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Thread: Perfect paint match vs Blending

  1. #1
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    Default Perfect paint match vs Blending

    This is my understanding of modern paint matching.

    With solid color, paint perfect matching may be possible, but most painters would still do some blending.

    With Metallics or Pearlescent, perfect matching is virtually impossible, but with good matching and blending it can look like a perfect match to the human eye.

    I am aware of many of the technical and environmental reasons why matching a factory finish is technically difficult.

    Am I right?

    Many paint shops promote the fact that they use computerised paint matching / mixing, I assume this gives the impression to the public that the paint match will be both technically and visually a perfect match.

    Would these pro shops be willing or unwilling to let their potential customers know that a perfect match is nearly impossible, but their mixing and blending skills will give a perfect visual match.

    A little about my background might help someone to give a better answer.
    I am a qualified mechanic and auto electrician from the UK, I have done small amounts of auto body work and painting, but my painting experience goes back to the days of cellulose.

    So I don't have practical experience with modern auto body repair - I am here to learn, and happy to be told where I am going wrong.

  2. #2
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    Perfect paint matching can be tricky but, in most cases, blending and clearing can give a repair the look of perfection even when it's not real close.

  3. #3
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    Len

    Thanks for your replies to my three different posts.

    Would most repair shops be willing to let customers know that perfect paint match is rarely possible, or (in order to keep their professional image), would they prefer to allow the customer to think they can do perfect color match?

    ColinK

  4. #4
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    Default Len again...

    Quote Originally Posted by ColinK View Post
    This is my understanding of modern paint matching.

    With solid color, paint perfect matching may be possible, but most painters would still do some blending.

    With Metallics or Pearlescent, perfect matching is virtually impossible, but with good matching and blending it can look like a perfect match to the human eye.

    I am aware of many of the technical and environmental reasons why matching a factory finish is technically difficult.

    Am I right?

    Many paint shops promote the fact that they use computerised paint matching / mixing, I assume this gives the impression to the public that the paint match will be both technically and visually a perfect match.

    Would these pro shops be willing or unwilling to let their potential customers know that a perfect match is nearly impossible, but their mixing and blending skills will give a perfect visual match.

    A little about my background might help someone to give a better answer.
    I am a qualified mechanic and auto electrician from the UK, I have done small amounts of auto body work and painting, but my painting experience goes back to the days of cellulose.

    So I don't have practical experience with modern auto body repair - I am here to learn, and happy to be told where I am going wrong.
    Len is correct again. In addition, you speak very well for work in this trade. You appear to have a lot of knowledge. Blending is a wonderful thing. I've had people insist I painted the entire side of their car when I know I paint the front fender and blended into the door and cleared both. Whole side looks good because I buffed the remainder of the side so to them their car looks better than how they kept it.

    Funny thing about colors matching. Stop by a new car dealer and walk the line of new cars and concentrate on the match of the rubber bumper cover to the metal panels they are bolted to. I have yet to see one, from the factory that is a perfect match. They're not a match. Reason is, the car is all painted at the same time but add on's like bumper covers are painted in another area of the factory so the paint and technique will not lend itself to a perfect match. I usually see the covers appearing darker than the painted body.

    Henry

  5. #5
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    Henry

    Thanks for your input. Yes color difference on bumpers stands out, as we say in the UK, as "a sore thumb", this is why I try to stay away from Silver cars, which is one of the worst colors where bumpers seem to never match the nearby panels.

    High priced cars do seem to have a better match eg Lexus, Mercedes etc

    I assumed that the main reason for color difference was the metal vs plastic material and today's paints which are somewhat transparent, but you would think the factory could apply a suitable shade of primer on each material so that the base color was the same before top coat.

    Interesting, your story of customer wanting whole side painted (which would then transfer the color difference to the front and back bumpers).

    What are your thoughts (or anyone's thoughts) on Auto Body shops willingness to say that exact color match is often impossible but their skills will make the match "look" perfect.

    ColinK

  6. #6
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    I think it's important to point out that a well experienced painter can get several/many different shades of color all out of the same can of metallic based paint. Point being that you could have a "perfect match" in the paint can but thinning and application techniques can make the paint appear a couple shades off. Or conversely you could have unmixed paint in a can that IS a shade off appear to be a good match by thinning and application technique.

    Here is what I'm talking about - if you add more reducer while prepping the paint to spray on the car a metallic paint will appear a shade lighter and inversely proportional with less reducer. If you turn the air pressure up at the gun the metallic paint will appear a shade lighter(again inversely proportional with lower pressure). If you hold the spray gun further away from the painting surface it will appear a shade lighter (and again inversely proportional with holding the gun closer to the vehicle panel surface). Point is application is a critical part of a good match or a bad paint match.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinK View Post

    What are your thoughts (or anyone's thoughts) on Auto Body shops willingness to say that exact color match is often impossible but their skills will make the match "look" perfect.

