5 Best Single Stage Paint – Reviews in 2023

Do you want to complete your classic car repairing process in one session and want to get rid of coat wrinkling or cracking problems?

Well, Single-stage paint surely can be the most convenient way you want to go. With SS paint, the color, strength, and gloss builts in one application.

Thus, you will find ease while applying the paint on your vehicle and get a nice crisp and original appearance upon completion. Due to its forgiving nature, you will have opportunities to re-spray the paint and eliminate any flaws from your first-time coating.

So, if you are looking for a paint that is budget-friendly, free of hassle, and time-saving, then you are on the correct floor, I must say.

In this article, we have tried to give you some comprehensive knowledge on fewer products so that you can feel comfortable picking up the best single-stage paint that suits your demand and budget the best. So let’s dig in!

What is Single-Stage Paint and Why Do You Need That? 

As a whole, single-stage paint is a sheeny paint that doesn't demand any overcoat to flaunt its beauty. Its distinctive traits make it favorable for all kinds of users. Here you only need to employ one stroke on your desired surface to achieve a fruitful outcome.

By applying only one layer of SS paint, you will easily get both a protective and glazing finish on the surface. You don't have to take any stress of applying an extra clear coat over single stage paint to ensure those superior qualities on the veneer of your automotive.

Professionals incorporate hardener and reducer along with the SS paint not only to upgrade its cohesive intensity on the auto facets but also to adjust paints flowing abilities to reach spontaneous finish and outlook at the end.

This paint is very economical among buyers. You can purchase gallons of paint at a very cheaper rate as SS doesn't require extra base coats or clear coats over it.

 Single Stage Paints

Application time for single-stage paint is very less as well. You just need to fill the spraying cans and start firing without any hassle.

As single stage paint drying time is a lot low, after application the paint starts to glow within 15 to 20 minutes. This multidimensional nature of single-stage paint makes it a unique and most favorable option compares to the other auto painting choices.

I will recommend that if you are DIY fanatics or novice painters and eager to amplify the cost efficiency and lower the spraying time, then you should go for single stage paint to burnish your automobile. You won't regret it for sure.

Top 5 Best Single Stage Paints Reviews-2023

1. Restoration Shop, Pure White Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint Kit

Restoration Shop, Pure White Acrylic Urethane Auto Paint Kit

Restoration Shop is well known for its renowned tactics to bring a high level of comfort to their customers by offering an excellent coating material to their automobiles from the beginning. This product is capable of holding 3.785 liters of acrylic urethane paint which is used extensively all over the states over the years.

They are notable for their color constituents which are premium in standards. Since it has an eminent commercial strength you can still remarkably use it for glazing the outer part of your automotive comprehensively.

This honorable brand will give you some additional tools from two pints (1 Quart) acrylic urethane thickener, five pieces of polyester filters to five stain-mixing wooden rods as a whole package. Moreover, this kit is holding over 288 range of prestigious colors in its capacity.

As the blending ratio is 4 to 1, you need to combine 4 –parts of urethane paint stain with 1 –part of urethane thickener according to your need. Don’t forget to use a professional-grade graduated cup for proper measurement.  

To avoid unnecessary contaminations each strainer has 190-micron mesh arrangements to refine your desired painting materials from unwanted dirt or residues to increase the painting durability on your vehicle.

This kit offers a 2.8 VOC count which means it is enough wise for your environment. To soar up your painting liquidness, you can you use Exempt Reducers from various XR sequence. Thus it will be easy for you to hold a 2.8 VOC level.

However, the Urethane Reduce sequence can rise both the liquidity and the VOC count from 2.8 to 3.5.

