There you were, staring out at your beloved car. It may already be a few years old, but you still can’t help but fall for it. After all, it has an exhilaratingly good performance. It doesn’t hurt that it has reasonable fuel efficiency too. Because of this, you are just determined to keep it in good, pristine condition for as long as possible. Hence, you are thinking about giving your car a fresh coat of paint.
If you think about it, there are several reasons to consider giving your car a nice paint job. For starters, your car may have suffered some paint damage over the years. For instance, there may be a bit of peeling, scratched, chipped or cracked paint on the exterior. This can be due to damage from fire, stains, drink spills or even hail.
Meanwhile, having your car undergo a paint job is also one of the best ways to prevent rust from forming in your car. As a report from Angie’s List has explained, this tends to happen particularly among old cars especially when they regularly travel roads that have been salted for winter ice and snow.
On the other hand, you may also want to go about having your car repainted for aesthetic reason. Perhaps, you want more of your personality to shine through all over your vehicle. In this case, you might be opting for a special customized paint job, one that may even come with some custom two-tone paint, decals or murals.
As you can see, there are a number of possible reasons to have your car repainted. Regardless of your own reason though, it certainly helps to have a bit more correct information about auto painting before you send your car to the shop.
To make sure that you do, we have dispelled the 10 things that people most often get wrong about car paint. Aside from that, we also listed 10 of the most important things to note about auto paint jobs.
20 Wrong: Bird poop can’t damage car paint
Sure, sometimes birds fly overhead and end up making drops. While others may view this as a good omen, the same cannot be said if bird droppings end up on your car’s paint.
As professionals at Miracle Body & Paint have explained, “The acid is strong enough to eat away your car paint color.” This is because bird dropping contains uric acid, which is quite corrosive. And if it is allowed to stay on the car paint, it can eat away at the paint sealant or wax coating and even cut through the paint itself.
Hence, if you happen to spot any droppings on your car’s paint, it is best to remove it as soon as possible. Wipe it off right away to help your car paint last much longer.
19 Wrong: Pre-mixed paints from the factory are readily available
If you think that the road to repainting your car DIY-style is going to be easy, think again. For starters, pre-mixed paints for cars from the factories are very hard to come by. This is because they don’t come readily available.
At the same time, if your car’s original paint has already faded, using pre-mixed paint from the factory is not exactly a good idea.
According to Miracle Body & Paint, “If you want to purchase factory pre-mixed paint, you’re actually spending more money and losing more time. This is because your car has already been faded from daily use and will no longer match the touch-up paint. Your paint job will look splotchy if you go ahead and put the pre-mixed factory paint on your faded car.”
18 Wrong: All the parts of a car get painted by the factory
When it comes to the painting part of the assembly line, certain parts of the car are given more attention than others. This is because there are parts that do not get painted at all. In fact, in the case of the car’s holdings and bumper, they may already arrive painted and ready to be attached to the car. However, there are times when these parts arrive blank.
If your car happens to need some repair and you are looking to put in new replacement parts, it may be best to get parts that have not yet been painted by the factory. This is because, over time, a car’s paint tends to become faded and weathered. And when this happens, the shade of a factory painted part may no longer match the overall existing paint job on your car.
17 Wrong: Claying a constantly is good for the paint
According to SG Car Mart, claying is the process of removing various contaminants on the paint surface of your car. Here, clay is utilized to remove the dirt that has become trapped in your car’s paint finish.
And as helpful as this might be, doing this constantly is not good for your car’s paint condition.
As you keep claying your car, there is a good chance that micro-scratches would soon appear on the surface. As you might know, this would not be good for the car’s exterior appearance at all. Hence, if you are going to proceed to clay your car, it highly advisable that you also buff the car afterward. This would help correct the paint job.
16 Wrong: It's Important To Buff Out Any Little Scratch On The Hood
Sure, the last thing any passionate vehicle owner wants is to have scratches on their vehicle. Over time though, it’s almost like it cannot be avoided. After all, dust in the air can readily cause small scratches on your car.
The same can be said about birds flying in the area or even certain items that you carry to your car.
If you happen to spot a little scratch on your car’s hood though, you should think before you begin to buff it out. This is because buffing tiny scratches can result in the unnecessary loss of car paint protection in the future. Hence, if you end up buffing too much, you can end up losing complete paint protection and be forced to have your car repainted completely.
