How specialist colour services companies can help bodyshops by creating highly accurate colour matches through expert knowledge and analysis of paint samples.
Using colour services expertise and technology to get the perfect match
An exact or at least very close colour match is vitally important for a professional body repair, although achieving this can be a more involved process than might appear.
With shades of a certain colour on the latest models often being different depending on who supplied the manufacturer with the paint, not to mention the detective work required to find a match for older cars, finding the right colour shade is often a challenge. Expert colour matching services are often required.
Even modern cars built in the recent past present a paint matching challenge. When you consider a supposed popular and ‘basic’ metallic colour such as Ford’s moondust silver could be any one of some five different shades depending on who supplied the paint, then matching colour accurately is hugely important.
Manufacturers usually use different paint suppliers so it’s perhaps inevitable that each one may make a slightly different shade for a certain colour. The differences are often slight and you wouldn’t notice it amongst a few cars in the same colour parked near each other, but you would if a different batch of the same colour is used for a body repair.
Bumpers often look a slightly different shade to the rest of the car even when they’re described as ‘body colour’ due to the different ways the metal body is painted compared to the plastics of bumpers.
Weathering and differing maintenance
How a car is looked after and where and how it’s used can cause the colour to change slightly over time, so if it comes in for a body repair the original colour may look at least subtly different from the original shade.
How a car has been cleaned and polished over the years, differing levels of exposure to the elements and sunshine, and whether it’s had previous paintwork repairs done can all influence what exact shade it will be when it’s in for a repair.
Having the paint code is a good starting point, but it may not be as simple as ordering a batch of paint in that particular colour – accurate colour matching may be needed.
How the experts can help
Colour specialists in providing matches for car paint repair offer many years’ industry experience and access to the latest colour matching technology to provide paint suitable for the job.
Many of these experts have access to colour formulations dating back several decades, and can provide bespoke batches of paint relevant to the specific shade for the car in question. Modern technology such as a spectrophotometer can accurately determine the colour of a car to help create specific paint for it. It does this by analysing the colour of a sample from the car – perhaps the fuel filler flap or other area – and enabling the colour company to hone in on the shade required.
Specific samples for accurate colour matching
It may be that the car has previously had a paintwork repair. If so, it’s very important the sample comes from the same area that is being repaired rather than just generally matching the original colour.
The previous repair would likely have been completed with a shade at least slightly different to the original, so if paint made up from a sample provided elsewhere on the car is used it may not properly match the area being worked on.
Other important information
The make, model, year of manufacture, general colour description and obviously the paint code (if known) along with any samples are key items of information to give the colour services people to help them create an accurate colour match.