Highlighted Features

  • Acrylic urethane paint is versatile, used in the fleet coating as well.
  • This kit dries very rapidly, so doesn’t require an external blower machine
  • Such single-stage paint is invented and dispensed by the USA manufacturer itself.
  • Provides a high sturdiness and resistance against chemical, solvents, and UV-rays
  • Ensure super uniformity along with superior results

2. Speedokote SMR-207/211 - Hot Rod Black Paint, Black Satin 2K Urethane

Speedokote SMR-207/211 - Hot Rod Black Paint, Black Satin 2K Urethane

As we all know that black color adds an aesthetic appearance to everything with a clear distinction. Most automobile owners prefer black over any other color.

To get the best single stage black paint for coating your car and gaining an artistic result this item will be the wholesome choice for you, I must say.

The kit contains 3.785 liters of statin black acrylic urethane paint along with 32 Fl. Oz. (0.9475 liters) Urethane hardener. When you mix these two components you will get a sprayable mixture of 1.25 gallons to bring the professional outlook to your automotive.

Here, you need to follow 4 to 1 blending strategy, you have to mix 4-part SMR 207 AU paint with 1-part SMR-211 AU hardening material.

Since It allows 2k or 2 pack painting refers that you have to mix the two-component polyurethane base paints with an activator to get a high length of service than 1 pack coating. Thus you can reduce the time of subsequent coating due to its fast-drying technique.

You can use Urethane Grade Reducer for thinning the paint from a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 10%. Mix these ingredients properly before doing your spraying job.

This product also offers HVLP spray guns with different range tips 8-10 psi and 25-30 psi having a fixed size of 1.3 to 1.4-millimeter. You can use primer surfacer to get a smooth automotive body before doing the original paintwork.

The VOC count of the base paint is very low in the range and that is 4.8 lbs/gallon. This paint is safe in all of the states except California, Delaware, or Maryland according to rigid VOC law. If you are in California state, you should have 2.8 VOC count base paint.

This paint is very potent at withstanding any kind of abrasion. It will provide you with high wearability. The paint remains in its position for a long period. And not affected by any damaging chemical substances easily.

Highlighted Features

  • Its 2k coating provides a tough and consistent wearing finish
  • Proposes great strength against UV radiation
  • It takes around 5-10 minutes from one coating to another
  • Can use various spraying pressure methods for an excellent finish
  • You can utilize 400-500-grit sandpaper on primer surfacer

3. Eastwood Jaded Green Metallic Single Stage Acrylic Urethane Topcoat

Eastwood Jaded Green Metallic Single Stage Acrylic Urethane Topcoat

To innovate Jaded Ford Mustang, esteemed USA Manufacturer Eastwood supplied 96 ounces’ single stage urethane auto paint system to a famous US car renovator to carry out his far-famed task graciously. This means that this painting system has some more ordinary SS painting qualities than other urethane stains from an early age.

This paint follows a 3:1 blending ratio which signifies that you just have to mix 3-parts SS urethane base paint with a 1-part activator. But unfortunately, this brand doesn’t provide you with any activator along with the AU paint kit. You need to obtain it individually.

A plus point is that this product can tolerate temperatures up to 300 degrees without any coverings. But if you keep it in a high level of heating arrangement for instance above 300 degrees, you may observe color changes. So be cautious about the temperature setting.

Such a urethane topcoat paint system offers everlasting pleasure and strength due to its eminent strategy of catalyzing urethane. The leading ‘composition coatings technology’ and ‘high-grade raw materials’ this urethane paint retains its shimmering effects for a prolonged time without any discoloration.

Another positive spike is that you can use various categories of spraying guns for your sprayable material. HVLP spray gun has the lowest diameter of fluid tip ranging from 1.3-1.5 mm and its inlet pressure limit stands within 25-30 psi.

And for Conventional Gravity and Siphon spray guns the tip diameters 1.3-1.6 mm and 1.4-1.8 mm respectively. But the inlet pressure grades for both of these guns have the same value which is 45-50 psi. Two of these parameters are comparatively larger than the former one.

To obtain adequate assurance you can implement 2 or 3 medium wet coats on your AU base paint. However, to get stannic or metallic colors you have to add more finishing or employ fog coats with pearlescent colors for mimicking the sparkling effects. Thus you can achieve full coverage at the end on your automobile surface.

