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.
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 Infiniti, Nissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/Acura, Ford, 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!