The only thing worse than having to fix a collision or body damage to your vehicle is not being able to match your paint job. Auto manufacturers typically use a standard set of formulations. However, there are many reasons your paint job may not be easy to match. Fortunately, our auto body experts at Minnetonka Collision in Plymouth understand many of the common issues in auto color matching.


Understanding Variations in Auto Paint Code

New models of vehicles come with a paint code included in their vehicle specifications. It seems like all paint from a manufacturer should be standard, but a number of factors can cause variations.


Conditions such as humidity, air pressure, and temperature can create variations in the paint color even among vehicles of the same make, model, year, and paint color. Shading can also vary slightly from one batch to the next. To accommodate this, paint companies create alternate formulas. Airborne contaminants can also affect a vehicle’s paint job.


The three major ingredients in auto paint can vary from batch to batch:

●        Solvent

●        Resin

●        Pigment


Auto Paint Matching is More than a Code

When a technician in a body shop goes to paint your vehicle, this process involves much more than simply taking the paint codes, feeding them into the computer, and mixing up paint to match the code. Without taking care to perfectly match your vehicle’s color, if the painter simply bolts on your new panel, the difference will be obvious to you and anyone else who views it in full sun.


An experienced technician understands that the manufacturer’s code should be viewed only as a starting point.


Experienced Auto Care Service Professionals

A more experienced technician will begin by removing airborne contaminants by polishing the paint. The tech will then scan the paint with a color matching camera to help determine your vehicle’s paint variant.


The technician will then perform a color test on a card, comparing it to your vehicle in the sunlight to be sure it is a good match. If it does not, he or she can alter the formula to match your car’s color. Finding a perfect match could require several tests. Relying on years of expertise, the technician will be able to determine visually what needs to be altered to tweak the color. A technician will also need to match your finish.


There are four types of finish:

●        Matte

●        Pearlescent

●        Metallic

●        Gloss


Expertise in Paint Application

A good technician will also use a blending technique. With blending, the technician blends new paint over the old paint, with less applied the further the paint is from the repair. After applying the paint, the technician applies a coat of clear protective finish.


If the technician does not gradually blend the paint, the new paint will be obvious even to an untrained eye. An expert paint technician will understand the contours of your vehicle to make sure the paint blends evenly even in tricky spots.


Expert Auto Body Shop in Plymouth, Minnesota

Whether your car needs a dent fix or has dings from hail damage, you want to make sure the color is perfectly matched. At Minnetonka Collision in Plymouth, Minnesota, our auto body repair experts understand the complex issues that can come up with matching paint for your vehicle. Let our experts match your paint perfectly and get you back on the road. Contact us at 763-230-7805, or you can message us on our contact page.