To ensure a perfect color match on your auto body paint spraying projects, there are several key actions that must be undertaken. Although most common car colors will rarely match exactly, finding the best shade could help you avoid blending into an adjacent panel. Choose the right color at the first time of asking, and you will also save money on your paint and consumable costs.
Every mass-manufactured vehicle has an individual color code that can be cross-referenced by an auto body paint supply shop, and this allows a mixing formula to be produced. The mixing formula measures the individual weights of colored tinters and when these are combined and stirred together, the correct color match is achieved.
To find your color code, check the door apertures, engine bay or trunk of your vehicle and locate the relevant stamp, badge or sticker. Usually, the color code will be clearly marked and will consist of a combination of letters and numbers. Write down the color code and take it to your paint supply shop, and it will be matched up to produce an accurate color match.
Prior to painting, it is always advisable to complete a paint spraying test card. Activate a small quantity of paint and pour it into a HVLP spray gun. Apply three even coats of color to the test card, allowing a five-minute flash-off time between each one. Once the base color has dried to a matte finish, apply two full coats of clear lacquer and leave to dry.
Once the test card is touch-dry, hold it against your vehicle adjacent to the panel that is being painted. If the test card matches the existing auto body paint on your vehicle to perfection, there will be no need to blend the panels on either side of the repair. If the color match is in any way inaccurate, it is advisable to rub down the adjacent panels with a soft sanding pad and flatting paste. This will provide a perfectly keyed surface that will accept blended color and clear coat.
When you come to paint the vehicle, use the same spraying distances as those applied during the test card procedure. If different spraying distances are used, the base color can lighten or darken. A superior blend can be achieved if the auto body panels are coated with a clear binder before work begins. This process allows seamless integration of your new auto body paint into the existing panels without the risk of color edges showing.
Find out more auto body spray painting techniques at Auto Body Spray Painting
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