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 first to review these key aspects to consider before getting your car painted.
Importance of Car Paint Quality
Not all paint is alike. High-quality paint and expert application is key to car paint that looks great and lasts long. Having your car repainted doesn’t just serve to restore its shine. Paint is really the armor that protects the body and parts.
Having your car repainted doesn’t just serve to restore its shine. Paint is really the armor that protects the body and parts. Just think about it, this crucial layer is needed for all of the following reasons:
- Protect the car body and parts from everyday wear.
- Safeguard the vehicle from water, salt, chemicals, gravel and road debris.
- Prevent rust and corrosion.
- Maintain or enhance the vehicle’s resale or trade-in value.
It shields the body of the car.
It’s imperative that the body shop uses premium quality paint and does a thorough job. Car 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.
It protects auto body components.
Acting as a shield, the paint job is the final layer protecting 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.
It prevents rust.
Some owners try to save money following a fender bender by ignoring minor dents and scratches or skipping the paint job after having the damage repaired. They don’t know 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 eat away at the car’s body and components and spread just below the surface, causing the paint in other areas to flake and fall off. Here are some other tips on avoiding rust damage.
It helps your car maintain 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 greatly improve the car’s resale value.
Types of Car 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 asked 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, the 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, making it less resistant to UV rays and can cause chipping or fading in a relatively short time. The 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.
Techniques for Car Paint Color Matching
Before we explain anything else, it’s important to understand how auto makers get their paint formulations to begin with. Manufacturers create a “standard” for every color that they put on their vehicles. Those standards are then sent out to auto body paint suppliers who create their own formula to match the “standard” from the vehicle manufacturer.
After carefully mixing the paint color, an auto body technician will spray a small amount on a card and let it dry before applying it immediately to the car. Then, they’ll place the card next to the original paint on the car, in the sunlight. Then, they will make any adjustments needed and repeat the process until the proper match is found.
An experienced paint technician also knows how to spray the new paint into the other areas of the panel being repaired, thereby ensuring a gradual blend. In order to do all of this, the technician must use a seamless spray pattern, maintain the proper angle and much more.
Tools of Car Paint Color Matching
One of the best tools available for color matching is a camera with built in paint formula detection so that the paint can be matched back to its paint code more easily. Technicians at great auto body shops will also be able to show a vehicle owner where the differences in color already exist on the car before they begin working to restore damaged paint.
Color matching goes beyond just mixing paint and spraying it onto a vehicle, the process of applying paint and the aftercare as it dries are equally as important.
How Car Paint Color Variations Occur
The auto manufacturer will buy a certain volume of paint and when it’s gone, they will get new bids for more of the same color. Many manufacturers are only concerned with price, not ensuring that the color is legitimately the same from one batch to another. So, there’s no guarantee that the same “apple red” will actually appear the same from one year to the next.
It should also be known that when paint companies create their formula, they also create “alternate” formulas. There can be many of these alternate formulas.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that conditions in the paint manufacturing plant such as humidity, temperature and more, can create variations in the paint color.
Why You Should Rely on Professional Car Painting
This really is a job that should be left up to the pros. Some car owners want to ‘do it yourself.’ However, a trained professional will deliver the best results for anything more than a small scratch.
A reliable auto body shop has advanced equipment and experience that is vital for a difficult job like painting. At our shop, we have invested in specialized equipment. We have a state-of-the-art mixing room with four-angle cameras to ensure a perfect color match of car paint. With two down-draft baking rooms, the final result is as close to the factory finish as possible. Each primer, topcoat, and clear coat layer is baked at 180°F before the next coat is applied.
The benefits of having a reliable body shop paint the car, include:
- A money-back guarantee on the work,
- Cost-effective service,
- Expert finish and color matching.
In short, hiring a certified technician will help ensure your car looks great and improve its long-term value.
Questions to Ask the Body Shop about the Car Paint Process
When looking to repair paint on a vehicle, feel free to ask technicians about everything mentioned here.
- What is your process for finding a color match?
- What is the tool you use to paint?
- Do you have a separate painting room?
- What type of paint do you use?
- How much experience do you have with painting cars?
Be sure the shop has the most updated equipment to color-match any paint. Before leaving a vehicle in someone else’s hands, be sure they have a qualified experience. Ensure the paint booths are properly equipped to keep the paint clean and debris-free during the application process. Find out how the shop checks that paint dries properly. Being informed and ready for the expense of the process will help keep any precious vehicle looking like a stylish work of art for as long as it’s on the road.
How to Paint a Car: the Professional Process
Don’t trust a shop that promises to have your car ready in a day or two. A good, professional paint job should take about a week to complete. We know it’s hard to go about your regular life and business without your vehicle, but doing the job right requires time. Here’s why:
- First, the old paint must be removed. Prepping the car includes stripping and sanding away the faded, oxidized and damaged layers.
- After removing the old paint, the car is wiped down and cleaned of any leftover residue.
- Color matching is important for touch-ups or partial paint jobs, but not every car owner knows how to find the paint code. The model’s color code can often be found attached to the vehicle – either in the glove box or wheel well.
- Then, any parts of the car which shouldn’t be repainted are covered before proceeding.
- The primer is applied, which usually requires two or three coats to cover the surface area fully. Each layer is baked on before the next can be applied.
- To smooth the primer layer, the surface of the car is sanded. Then, it must be wiped down and cleaned with paint thinner.
- Next, the topcoat is applied. For best results, we apply three or four coats evenly. Again, each coat must dry thoroughly and be baked at high temperatures. Plus, the surface may be lightly sanded before the final layer is applied.
- Then, one or two layers of topcoat are applied and baked on.
- Finally, the whole car is buffed and polished until it looks like new again.
Your Car Deserves the Best Quality Paint Job
At Badell’s Collision, we only use the highest quality automotive paint. The advantages of using superior-quality paint include decreasing the time and money needed to complete the job. Using less paint, also helps us pass savings onto car owners.
We stand behind our work and provide a lifetime warranty for repairs and paint jobs. Find out why our customers have been satisfied with the high-quality work have delivered for so many years. 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.