15 Wrong: You Shouldn't repaint after a repair
One of the worst things that could happen is for your car to become involved in a collision. Aside from causing you to sustain some injuries, a road accident like this can also cause some serious damages to your car. And once the car suffers damages such as dents and scratches, it is also important to have it repainted once all of the necessary repairs are completed.
If by some miracle, there was no damage to your car’s paint job following an accident, then there should be no need for a repaint job. However, if the car’s paint has also sustained some significant damage, it is highly advisable to have repainted as soon as possible. As Miracle Body & Paint has explained, not doing so can “significantly reduce the value of your investment if ever you decide to resell.”
14 Wrong: All paint protectors are made the same
Just like any other merchandise you can come across inside the store, not all paint protectors are also created equal. Hence, it helps to educate yourself a bit about all the available brands before you go on purchasing one for your car.
When it comes to paint protectors, there are some that are formulated to be more effective on your car than others. Ideally, you also want to go with a brand that is premium, something that is designed to stay on your car for as long as possible. Of course, this might be a little more expensive than other brands. However, it would save you more money in the long run since you don’t have to keep on applying it.
13 Wrong: It never hurts to over-wash your car
Sure, we get it. You love your car. You absolutely adore it so much that you practically spend every free time you have with it. We also understand that you are incredibly proud of your "baby" and you are willing to do anything to make sure it is always nice and shiny.
Before you go out and wash your car for the third time in five days though, better stop and listen.
You may not realize it but washing your car too frequently can readily affect the condition of your car paint. Sure, your car might look nice and clean now. Eventually, however, your car might suffer from abrasions on the surface due to too much washing in a short span of time.
12 Wrong: An average paint job is good enough
When it comes to bringing your car in for auto painting, the last thing you want is an average paint job. After all, this type of paint job is highly susceptible to a number of problems that would only end up costing you more money in the long run.
In fact, according to City Collision, when you get an average paint job, you can end up with some dirt or dust in the paint itself. Moreover, there is also a risk of drips running in the paint. At the same time, it is also possible that you would notice improper masking of the car.
Meanwhile, with an average paint job, you are also most likely to end up with a new auto paint color that simply does not match the color of the rest of your car. Now, that would be a disaster.
11 Wrong: The car’s paint condition doesn’t affect its value
When experts go about determining the value of a used car, they go about several important factors. As you may know, they would look at the running condition of the car as well as its mileage. They would also see the condition of the interior as well as the windshield, rear windshield, and windows. Aside from these, experts would also take note of the condition of the car’s paint.
In fact, according to a report from Angie’s List, the National Automobile Dealers Association has identified the vehicle’s paint condition as among the top five factors that can affect a car’s value. Hence, it certainly helps if you keep the car’s paint job in good condition too.
10 Right: Paint jobs range in cost
Before you book your car for an auto paint job, it helps to be aware of how much you might end up spending. After all, this kind of job is never cheap.
According to a report from Angie’s List, a single-coat synthetic enamel paint job can end up costing you around $300 to $900. Meanwhile, a mid-level paint job that involves additional prep work and higher quality paint may end up costing you around $1,000 to $3,500. On the other hand, if you are opting for a high-quality paint job for your car, be prepared to spend around $2,400 to 7,500. Meanwhile, a full paint job on a car can end up costing around $2,000.
9 Right: Natural contaminants can give a car paint problems
Especially when you drive out with your car on a daily basis, it tends to get exposed to all sorts of contaminants in the air and surroundings. According to Your Mechanic, these include bird droppings, road tar, tree sap, and even acid rain.
The problem with all these particles is that they can readily cause significant problems for your car’s paint. In fact, they can cause your car paint to discolor or fade. And when that happens, the value of your car can seriously go down.
Hence, if you spot any of these contaminants, make it a point to remove them from your car as soon as possible. Trust us, your car paint would be eternally grateful.
8 Right: It is important to completely empty a car before a paint job
If you are preparing your car for an auto paint job, see it to it that you empty your car of its contents completely before bringing it to the shop. That includes any spare clothes in the seat or receipts and important documents in the compartment.
It’s important to do this as soon as possible because the moment it arrives at the shop, the paint specialist and his or her team would proceed to strip your entire car bare prior to painting it.
