The Art and Science Behind Automotive Color Matching
"Wow, how did you match my old paint perfectly?"
"I cannot tell the difference!"
"I did not think you could do it, because my car is painted in an unusual color. But you did!"
In the collision repair industry, we always love hearing these words from satisfied customers who are amazed by the paint jobs we consistently produce. But, does the client ever wonder how we were able to match that color precisely to elicit these happy responses?
Back in the old days, finding a color match was a hit-and-miss proposition. After much guesswork and with very little technology to help painters to find the perfect match, body shops all over the world spent countless hours matching colors.
But, fortunately, today at Detroit Auto Body , we are able to use all of the newest, cutting-edge auto body color match technology out there in order to find the individual paint color of a vehicle and recreating it seamlessly and quickly in order to repair damages to a car’s paint job.
Coming up with a flawless color match that is dead-on requires the use of technology, as well as skilled auto body painters. It still requires a good amount of training and experience to accomplish accurate color matches on a consistent basis, but by using many of the color matching technologies that exist today, it's no longer a shot in the dark.
The Science Behind Color Matching
Automotive paint colors are all formulated and labeled with various color codes, in order to know what you're working with at the outset. In many cases, color codes will contain a series of variants (These are differentiated based on things such as batch shade, or other various paint suppliers will use by the manufacturer). Paint color codes can be identified via computerized color match systems and many of them now use digital cameras to dial in a perfect match.
The Artistic Side of Color Matching
Although a paint color code can be identified by using a computerized color match technology system, the majority of all colors come from code variants that result in minor color match deficiencies. Factors such as temperature, air pressure, humidity and substrate composition can also cause imprecise dissimilarities between colors.
To produce a seamless finish, experienced painters call upon a “blend” paint application technique in which they apply paint directly to the damaged surface while gradually blending the color into adjacent panels and areas. By developing this useful skill, body shop painters can dial in a color match that will impress customers and get that "wow factor" each and every time.
Color matching is a technology that is always evolving and top painters are continually searching for the best ways to come up with accurate matches. The climate and weather here in Covina , CA can cause issues with color matches in this region of the country. But, by using the newest technology and pursuing ongoing training to get better at it, painters are hitting color matches that are accurate and look amazing!
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Sources: Quora.com, Wikipedia and Autobody News