Best Paint for Pinewood Derby Car

Kids and adults both like Pinewood Derby cars for their classic activity. If you want to get desired look and finish, then you need to buy the best paint for pinewood derby car. Do you have a Pinewood car? And do you want to paint your car? If yes, then this article is for you.

The paint can impact the speed and performance of your car. So it’s important to select the right type of paint for your needs. Choosing the right paint for your pinewood derby is very hard because so many options are available. We’ll discuss here, how to choose the best type of paint for pinewood derby cars and how to apply them.

Types of the Best Paint for Pinewood Derby Car

There are several types of best paint for a pinewood derby car. Choosing the best paint will depend on the perfect look and well finish.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a popular and best choice for pinewood derby cars for its quick-drying time. It is easy to use. It’s also water-soluble, making cleanup a breeze. Acrylic paint is available in the market in a wide range of colors. It is suitable to mix to create custom colors. Acrylic paint can brush or spray onto the car. However, it may not be as durable as other types of paint.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Fast-dryingLimited blending time
VersatileColor shift
Water-resistantLess texture
Easy clean-upDifficulty with layering
Non-toxicShorter lifespan

Spray Paint

It is another popular choice for pinewood derby cars. It is very easy to use. Spray Paint also provides a smooth, best finish. Spray Paint has lots of colors and finishes available in the market. It has also metallic, matte, and glossy colors. However, it is challenging to control the spray.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Quick applicationDifficulty with precision
VersatileLimited color options
Even coverageHealth hazards when used improperly
Can cover large areas quicklyProne to chipping and peeling
Suitable for a variety of surfacesEnvironmental concerns with propellants

Enamel Paint

It is a durable and glossy option for pinewood derby cars. It takes longer time to dry than other types of paint. Enamel paint also provides a hard, durable finish. Enamel paint also requires a strong solvent for cleanup.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Durable and long-lastingDifficult to clean up
High gloss finishStrong odor and fumes
Resistant to damage from heat and chemicalsLong drying time
VersatileProne to yellowing with age
Can be used on a variety of surfacesNot as eco-friendly as other paints

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint provides a smooth and glossy finish to the pinewood derby car. However, it takes a long time to dry. It is also challenging to work with it. Cleanup requires solvents, and it can emit strong fumes.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Long working time for blending and layeringLong drying time
Rich and vibrant colorsStrong odor and fume
Durable and long-lastingRequires solvents for clean-up
Creates a smooth finishProne to yellowing with age
Can be used on a variety of surfacesNot as eco-friendly as other paints

Water-based Paint

It is an eco-friendly paint option for pinewood derby cars. Water-based Paint is easy to clean up and dries quickly. It may not be as durable as other types of paint.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Easy clean-up with soap and waterMay not adhere as well to some surfaces
Low odor and fumesLimited color options
Quick drying timeCan be prone to cracking and peeling
Non-toxic and eco-friendlyNot as durable as oil-based paints
Can be used on a variety of surfacesMay require more coats for even coverage

How to Choose the Best Paint for Pinewood Derby Car?

If you’re not familiar with the different types of paint available. It is very challenging to choose the best paint for your Pinewood Derby.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right paint for your car:

  • Consider the Type of Paint: As discussed earlier, there are several types of paint available for Pinewood Derby cars. You should consider the details of each type to make your decision.
  • Choose Lightweight Paint: You need to choose lightweight paint to achieve maximum speed. Choose a paint that is lightweight. And you don’t add unnecessary weight to your car.
  • Check Quick Drying Quality Paint: You can use paint that takes short time to dry. It helps to make perfect designs.
  • Check the Finish: The finish of the paint can make a big difference in the overall appearance of your car. Choose a finish that matches the look you’re looking for.
  • Check for Compatibility: Some types of paint may not be compatible with the materials. Be sure to check the paint compatibility.

Tips for Painting Pinewood Derby Cars

Proper preparation and application will help you to get a successful paint job on a pinewood derby car. So you need to follow these tips:


  • Sand the car thoroughly to remove any bumps or rough spots.
  • Fill in any holes or gaps with wood filler and sand it smooth.
  • Wipe the car down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
  • Prime the car with a light coat of primer and sand it smoothly.

Applying the Paint

  • Apply the first coat of paint in a thin, even layer.
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying additional coats.
  • Sand lightly between coats to ensure a smooth finish.
  • Apply additional coats as needed to achieve the desired color and finish.

Adding Design Details

  • Use painter’s tape to create clean lines and designs.
  • Use stencils or stickers for more intricate designs.
  • Allow the design details to dry completely before adding additional coats of paint.

Finishing Touches

  • Apply a clear coat of paint or varnish to protect the finish and add shine.
  • Allow the final coat to dry completely before handling the car.

How to spray paint Pinewood derby car?

Spray painting your Pinewood Derby car is a quick and easy way to add color. It styles to your car design.

Here are the steps to follow to use spray paint on your car:

  • Prepare your workspace: Find a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to spray paint your car. Cover your work surface with newspaper or a drop cloth to protect it from overspray.
  • Sand your car: Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand your car. You need to create a smooth surface for the paint.
  • Prime your car: Apply a coat of primer to your car to help the paint adhere to the wood. It provides a smooth base for your design.
  • Apply thin coats: It’s important to use thin coats of spray paint on your car. Hold the can of spray paint about 6-8 inches away from the car. You need to spray in a sweeping motion to make sure to overlap each pass slightly. You should apply 2-3 thin coats of paint. Remember, apply the next, after each coat to dry completely.
  • Add details: To add details, you can use a small brush and acrylic paint.
  • Seal your car: After completing the design, it’s important to apply a sealant to protect the paint. It helps you to ensure a long-lasting finish. You can use a spray sealant or brush on a liquid sealant.

Remember to follow all safety precautions

To use the spray paint, you need to wear a mask and gloves. And you should work in a well-ventilated area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use acrylic paint on pinewood derby car?

Yes, you can use acrylic paint on a pinewood derby car. Acrylic paint is a great option for painting pinewood derby cars.

Can you spray paint a pinewood derby car?

Yes, you can spray paint a pinewood derby car. Spray paint is a popular choice for painting pinewood derby cars.


Choosing the best paint for your pinewood derby car is important for achieving the desired performance and appearance. Acrylic paint is a popular choice for its ease of use and quick drying time. If you have any questions, ask us.

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