One of the most important factors in getting a vehicle repaired following an accident is having it repainted. Only high-quality paint can ensure the durability of the car’s body, effectively safeguard it from corrosion and help the car continue to look shiny and new.
After the damaged auto body components have been replaced and the dings have been fixed, the final step in getting the car back in good shape is to prime, paint and seal the work properly.
Be sure to first review these key aspects to consider before getting your car painted.
How Paint Protects Your Car
It’s imperative that the body shop use premium quality paint and do a thorough job. Auto body paint isn’t used just to make the car shine again, it plays an essential role in safeguarding it and making it last for years. The paint helps protect automobile components, prevent rust and maintain the car’s resale value.
Shield Auto Body Components
Acting as a shield, the paint job is really the final layer that protects your vehicle from regular wear and tear on the road. With a well-sealed coat of paint, the steel components will be more durable and hold up better through harsh weather, salt, gravel and road debris for many years to come.
Some owners try to save money following a fender bender by ignoring minor dents and scratches or skipping the paint job after having damage repaired. What they don’t know is that this leaves a hole in the car’s protective shell where corrosion can enter.
If the paint has been damaged in any way, rust can begin to eat away at the car’s body and components and spread just below the surface and causing the paint in other areas to flake and fall off. Here are some other tips on avoiding rust damage.
Help the Car Retain Value
Potential buyers and dealerships won’t pay the Blue Book price for a vehicle with paint damage. Having the paint job done professionally can make a big improvement in the car’s resale value.
Types of Auto Body Paint
There is a sea of paints out there in the auto body industry, and for such an important job, quality is everything. If you need to have your car repainted, be prepared to answer the auto body repair shop when they ask what type of paint you prefer. Here’s a quick overview of the options:
The nice, glossy finish that we generally associate with a new paint job is typical of acrylic lacquer. This is the oldest type of car paint. It must be baked on the vehicle, but generally, application is quite simple. Single stage acrylic lacquer is simply sprayed on and double-stage requires a clear coat finish.
Acrylic paint is usually the least expensive option, but it does have some negative aspects. This paint is very thin which makes it less resistant to UV rays and can cause chipping or fading in a relatively short amount of time. Application of an acrylic urethane topcoat can help preserve it.
Enamels are also sprayed on, followed by a clear coat. When acrylic enamels dry, they give the car a hard finish. In comparison to lacquers, enamels are thicker and offer much greater durability. Because the application process is longer and the paint quality is better, this type of car body painting is usually one of the more expensive options.
For long-lasting coverage, your auto body shop will recommend urethane. They are usually applied to engine parts and components that are subject to high temperatures. A thinner and a catalyst must be mixed with the paint before spray application, but it dries quickly and provides an extremely durable finish. Urethane is useful when painting over things as it doesn’t react with other kinds of paint or cause chipping.
The more environmentally friendly option is water-based paint. Application is easy and it can even be sprayed over the existing paint. After the protective clear coat has set, the finish is glossy and smooth, but the color selection is limited.
After Your Car Has Been Repainted
To keep your paint job looking vibrant and shiny for as long as possible, wax your car soon after it has been repainted. Read on for expert more advice on car maintenance.
If you see signs of flaking or peeling in the months following, be sure to review the repair shop’s warranty policy on paint work.
Find a Reputable Body Shop Near You
Not every place that can fix a car can paint it. Take the time to locate a professional, reliable auto body shop in your area.