It is highly recommended that when you apply this paint as a complete Single Stage Topcoat Paint, you need to use wet sandpaper and burnish to enhance the surface excellence. Moreover, due to their high lastingness and advance composing measurements, it is known as the high-ranking SS black paint so far in comparison to other acrylic, alkyd, and lacquer paintings.  

Highlighted Features

  • Provide full-on protection of 125 SQ FT
  • Offers strong immunity against UV radiation, toxic materials, and cutting off
  • Dry film thickness should be 2 mils or 002 inches
  • Can use this paint as Single grade topcoat or combining with a urethane clear coat
  • Not encouraged to use any kind of thinner for increasing its fluidity

4. Restoration Shop - Jet Black (Gloss) Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint

Restoration Shop - Jet Black (Gloss) Acrylic Enamel Auto Paint

If you want to have a super glossy dark black texture on your automobile surface I think this product will be your prime choice. Restoration Shop renders a prominent reputation amongst the United States customers undoubtedly.

This pack consists of 3.785 liters of enamel acrylic paint, 1 pint (half a quart) wet look acrylic hardening agent, 5 paint mixing linear rods, and 5 pieces of paint strainers. 

The paint and thickener combining ratio for this product are 8:1. As you know that this ratio indicates you to mix 8-parts of your base AE color paint with a 1-part hardener by using a proper measuring cup according to the demand of your work.

The count for the volatile organic compound is in the range which is 2.8 during intact conditions. But if you want to enhance its thinning finish, you have to buy separate reducers from the XR and UR series of Exempt Reducer which is not included in this package.

Exempt reducer of different grade levels will retain the 2.8 VOC count and it is free from danger all over the states. However, UR grades thinner give rise to the VOC count from 2.8 to 3.5.

The acrylic enamel paint system is also used in commercial sectors for coating purposes. But when you use it for coating the external surface of your automotive, it gives you absolute etherealness with supreme brightness to the whole surface area.

Such kind of product ensures an excellent length of service, provides a clear expression with fine deepness in quality. It is very convenient and persuadable among all customers.

When you get reproducible results every time at the end of your work, it will be your go-to product in your checklist for sure.

Highlighted Features

  • AE coating provides high solvent, radiation, chipping, or collapsing resistance capacity
  • 190-micron mesh filters can ensure profound security from harmful particulates
  • 2.8 VOC count is safe around every corner of the states
  • Follow rapid drying methods
  • Exclusive quality grade paint for coating automobiles distinctly.

5. Speedokote High Gloss Bright White 2K Acrylic Urethane

Speedokote High Gloss Bright White 2K Acrylic Urethane

Automobiles with promising white paint seem more appealing for most of the buyers in hot weather countries. This manufacturer offers the best single stage paint across the United States.

Speedokote retains its prestigious position in manufacturing both conventional automotive coating materials to satisfy all range of clients at hand.

As it is a 2 pack acrylic urethane coating material, it has some supreme characteristics. This product shows strong rigidity and eminent resistant ability against calamities, rapid-drying masterminding makes it versatile among all the products. 

This item includes 3.785 liters of AU paint and a 0.9475-liter activator. You need to blend 4-parts of urethane colors with 1-part of an activator.

In SS paint the role of an activator is unavoidable. It creates a strong bond with the base paint and remains on the surface for an extended period. Thus it gives you a hard shiny finish for a lifetime.

The most noticeable advantage you will surely get is that this product can tolerate temperature grading from 60 to 75 degrees Celsius. So you don’t have to worry about the paint job during the sultry days of summer for sure.

Due to its multifunctional traits, this kit offers heavy external surface constancy, uniform security against dangerous radiations, and some toxic chemicals in the environment which can destroy the quality of the exterior finish and also affect automotive surface caliber. 

This single stage auto paint kit also comes with a potent reducer; you can utilize it up to 5% for assuring accurate flowability of paint while spraying. It will give you consistent results in the end.

