Understanding the Basics of Car Painting

The latest colors shining brightly—there’s no doubt that paint sells cars. Even though it is a big reason why you might like or dislike a car, very few clients know how cars are painted and how that affects collision repair.

Hopefully, the damage to your car is covered by insurance and isn’t costing you anything beyond the deductible and the time invested. Most people just want their car back in pre-collision condition, and don’t really care how that process plays out. Still,  having as much knowledge as possible is always helpful in understanding what your repair specialist is doing. The following are some paint basics—we won’t call it a primer because, as you will soon see, that might get confusing!

Eco-friendly Paint is Better Paint

In the last century, manufacturers used lacquer paint on vehicles. Painted on and then treated with a hardener to make it stick, this process was not environmentally friendly. Up to 85% of lacquer paint evaporated into the air, sending lead, chromium, and other heavy metals into the atmosphere, where it rained down on our homes, crops, and waterways.  

Understanding the Basics of Car Painting

Carmakers developed water-based enamels in the 1990s. Applied first, the primer creates a smooth surface by leveling it out. Primer protects the vehicle from corrosion and damage from rocks and other road debris. The base coat is next—it is what probably what you call “the paint,” giving your car the desired color. Sprayed over the top of the base coat, clearcoat is the final step. How glossy do you want it? Clearcoat  transforms the paint, changing the flat base coat into the shiny, rich color that gives new vehicles the allure car sellers and buyers want.

It turns out that waterborne paint is cleaner and brighter than the old-school stuff,  healthier for anyone who works around it, and better for the planet, too!

Match Game for Cars

If you only need a small portion of your vehicle touched up, we mix paint that matches so perfectly that the repair is undetectable. We have to take into account any fading that might have occurred from age and sunlight exposure, as well as any differences between the color listed by the carmaker and the actual color used. For highly complex paint, such as metallic or tri-coat peal finishes, we may have to paint a larger portion of the vehicle to ensure matching, such as the entire bumper, door, or hood. Plastic bumpers can be especially tricky since paint darkens at different rates on plastic vs. steel.

Of course, paint is just part of the job. The prep work is just as important. We take the time to remove existing layers of paint and fix all scratches, gouges, dent, pits, rust spots, or holes before painting. We may even have to remove interior components, including the dash, console, and even the seats. All of this takes time. Though we know how inconvenient it is to have your car in the shop, it is even worse to have your life disrupted and end up with second-rate repairs. We make sure the value of your vehicle remains the same, or is even increased by our high-quality work.

When you have autobody damage, go to the pros at Cline Collision Center. We are ASE-certified, have OEM certification from InfinitiNissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia, and have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR. For top-quality workmanship and customer service, including help with navigating insurance challenges, call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

Do Auto Body Shops Wash Your Car?

Yes, we do! Washing your vehicle before we paint it is a critical step in ensuring your new paint job comes out fantastic. We cannot effectively apply paint over a dirty vehicle. Even if paint is not involved, we still wash your vehicle to bring back that new car look when you get your vehicle back. In fact, many auto body shops detail your vehicle before you pick it up. Cline Collision Center takes it a step further and details the complete interior and exterior of your vehicle, for free!

Here’s some advice when it comes to washing your vehicle after it has had paint work completed:

1)     Don’t go for a wash immediately

If you’re like me, you can’t stand a dirty vehicle. Going through the car wash is such a convenience, but do not make this mistake for at least 3 months after your vehicle has been painted. In the first 30 days after your vehicle has been painted, take your car home and simply wash it down with cold water and a microfiber mitt in the shade. Be as careful as possible to avoid potential scratches. After 30 days you may apply soap. After 3 months you may go through the automatic car wash. If possible, opt for only touchless washes, and of course if possible, always hand wash yourself or take it to your favorite detailer that hand washes.

2)     Say no to joy rides (for now)

Say no to the drag race track, or joy rides blasting your favorite tunes. Only drive this vehicle when necessary for the first two months. If you have a second vehicle, let this vehicle be your garage queen for the next two months. This allows your paint to fully cure before being subjected to harsh weather conditions. Trust us, your patience will be so worth it!

3)     Did we mention, garage queen?

If you have garage space at home, leave your vehicle in the garage when you’re not using it. Tree sap, bird droppings, and acid rain are dangerous to your new clear coat. Even drastic changes in the temperature can affect the paint.

4)     We love waxing! Just not yet.

60 days after painting is the ideal time to wax your car again. Though no rush. We recommend you have a professional wax your vehicle once or twice per year with real carnauba wax to keep that shine year-round, and more importantly to protect the paint.

Cline Collision Center is a 5-star auto body repair facility located in Santa Rosa, CA. We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Give us a call at 707-591-9909 to learn more about what we have to offer you and your vehicle, today. Or, stop by for a free estimate!

Why Spies Hecker Paint is the Best Choice

Why Spies Hecker Paint is the Best ChoiceSpies Hecker may or may not be a name you’re familiar with, but we certainly are. In the collision repair industry, we work with Spies Hecker paints and refinishing products regularly as part of our repair and restoration process. It’s an old brand, with a history dating back more than 130 years, back to the days when they were painting coaches rather than cars. We trust them to put out high-quality and innovative products that do right by our customers.

What brought us to that position? It’s pretty simple, really – they’re a great company that makes a great product. More than that, though, the product works. They put extensive focus on technology, incorporating it into how they invent, produce, and ship their products. They do much more than simple paint. They also create primer, base coat, UV-curing, clear coat, and much more. It’s everything we need to make your car look its best again.

They also produce a range of tools to help us do our job better, from the Quantum EFX Spectrophotometer for measuring color to their extensive color formula online search, we’re able to quickly and easily match your exact paint color for a flawless finish. It makes our job easier, certainly, but more importantly, it helps us provide the best possible service for our customers so that their vehicle looks as good as new when they get it back after a collision.

Paint-matching is as much a science as it is an art, so any help we can get to ensure we do it well is well worth it in our opinion. With the help of their primers and surfacers, we’re not only able to exactly match your paint color, we’re also able to use a high-quality base that makes it sit just right, dry quickly, and sand well. It’s also approved by multiple car manufacturers for use with OEM parts, which is no small feat.

We love Spies Hecker paint tools, primers, surfacers, and clear coats. When we work with their products, we know we’re working with the best. Now you do, too. Have questions? We’ll be happy to answer. Cline Collision repairs most major makes and models of car and truck, whether you need dent removal or extensive body work. We also include refinishing with our services so your car looks like you drove it fresh off the lot for a second time.