Matching Paint

One of the first things seen on a car is it’s paint. Hundreds of hours, sometime more, go into all the body work, gaps, blocking primer, making sure every last detail is perfect.  It’s then time to paint, and making the decision how it’s going to be done. 

Essentially there are two options; paint with all the panels together, or paint all the panels apart. Some colors are better than others, and of course there’s always a chance, sometimes a good chance, everything will match perfectly. There is also a chance all the panels will be a slightly different shade. Is it really worth the gamble?  

What’s the difference?  It usually seems like a big task to, but in reality, it might be an additional 4-8 hours of work, at most. Is 4 hours worth the gamble of having to repaint an entire car?

  • Start with all the panels apart for sealer and base coat. Get coverage everywhere, especially the jams. 
  • While everything is in base coat, and it has dried for several hours, loosely assemble the body panels. 
  • Nothing has to be fit properly, the idea is so that every panel is in place, and you can walk the length of the car while you’re spraying, so that all the panels are sprayed together. 
  • Typically, spray two coats here, so there’s enough coverage to fix any color differences in the panels. 
  • Let this dry for several hours, and very carefully take it all apart for clear coat. 
  • You’ll have to plan ahead. Before you start painting at all, know exactly how every panel will be put in place, so when it comes time to do it, there’s no guessing. 
  • Figure out how the panels can be handled so that the exterior isn’t touched taking it apart, especially with metallic colors.  Yes, it’s very possible. 

This is the best way to make sure there’s no question at all about every panel matching perfectly.  Never worry again about having that sinking feeling when the panels go together, after all the hours of wet sanding and buffing, only to find out everything is just slightly a different color. 


Paint: The Refinery by Adam Krause

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