For attaining glossy sheen white paint on the surface this product serves you an HVLP Spray Gun having a fluid tip dimension of 1.3mm, and an inlet pressure array of 8-10 psi.

Highlighted Features

  • Contains SS-9710 AU grade paint and SS-1260 Urethane activator
  • An extreme level of protection from UV-rays can be achieved
  • Offer desirable white shimmering and aesthetic outlook
  • Can use Urethane Grade Reducer rather than thinner
  • Provide high immunity against bruising particulates

What to Look for Before Buying Single Stage Paint

1. Acrylic Enamel Vs Acrylic Urethane

Do know why car renovators or DIY painters are started embracing acrylic urethane over acrylic enamel? In short, acrylic vs urethane -which is better? Well, let me disclose this in the shortest possible way.

Acrylic enamel paint is extremely cheaper, for doing the whole car painting job you need to spend only 130$ because such paint doesn’t need any hardener, whereas to purchase acrylic urethane you have to allocate 250$ for each gallon.

Despite its high cost, acrylic urethane still gains the center of attraction among renovators and is known as the best single-stage automotive paint till now.

Acrylic urethane requires a hardener, for which reason such paint can act as anti-corrosive and weatherproof material from then to now.

Acrylic Enamel Vs Acrylic Urethane

Acrylic enamel showcases lower durability and after 5-10 years the paint is started passing off whereas acrylic urethane has a polyurethane constituent and along with an activator it enhances the shelf-life of the paint for a lifetime.

The acrylic enamel drying rate is duller than urethane drying technology. Moreover, enamel paint will give you lighter coverage than urethane paint.

It is recommended that If you are looking for cost savings paint then acrylic enamel will be perfect for you but if the quality finish and durability of the paint matter to you the most, then acrylic urethane should be on your checklist.  

2. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Count

Certain organic components vaporize easily at normal surrounding temperature and pressure. You will find this toxic material in every car restoration paint.

Due to its hazardous nature, governing body imposes rigid laws and creates boundaries against those products having a high VOC count.

Hence, all the renovators now look for those paint showing a low VOC count. High VOC matters cause a detrimental effect on the environment also damage the quality of air.

US authorities establish different criteria on different states for VOC count. For instance, if your living states are in California, Delaware, or Maryland, you should buy paint or product having a 2.8 VOC count. However, 4.6 VOC count is environment friendly in all other states.

So give your full attention while purchasing SS paint and seek out those SS paint manufacturers having low VOC numbers.

3. Quality of Your SS Paint

Your car renovating journey will be smooth if you consider this point with your supreme attention.  Just buying cost-effective SS paints won’t make your task easier.

Single Stage Paint

The chemical composition of the paint, the capacity of each pigment, and its deepness to bring the permanent foundation and an exclusive outlook in your car is also a crucial factor in your car painting job.

4. Finding Accurate Spraying Gun

Obtaining accurate types of spraying guns based on your paint is an essential parameter. It is highly commendable that, you should purchase that kind of spray gun showing well-suited traits and ensure better transfer efficiency while painting.

a) Gun should expel an adequate amount of paint on the surface. An optimum pressure-ranged spray gun can easily eliminate the excess accumulation of paint on the surface.

The lower the rate of pressure delivers through your gun, the better the channeling rate you will achieve at the end.

b) Sometimes it is laborious to remove an extra quantity of paint from the surface. So appropriate fluid tip dimension is crucial as well. Thus you can avoid the use of extra tools or solvents to erase those redundant stains from your car finish.

5. Ensure Protective Coverings

Do go through all the leaflets for proper handling of tools or equipment. Inadequate knowledge of spraying or painting techniques can cause severe damage.

It is strongly advised to wear Personal Protective Equipment while car painting. Evaporation of harmful chemicals can lead to serious health injuries.