    ColinK
    Many shops will try to sell you on perfect matches, but rarely do these claims come to fruition. Some shops will tell you the truth but may lose customers to the shops that claim a perfect match. They are basically gambling they can fool your eye. If colors actually matched perfectly there would be no need for blending adjacent panels. The name of the game is fooling the eye with blends. Also some customers eyes are harder to fool than others. Being that there are many paint manufacturers and different batch contracts used by the manufacturers to paint vehicles hence why there are so many alternate mixing formulas for the same color. You pick the one that appears closest and try to blend it gradually from the new or repaired panel through the adjacent panel so it matches the next panel that is not painted. You may have half a dozen cars of the same year, model and manufacture with the same color name and paint code, yet if you switched the panels around from one vehicle to the other it's possible none would match. It is near impossible to get a perfect undetectable match without blending especially with metallic, pearls and tri-coat finishes. The environment and spraying conditions where you're painting and where the car was painted can very wildly. Air pressures, tinting colors of various manufacturers don't follow a standard recipe, metallic size and reflective intensities, the angle metallics lay or are suspended in the color coat, distance from the nozzle, type of nozzle, amount of fluid flow vs. air flow and air pressure, thinness or density of color, temperature, humidity plus a whole host of other variables have an effect on the end result plus color shift as the carrier or reducer/thinner evaporates from the color coat as it dries. One could drive themselves bonkers trying to get a perfect match and never succeed. Blending is the art of tricking the eye to get one similar color formulation to 'match' another. Then spray the clearcoat hoping it doesn't change the hue and get its surface texture and shine to match the OEM finish that's on the rest of the vehicle. If you do all this correctly and all goes well you will get what the industry calls an "Acceptable Match" this will fool the eye of about 95% of your customers. The other 5% will never be pleased even if you did produce a perfect match, there are some customers out there that cannot be pleased or have a need to prove a point and find an issue whether there is one or not.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Len is correct again. In addition, you speak very well for work in this trade. You appear to have a lot of knowledge. Blending is a wonderful thing. I've had people insist I painted the entire side of their car when I know I paint the front fender and blended into the door and cleared both. Whole side looks good because I buffed the remainder of the side so to them their car looks better than how they kept it.

    Funny thing about colors matching. Stop by a new car dealer and walk the line of new cars and concentrate on the match of the rubber bumper cover to the metal panels they are bolted to. I have yet to see one, from the factory that is a perfect match. They're not a match. Reason is, the car is all painted at the same time but add on's like bumper covers are painted in another area of the factory so the paint and technique will not lend itself to a perfect match. I usually see the covers appearing darker than the painted body.

    Henry
    Not only could the bumper be painted in another part of the factory but made and painted by a supplier who brings them the bumper painted! I know that the Toyota plant in my town did this. Which is the same reason why plastic mouldings and door handles and stuff like that are different colors.

    We blend about everything, the adjacent panel is totally prepaired with every piece being removed like trim and what not so nothing is masked. The panel is painted and blended onto that adjacent panel then both are cleared completely.


    Brian
    Touched by an Angel.

  9. #9
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    Rule number one...never gurantee a color match ..and "easy" whites are the worseeeee...


    Newer vehicles, i always blend as sensible as possible....keep the color below body line, hide it below sideview mirror line,stagger blend,/reverse to keep color small....blend diagonally, anything to fool the eye of th beholder....
    I will ask for paint chips from different paint manufscturers if i am not happy with samples or they come and scan it...
    Sometimes i ask who makes paint for ceryain manifscturers and order that..

    Reds and tricoats, i do panel let down samples, reds for correct shade of primer ...

    Older cars, lot lizzards and cheap customers, i give two prices, with or witbout vlendibg nobguarantees...

    Often with doors dsmage, i look and search for thrv e same paint code, install it and let customer decide to vlend or paint....i may make less money without refinishing but quicker job and quicker money...

    With waterborne, i am carefull how i apply base, back to back no flssh may give deeper color, and control/drop coat is sort of tricky, but much more controlable than solvent...

  10. #10
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    Default

    And matching orange peel is important as well

  11. #11
    PainterDave Guest

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    perfect match ? that is based on opinion.

    blend ? if i customer told me not to blend i would most likely send him away and let him be pissed at the guy down the street.

    or he would pay me to do it. no matter how good the match

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PainterDave View Post
    perfect match ? that is based on opinion.

    blend ? if i customer told me not to blend i would most likely send him away and let him be pissed at the guy down the street.

    or he would pay me to do it. no matter how good the match
    I'm with you, we blend almost everything that's not a complete.

  13. #13
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    Default

    IMG_20171025_0932112.jpgIMG_20171025_0940426.jpgIMG_20171025_1155175.jpgIMG_20171025_1156562.jpg

    So this is example of a job no blend, lexus year 2005,toyota 4r4 color, $400 job, fix fender, straighten metal, adjust fender, bumper line...customet did not want to pay for blend, there is rust on the door, dentsz scratxhes, xost of reolacement fender too high, i had six hour times $60 per hour in this job, cost of half pint solvwnt $23 valspar, and ecg upol clear coat, cheaper stufff i use $110per kit vs $190 clear voat, but actually suprisingly good and durable from upol..

    Color is darker and i tried spraying with lighter pressure to lighten it up, i did not out color over top vody line so blend is good ob pilar and hood...orange peel is great, shine is good..i am happy..

    I am not going to brefuse the job bcs customer does not want to blend...and i dont want to blend over rust....people get what they pay and i make judgement call on estimates...maybe i gain acustomer in the future.

    Oh, and i am also with you guys on blending ....you are right...

  14. #14
    PainterDave Guest

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    for me that makes a bad reputation, if youre successful at it then keep doing it. i wont do bad work even if im paid to do it

  15. #15
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    There is a difference....i do solid, good work and agreed upon job, i strive to do my best...so whatever was repaired, ir wa repaired well, finished well and rustrproofed..what hasn been done is another story and choice, it is hard to refuse work bcs someone has budget limit

    .yes, there is a risk to possible "reputation" bcs no customer will ever say that they did not want to pay for the extra blend cost if someone mentiones colorr being slightly off....it wil be shops fault or ommission...i accept that risk, our family shop current solid reputatuon can absorb it..

    I posted these pictures and narrative for "point proof explanation" and discussion.

    Yea, like everyone else, i would prefer to blend, i work within customers vudget, i make flexible decision, perfeft color match is hard to achive witbout. Blending...

    Soemtimes even stingy insurance companies dont oay for blends or pay less than actual time..

    I

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