You wouldn’t think paint to be so temperamental when it comes to your car. After all, it has to endure the abuse from the hot sun, ice, hail, rocks, shopping carts, parallel parking, etc. However, when it comes time to paint your car, it can be a very tedious and difficult task that even “professionals” tend to screw up. We have already gone into the basics of the painting process, so now let’s talk about the difficulty of simply matching paint colors through a process called, blending. Blending paint sounds pretty obvious. It’s a process of applying one paint color to another by creating a seamless and even surface on your car.
The first in the blending process is to find out what your car’s paint code is. Every car has a specific paint code that is usually labeled on the inside of the drivers side door frame.
Even with the correct paint code, there can still be up to 10 different variations on some paint codes. This can cause the new paint to be slightly off color from the original. A common mistake that auto shops have is thinking that the new mixed paint matches the old paint exactly because they simply used the paint code. Matching paint codes needs to be tested first for consistency. Exact matching won’t matter too much if the whole car is getting painting, but if only a few areas need to be painted, then matching can be a difficult.
You can see how hard it is to blend paint together when taping off only a small area. To make sure that new paint blends nicely with the original color, a large surface area is required. Most of the time, taping off an entire panel is the correct way of blending paint. Unless, the scratch or dent repair is too close to other panels, then often times painting both panels is needed.
Looking at the picture below, the first coat is for making sure that the repaired areas are coated with enough paint to eliminate any missed spots.
To blend the new paint in, extra coats of paint are sprayed outward to thin out the newly painted area. You can see from the image below that blending the new paint required a surface area that spanned over almost two whole car panels. Some auto shops are known to skimp in the blending process to save money on paint and labor. This can create uneven coloring between two panels.
We get about two months of nice warm weather in Chicago, so keeping cars warm with limited indoor parking spaces is hard. Condensation that occurs when a car goes from being cold to warm can effect how paint adheres to the car. Sometimes it can take five to six hours for a car to be warm and condensation free before starting the painting process. A bad auto shop will not wait long enough if they are in a hurry. This can cause a rough paint surface known as the, “orange peel effect”. The car’s surface will look similar to the surface texture of an orange.
Before you chose an auto shop to paint your car, look at their reviews. Do they have positive feedback from customer, specifically for the type of painting service you need? Don’t be afraid to ask the shop about their painting process and see what type of response you receive from them. If they are short with you are don’t fully explain their process, they may be hiding something.
Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for your Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us