Full Painting Guide On: How to Paint With Single Stage Paint

1. How Many Coats of Single Stage Paint?

In a single-stage auto paint, you have the foundation color mixed into the clear coat for a one-step application. You have to include some additional steps to save a bit of money before jumping into your main paint job.

A. Applying a Primer 

Before utilizing the base coat, you have to go for primer at first. On the back end of your car, you can apply a lot of black primers. A primer is a mixture of glue and paint which helps to leave a matte look on your vehicle.

How to Paint With Single Stage Paint

It permits better cohesion of the paint and will help you to lock up unnecessary stains from your automotive. Thus a primer builds a neutral base for any paint pigments.

B. Applying a Sealer

After that, you can include a white sealer over top of that primer and apply it throughout the entire vehicle. It will give you better coverage with the paint.

It is a thin coat that helps to seal the surface, hide any kind of dent on your vehicle. It also provides the right shade beneath the paint to give you an unvarying color at the end.

You can use a 3m Accuspray gun or any other well-known brand which is mainly intended for the application of primers and sealers or you can also follow the technical data sheet of the product you are going to use before applying these coatings to your automobile.

From the technical datasheet, you will get to know the specific fluid tip dimension, the pressure range, the mixing ratio, and at what distance and speed you are going to spray these products to get a uniform result, and their flash or cure time.

2. How to Mix Single Stage Paint

When you want to paint your automobile with single-stage acrylic enamel paint you don't have to worry about mixing an activator. You can spray the paint straightaway by following its mixing ratio.

On the other hand, for single-stage acrylic urethane, we advise that you have to include an activator or hardener, in most cases also a reducer while mixing the base coat. Those products need to be activated before doing your spraying job.

A. Collection of Essentials

For mixing, you need to collect a paint mixing can and a straight-size graduated mixing stick. The mixing stick can help you to mix the whole ingredients as well as you can easily measure the ingredients as per the direction.

You can also need to have some fine mesh strainers so that you can easily get rid of clumps, dust, and peels from the final product.

B. Addition of an Activator on the Base Paint

When you can pour a right proportion of an activator on the single-stage paint it will bring a diverse range of welfares to your painting finish. An activator improves the adhesive quality of the paint on the surface of your automobile.

By mixing an activator the paint will gain the potential power to withstand stress or any kind of force and will boost its lastingness. In some cases, you have to buy this hardener separately but most of the time manufacturers supply a well-defined activator along with the product.

C. Inclusion of a Reducer on the Base Coat

A reducer helps you to adjust the viscosity of the paint according to your need. It is not crucial to have it on your checklist.

But if you find that your paint is too much dense that you are unable to spray it on your vehicle, that case, you can add an accurate amount of reducer to increase its spontaneity.

The right quantity of reducer can smooth your painting job as well as you can have a subtle introduction of your paint on your automotive surface without any hassle.

3. How to Paint Single Stage Paint

A. Assembling the Spray Guns

After the mixing stages, it is time to occupy the containers with an adequate amount of paint based on the length of your painting job so that you can keep spraying and avoid unnecessary mixing and refilling between your painting work.

After that seal, the container's lid firmly and fasten the guns with fluid tip (regulates the flow of paint) and air cap (atomize the paint) properly.

It is necessary to assure the volume of air and pressure range to atomize and propel the paint at an accurate rate.

By doing so you can easily ensure that the right proportion of paint is reaching your target surface without any interference. Hence, you can reduce overspray on the surface and lower painting wastage.

B. Asserting Sound Automotive Spraying Approach

It is essential to know the right technique for painting automotive projects. When you spray a fixed amount of distance should be exerted persistently.

While applying the first layer of coating, the distance of your spray gun from the surface should be around six to eight inches all the time, and try to spray the paint in a clockwise manner. You have to give enough drying and curing time after every layer of coating.

Moreover, too much close and too far of your gun can leave a dry finish on the surface of your automobile and you will land up having poor coverage at the end.

