iPhone App Review: Digital Car Paint

iPhone App Review: Digital Car Paint

April 27th, 2012 by

Up until recently there was no suitable app or software solution to help you visualize and communicate a custom paint job on your vehicle. Developer Bestapp Digital Enterprises recognized this and out of their need give us Digital Car Paint. Using your iPhone or iPad you can “paint” a representation of one of several cars, trucks, and even private jets, using perfectly matched Dupont paint codes. Using lines and curves you can define details to paint in other colors, then send off the entire creation with the Dupont codes included.

How It Works

There is a quick tutorial in the app, but the basic flow of work is fairly simple. You first choose a vehicle, including the model year, from the large set included in the app. Not every make and model is represented, but there is a fair approximation of many classic and even modern cars that will probably suit the needs of most people. Maybe my 2005 Saturn Vue isn’t included, but a small SUV of about that size was and it would work fine for my purposes. There are even boats and planes, if you happen to roll that way.

You can paint the entire vehicle in just a few taps by choosing a color and then tapping the picture. You then use the Shape Tool to draw lines that bound off areas to paint in another color. The Shape Tool is similar to what you would find in a desktop drawing application: there are handles for the ends where you can stretch and re-position the lines, plus curve handles that let you stretch and bend them to fit custom features of the vehicle. Once your custom shape is defined you can choose another paint color and tap anywhere in the new space. The app will only paint areas that are bounded  by the drawing of the vehicle, so you don’t have to worry about coloring “outside the lines”.

Once you have a paint job you like, you can upgrade the free app to allow the ability to save your work and share it with others, sending them a schematic of your paint job that includes the proper Dupont colors for refernce.

Pros And Cons

Digital Car Paint is a great app that does one thing and does it well: it lets you create and share a custom car paint job scheme. Every tool in the toolbox is designed to the goal of letting you work quickly and efficiently, and for the most part it succeeds every step of the way. The developers obviously have great understanding of the subject and care very deeply about giving their users a product that will suit their needs.

What I really love about the app is that it has a pricing structure that makes sense: it’s 100% free to use, then charges you to unlock the ability to save your work or share your custom drawing with others. This means that it’s a no-risk trial for anyone curious whether or not the app is right for them, and demonstrates confidence on the part of the developers that the app’s quality speaks for itself. So many niche apps like try to charge people up front for a bug-ridden amateurish experience, but Digital Car Paint’s developers have done it right.

The Shape Tool can be a bit tricky to use, but the model of using handles and curves to define precise lines is the best method for making the most precise shapes possible. It just takes practice, that’s all. It might be nice in a future version of a sort of “freehand” mode was available: this would obviously yield less precise results, but for simple shapes and custom jobs might be “good enough” for most purposes.


Digital Car Paint is a terrific app that excels at what it was designed to do. If you want to play around it’s free to try, and if you design a paint job for your vehicle that you really like you can drop the $1.99 and save and share your work.

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