When your car is involved in an accident, the objective is to have it repaired to an as-good-as-new condition. One of the most challenging stages of auto body and collision work is final finishing and paint matching.
A good repair not only makes you feel better about your car but also has financial implications if you decide to sell or trade. Leased vehicles have the same issue at turn in time, because excessive damage may be charged back to you if the dealer has to correct mistakes made by the body shop.
We have all seen bodywork that is not up to par, and it often looks worse than the original accident when not done properly. If the entire panels have been replaced, there is often a noticeable difference between the new panel and the rest of the car because of mismatched paint. It is the job of the repair shop to make sure your car looks as good as new, and this is a challenge as paint matching is one of the most difficult skills to master.
When your car was painted at the factory, the entire body is painted at the same time from the same batch of paint. This ensures that all the parts of the car are the same color and shade of paint. Body paint matching is an art, and only an experienced auto body shop can accurately match new paint to an original finish. All automotive paints have codes specific to the color, but there are thousands of variations and shades.
Additionally, color variations from original are inevitable because of normal aging. When a car has been on the road for a few years, there is a normal fading of the color. Even if a new batch of paint is mixed to factory specifications, there may still be a noticeable difference, and this is where the skill of the body shop comes in.
There are many techniques used by auto body specialists to match colors starting with the body color code from the manufacturer. There is a tag, usually inside the door jamb, with code numbers and one of these codes is the paint color for your car. This number is used to correctly match the paint should a repair ever be necessary. The number of colors available is staggering, Even basic colors such as black and red have dozens, if not hundreds of different shades.
The older the car, the more difficult it may be to match the paint. At this point insurance coverage has some influence on the repair work. If a door panel on an older car needs to be repaired a good body shop should be able to match the paint to your satisfaction. There are blending techniques that allow new paint to lightly overspray old paint to achieve a transition that is not noticeable. In some cases, it may not be possible to match the paint due to weathering and fading, and it may be necessary to paint the entire side of the car. Some insurance companies may refuse to pay for this additional work, and you may have to make your case with the adjuster or ask the repair shop to include this extra step in the interest of doing a quality repair.
Another factor to consider is that if you have an older car that was not in a pristine condition, to begin with, you cannot expect a body shop to restore it to " like new" condition. Ask if the older sections of the car can be buffed to brighten them up. This may be an extra cost option to consider if it brings that new car feeling back again.
Any accident is an unpleasant experience that you want to put behind you. One important step is having your car repaired properly, and the best way to do that is to use an experienced body and collision repair shop that warranties their work, will repair the hidden damage that may not be apparent for a month after the accident and stands by their work.
Contact Suburban Auto Body today to learn more about our auto painting services.