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The Art & Science of Paint Matching

Choosing a vehicle to purchase has a number of variables, and one of the variables most people will mention when asked why they chose that particular car is the color. Not only do we look at the basic color, but we also consider the specific color and any enhancements within the paint, because Camaro metal-flake white just isn’t the same as Mustang white.

When an accident occurs and a car’s paint is damaged, one of the most commonly asked questions is “can you match the paint on my car?” No one wants to have the car’s body repaired only for a glaring paint difference to point out exactly where an accident happened.

How does a professional like ABC Paint & Body match the original paint of the car? The first step is to determine the variant of paint which was used in painting the car in question. Not every manufacturer uses the same type of paint or even the same blend on cars that all appear red. With the car’s year, manufacturer and model number, a professional is able to check a database to determine what paint code was used on the car.

To discover what particular variant may have been applied, an abrasive paste is applied to an area with the original paint near the site of repair and then polished to remove any wax and airborne contaminants that cling to the surface. This space is scanned with a color matching camera that can help determine exactly what variant of color is on this car. With the information in hand about what shade of paint was used, a match is mixed.
This doesn’t go immediately onto the vehicle. A test card is sprayed and compared to the original paint to determine the accuracy of the match. Once it’s confirmed that the color is accurate, it’s applied to the repair site. The work doesn’t stop there, however. The real trick in ensuring a repair site matches the rest of the paintwork lies within the ‘blending.’ In addition to the area that needed paint repair, the surrounding panels are painted to ‘blend’ the repaired area into the overall color. It’s a gradual process that results in a seamless finish.

Regardless of what specialty color the car may have, a professional paint shop can match it and apply paint repair to ensure that the car has a cohesive look from bumper to bumper.