What is Great Body Work?

What is great body work and paint, anyway?

Stephen Covey said to ‘Begin with the end in mind.”  To know how to begin requires knowing what the end goal is.  The goal here is to make the body as perfect as possible. But, what does that actually mean? Truly exceptional body work and paint work is very possible, and a lot of the challenge is knowing what to be aiming for.  So, here are some of the things that make the body work great.

  • When sighting down the side of the vehicle, not seeing any waves or ripples in the reflection.
  • Not being able to see where any panel starts or stops.
  • Perfectly consistent gaps.
  • Adjacent panels perfectly flush.
  • Panel edges don’t dive in.
  • All panel edges are thin, as if everything is bare metal.
  • Body lines are crisp, straight and an exactly consistent shape.
  • Everything is symmetrical from side to side.
  • Flat Paint.  No texture in the reflection, no grain, no orange peel; sanded completely flat paint.
  • Clear Paint.  The polishing needs to be perfect, absolutely no small random scratches, no swirls, all edges finished perfectly.  The paint should be able to be studied under any type of lighting, and not be able to find any flaws.
  • Great Base Coat.  How the paint is sprayed is crucial, and equally as important as how it’s finished.  The color on all panels must match perfectly, no dirt in any of the basecoat, evenly sprayed metallics, etc.  Also, full color coverage on all edges

Of all those items, there is one concept that is drastically more important.  That is not being able to see where the body panels start and stop when sighting down the side of it.  This means that the shape of the body is not dictated by the individual body panels. The body should look like one perfect shape, with the individual panels gaps sliced out of it, with absolutely no distortion next to them.  Look at the body as a whole, and ignore where the body panels are.  








1 comment

  • I am so glad to see that you emphasize seeing -and sanding the entire body as one, not separate panels. This makes looking down the car one smooth, uniform surface. Alot of guys were removing doors and working them on a sawhorse. Then looking down the side to see spurts or “hiccups”…

    Steve Thomas

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