Basecoat

Definition - What does Basecoat mean?

A basecoat is typically the first layer of paint or other coating material that serves as the base on which the top or finishing coat is applied. If a primer coat is required, the basecoat is applied over it.

The basecoat type (water-based or solvent-based) depends on the type of top or finishing coat, whether shellac, enamel, lacquer, metal or another type of coating.

The basecoat is usually formulated with pigments, fillers and plasticizers to cover minor surface imperfections and enhance the color and overall visual appearance of the top coating.

Corrosionpedia explains Basecoat

There are various types of basecoats, specifically formulated for their intended uses. In a multi-stage coating system, a basecoat is used for some or all of the following reasons:

  • It provides color to the top or final coating. In the widely used basecoat / clearcoat two-step automotive painting process, the base coat, which can be dull or flat, is the color coat for the vehicle. The glossy finish comes from the clear coat applied over the basecoat.
  • The proper basecoat color enhances the appearance of the overall paint. For example, a white basecoat makes a bright yellow topcoat much brighter and shinier.
  • In buildings and residential projects, wall painting needs a basecoat to cover small cracks, dents or scratches to provide a clear, flat surface for the final or top coating.
  • In surfaces for metal coating, a lacquer basecoat is applied to cover minor imperfections and to enhance adhesion with the metal for deposition.

While single stage coating is more economical and faster, it oftentimes can’t achieve the required durability, color, gloss, film thickness and other important coating attributes that a basecoat can provide.

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