento.

Clearcoat is not a solution to sun problems. All of us have seen “sun kissed” clearcoats blistering off dark colored paints. Some manufacturers put clearcoat over solid colors as well as metalics.

Someone noted that blues and grays tend to peel. Ford and Chrysler (mostly Chrysler) have had a lot of trouble with that through the years. I have not not observed it on other makes.

White has always worked for me. Darker colors seem to absorb too much sun/heat and bake themselves to death. Rocketman

For most of the reasons Manolito stated is the reason I have silver cars. Plus minor scratches are not visible, and doesn’t show dirt.

I have a silver 95 stratus that paint still looks great.

There are different paints and mixtures, The Red paint that dodge uses maybe that of Dupont where as GM may use PPG. One red may fail earlier then the next Lexus had a 1999-2000 SUV that was a bronze color that paint turned translucent you could see the primer and sealer, Lexus was kind enought to offer the owners a free paint job. GM and Ford went thru a bout of pealing paint. You really never know. I repainted my Dodge Caravan after it was wrecked with Dupont and the paint is starting to become see thru like the Lexus I told you about. If you need to repaint stick with PPG. Pick the color you want, chances are very good the high school kid in town will total your car for you before anything like that happens. As for the earlier reply about the maroon paint rubbing off it was a single stage paint, pigment with the clear so to speak. Two stage is a base coat of pigment with clear on top of it, tri stage is usually pearl coats, pigment then pearl, then the clear. Single stage paint does fade quicker then the others.

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Dark colors are dark because they are absorbing more of the energy in the visable spectrum and reflecting less back…thus, they get hotter. The more heat, the more the paint dries out and “oxidizes” (actually more of a drying process than an oxidization).

In short, lighter colors will generally outlast darker colors in cars that bake in the sun a lot. However, keeping the car waxed will keep any modern paint looking good.

In the '70s manufactureres were required to switch to water dispersed low VOC paints and processes. Some had difficulty figuring the process out and some cars of that vintage peeled in sheets. My sister had one. However, there should be no problem with any modern finishes.

Dark colors may have oxidized more before clear coats, but I’ve had 3 black cars, 2 in Texas, no problems with oxidizing paints.

Do pearl coats tend to fare any better against issues related to sun exposure?

Nine years later? At my age, you’re lucky I’m still around to answer the question!

The answer is no. And pearlescent paints are also more difficult to match, should bodywork be needed.

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Very true, my body shop took more than a week to get a good match for my “Legend Lime” (factory color), some of the pearls were no longer available so he had to substitute through trial and error.

Its not the paint color that matters,its how well they are apllied at the factory.This tread is 10 years old

Pearl is just the glass bead mixture in the color coat like metalic is in other colors or none for basic colors. Doesn’t do anything for longevity. The base color is then sprayed over with a clear coat. Personally I don’t like some of the pearls, seems like especially GM and Ford. They look dull at some angles or a shade different. I prefer a nice shiny paint and a deeper color and just wax it. The new paints are very tough but will vary with manufacturer too as well as application. I read once where the cars being assigned to company execs would receive an extra coat of paint than the run of the mill production but don’t know if that’s still true or not.

I don’t either. I too prefer a base color with clearcoat.
I like white. White shows body features better, and it’s more visible at night. I had a white car once, and contrary to popular belief it didn’t get dirty any more readily than any of my other cars.

White shows dirt less than other colors. I had a white minivan that I didn’t care about once, so would go years without getting washed. Still looked white. My black car looks dirty within hours of being washed.