Car Paint Codes And The Colour Matching process
One of the most asked question within the SMART repair industry is “how do you match the colour?” Valid question! Over the years I’ve come across shocking horror stories from bumpers not matching the wings, to completely re-sprays due to shoddy spot repairs!
In fact one of main reasons I’m writing today is in the hope of preventing such things happening to you. So, that being said…
Finding the colour codes. (If you’re only here for this section I’ve added some tips and advice)
The first step in the process is to find the colour code (and variant) of the vehicle.
- The vehicles color code (within the car)
- Call the manufacture
- The VIN number & license plate details
- Spectrometer (laser colour matching)
- Colour Cards (mainly used as a visual aid when looking for the variant)
1) The best way to find the colour code is from the vehicle itself. Though as you can imagine different cars have different places to hide them, and some manufactures don’t even bother to add one.
Want to know where your colour code is? Try this free tool from Chipex.
2) Calling the manufacture is an other option especially if you have a Ford! Don’t ask me why, but Ford’s coding system has always been a little weird here is the UK. In fact, if you call Ford they will give you the colour “name” not the code. So if you’re missing your code or have a Ford, you can always call the service department of your car manufacture.
3) VIN number & license plate database services are mostly used within the trade itself. If you don’t mind spending the money for the access to these services, you can get all the information you want.
4) The spectrometer is a laser colour matching system. It scans the paint and bring back the colour code (plus variant) best suited for the vehicle. 99% of the time we use the spectro with our mobile service. You can see what it looks like from the featured image above.
If you haven’t got a spectro to hand then colour cards are a must! Every now and then the manufactures tries to improve on their colours. This results in variations to existing codes. So, you could have the code for the vehicle, but you may find additional variants changing the colour slightly.
Once we have the colour and variant code
We add the code into our system and mix the paint to 0.01 to the gram. This ensure a prefect match.
Applying the paint
Paintwork its sprayed on in layers to ensure each layer is dry before applying the lacquer. First focusing on the damaged area (covering the primer), and then moving outwards. This is called “dusting” or “blending out” which makes the repair seamless before applying the lacquer.
And thats it! The Colour Matching process in a nutshell!