In fact, professionals in the shop would work to remove the car’s dash, console, trim, seats, radiator and engine before they start to apply paint. This way, you can be assured that none of these parts would risk getting contaminated during the entire painting process.
7 Right: A car undergoes several preparation steps prior to a paint job
Aside from emptying it completely, your car would also go through other preparations before a fresh coat of paint is finally applied to its surface. In fact, according to a report from Angie’s List, the first step to preparing a vehicle for a paint job is to wash it thoroughly.
Meanwhile, the dings and divots in the car also need some smoothing and sealing.
As for the current paint and wax of the car, it would have to be stripped completely. After this, the car would also need to be sanded and then primed. Only then can the car be given a new paint job.
6 Right: The sun is harmful to car paint
Just like your own skin, your car’s paint also needs to be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. As Superior Sun Solutions has explained, “UV light is invisible but very powerful. When it makes contact with a surface, that object’s molecules receive a jolt of energy. This extra energy is usually given off as heat, but some of these jolts result in molecular bonds breaking. Over time, when this happens to enough molecules of paint, it no longer interacts with light in the same way. It becomes less reflective and duller, transmitting less light outward that we see as color.”
Fortunately, there are easy ways to protect your car paint from the sun’s rays. The easiest thing to do is make sure that you wash your car regularly to keep in clean. In addition, it is also very important that you keep your car parked under the shade when you are not using it.
5 Right: There are several types of car paint
When it comes to auto paint, there are several types that you can choose from. One of the most common is acrylic lacquer. This one is known for its high gloss finish and cheap price. However, it has a tendency to chip easily. Even worse, it also tends to be prone to both chemical and sun damage.
Aside from this, there is also acrylic enamel auto paint. Known to have high quality, this type of paint achieves a hard finish the moment it dries. Meanwhile, there is also urethane which is one of the more expensive types of auto paints. Nonetheless, it is durable and quite easy to apply. Finally, there is the water-based paint, which can be even be used over any existing car body paint job.
To determine the right type of paint for your car, it is highly recommended that you consult with a professional.
4 Right: Compatibility is key to choosing the right paint for a car
You may not realize it, but compatibility plays a key role when it comes to choosing the right kind of paint for your car.
As explained by the blog Quarto Knows, “Product compatibility factors are also extremely important today. Compatible materials are not confined to just enamel, lacquer, or urethane bases—every product in an entire paint system must be compatible with the surface material to which it will be applied, as well as with every other product in the system. For example, using a PPG reducer with a BASF hardener in a DuPont paint product is asking for trouble. The individual products were not designed as parts of a single compatible paint system, and as a result, the color, adhesion, and surface flow of that combination could be adversely affected.”
3 Right: A car’s interior also gets painted
You may not realize it, but it’s not just the exterior of your car that tends to get a paint job. In fact, the car’s interior also gets painted. This is basically to make sure that there is a nice match between the exterior look and interior look of a vehicle.
In case you decide to have your car’s interior repainted, you need to take note that everything inside needs to be removed. These include the dashboard; heating and air conditioning vents; seats; radio; ashtrays and many others.
On the other hand, you may also want to consider having the fabric material on the car repainted as well in order to match the new paint job in the car interior itself.
2 Right: Using a paint booth is advisable
Especially when you are looking to have your entire car painted, it is advisable to have the job done inside a paint booth. This is because a paint booth is exactly the contaminant-free area that you need to paint a car nicely.
This area keeps debris, dust and harmful particles away from your car so that it can be painted without problems.
Aside from this, a paint booth is also necessary for rapid paint baking. This involves curing the paint in order to improve its durability on your car. In fact, once the car’s paint is cured, you will find that it is a lot more resistant to typical car paint wear and tear.
1 Right: It helps to have a professional do your paint for you
When it comes to having a paint job done on your car, the last thing you want to do is to attempt to do the work yourself. Unless, of course, if you happen to be an auto paint professional. If you’re not, better step away and leave the task to the experts.
As Your Mechanic has explained, “It is a good idea to have a professional paint your car because they have the proper tools and experience.” This way too, you can rest assured that the paint job on your car would go smoothly. In the end, you get to drive away with a vehicle that pretty much looks as good as new.
Sources: miraclebodyandpaint.com, citycollision.ca, yourmechanic.com, angieslist.com, sgcarmar.com