Automotive Paint Colors: What Affects Color Match?
The resin is the component that holds together the pigment in suspension, provides adhesion to the surface applied, and determines the quality and paint durability.
The reasons above only mention the variables at the car manufacturers level. So what happens to a color after three years of sunshine? Many people think that colors do not change, but they do, and I will prove it. If you own a car that is at least three years old and has been out in the sun most of the time, remove a pinstripe and you will see the original color when you bought the car.
The sunlight has ultra-violet, and has absorbed some of the pigments. Blue metallic colors sometimes shift to a greener shade, and reds will turn pinkish or more orange. The auto body shop has to deal with matching an oxidized color in addition to new OEM colors. The new paint to be applied will look brighter and cleaner but the rest of the car looks dead even if you polish it.
Auto Body Shops today have a greater challenge than just color match. The texture or (Orange Peel) also has to match the original finish in order for it to look pre-accident condition. This can be accomplished by using the proper spray gun, polishing equipment and experience.
Why do plastic bumper covers change color? Every once in a while we get a phone call from body shop client that is trying to deliver a car and their customer will not take it because the bumper looks different than the car. The most amazing thing is that the bumper and the front end of the car was painted at the same time, with the same gun, same air pressure, same temperature and the same paint.
How do you explain the bumper color change to the customer? Plastic bumpers will always change color especially in metallic colors. The plastic has a static charge and the metallic paint will settle different than on the sheet metal parts, causing pigment floatation that will shift the color darker or lighter. The other reason is surface temperature, if the sheet metal is colder, the bumper will look lighter, if the sheet metal is hotter than the bumper, the color on the bumper will look darker. The third reason is flex additive. If the clearcoat is applied on the bumper with a flex additive, it will shift the color slightly.
How do you prove your point after explaining this to the customer? Your customer will probably think your trying to fool them with this explanation, Luckily, the majority of our body shop clients in our area are dealerships. So they walk the client to the show room floor and point out that just about every car on the lot with a metallic color has a shade different on the bumper covers, front and rear, plastic door handles and plastic mirrors, all have different shades. Most clients are more at ease when they realize that they bought the car this way but had never noticed.
Here are some tips you should consider when spot repairing:
Auto Body Supply, Inc has been in the automotive paint industry since 1969.
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