C. Adopting Adequate Precautions

Purchasing lower VOC-grade single-stage paint is mandatory to ensure a safer environment. Manufacturers are inventing paints having a low VOC count which is 2.8 pounds/gallon. Apart from that, other kinds of precautionary measures should be strictly followed as well.

1. Personal Protective Equipment for Car Painters

When you are taking the job of painting your automobile, you will get exposed to various noxious paints or adhesive materials. For handling such kind of stuff you have to need good quality PPE to avoid any hazards.

You keep a wide array of robust and water-resistant gloves, laminated glasses, anti-fog face shields, commercial-grade aprons. Don't be frugal while purchasing such sort of items.

2. Well-Ventilation System 

You have to follow specific principles regarding this matter. You need to install superior quality fans for accelerating proper air transmission and setting an industrial-grade filter to remove contaminants from the painting chamber and halting the entrance of impurities inside the chamber.

D. Spraying the Single Stage Painting

1. Application of Foundational Coating

To spray the base coating you should follow the spraying method which is mentioned previously. To remove the moisture from the paint you have to wait 12 to 24 hours, Thus you can able to flaunt the color of the base coating.

2. Application of Secondary Coating

You can enhance the deepness and shimmering effects of the surface of your automobile by applying another coating of the paint in the same manner. But you should be concerned that your previous coating is amply dried to avoid further damage.

To improve the tenacity of the paint on the surface efficiently or to sand the paint to you can use 220 to 400 grit ranged sandpapers. It helps you to remove extra dust on the surface and prepare it for the next coatings if needed.

The drying time of this stage is around 24 to 48 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the benefit of using single-stage paints?

The main benefit of using a single-stage paint is, you don't need to worry about using a clear coat on the top of your foundation paint.
If you are contented with a moderate-scale sparkling finish on the surface, then you should go for such a painting job. For instance, BMW, Toyota, Ford, Cherokee, Subaru apply SS paint on their vehicles.

2. Does single-stage paint need a clear coat?

It is not always necessary to use a clear coat when you think of doing single stage paint on your automotive. However, clear topcoats do have certain supremacy.

It gives better protection to your paint base color, adds extra-dimensional sheen, and alters the level of resilience as well. If you want to include some shimmering resonance to your hard tone surface stains, then don't forget to utilize the clear coat layer on the top.

3. What are the differences between 1k and 2k types of SS paints?

Single-stage paint is divided into two categories. One is 1k SS paints which have fast drying capacity due to their thin layer on the surface and don't demand any kind of hardener or activator.

On the contrary, 2k SS paints are double-layer coatings, dry at a slow pace, need an activator but show high durability.

4. What are parameters do I need to consider when I purchase a spraying gun for my painting job?

When you go for buying a spray gun, do check the related information regarding gun types, their tip diameters, the inlet pressure limits according to your need. If you can match that information accurately, you won't fall into any trouble while purchasing.

5. What happens if you don't put hardener in paint?

You need to use a hardener or activator, to increase flash/cure times effectively. If you coat your surface without using a hardener and then apply another coating on top of it, the chemical reaction between coatings hardens the paint and demands a longer time to dry and thus leaves a dull finish at the end.

Final Words

You can't ignore their wide array of applications in the auto renovating fields. All of these single stage paint we mentioned are specifically designed to make your vehicles looks moderate.

Here, We have projected this long length guide just to keep you on the right path by providing every fine detail about some remarkable SS paints so that it will assist you to get the best single stage paint for the projects that you want to carry out effectively without taking too many pressures.
When you have multiple ranges of products with a dispersed amount of information at your hand, it will be easy for you to distract easily. You will end up buying the product which won't quench your thirst in the end.

Thereby, we hope our article will help you to steal the deal and make your investment worthwhile for a long period.


I am Samantha, an automobile engineer and POD business owner. I am also a wife of Jason and a mother of three children, two of whom are twins. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and strive to be a role model for my children. I believe that hard work and dedication can lead to success, no matter what your circumstances may be. I have a passion for cars and enjoy working on them in my spare time. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and experience with you. Stay connected !

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