Viw Magazine


  • Written by Brighton Panel Works

Considering giving your ride a fresh new lick of paint?

Then there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge. Getting a new paint job is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour; just one mistake could see the whole process turn into a terrible waste. Consider the following automotive painting mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.

  1. Painting a low-value car

Applying a fresh coat of paint can add significant value to a prestige or vintage car, especially if the old paint job was weather-worn or in an undesirable hue. Not only will you get to drive around in the colour of your dreams, but your net worth will rise with the value of your ride—a real win-win.

Less valuable cars, however, aren’t worth repainting, at least in financial terms. The potential added resale value will pale in comparison to the cost of the paint job, which means you’ll be worse off overall. If the paint job costs 25% or more of the value of your car, then it’s not going to be a sensible financial decision.

  1. Failing to do proper preparation

Much like painting a house, preparation is key to a successful automotive paint job. Before you can even think about picking up the spray gun, you need to spend a considerable amount of time in the preparation phase.

Rather than sticking masking tape over the non-painted parts of the car, a professional automotive painter will painstakingly remove them all, from the back bumper to the turn signals, tail lights, and trim. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting an unsightly borderline where there shouldn’t be.

Sanding is another monumental task; it can take several days to get the whole chassis evenly smooth and ready to paint on.

  1. Opting for the cheapest option

It’s natural to try and save money on automotive services—after all, these things never come cheap. But a low-cost paint job could cost you more in the long run as you probably won’t be happy with the subpar results.

Budget operators tend to do less preparation, have less experience, use inferior paint, and rely on out-dated equipment. The key is to find a reliable and reputable business that offers good value for money. Always ask for a quote that details the precise preparation measurements and the parts to be repainted. And remember, a final clear coat at the end of the process will make the paint job look shmick for years to come.

  1. Trying to DIY

When it comes to equipment and expertise, painting a car is nothing like painting a house. While the Average Joe can easily sand down his bedroom, throw on an undercoat, and start rolling away, automotive painting is a whole different scenario.

Every square inch of the car must be immaculately prepared, which requires an obscene amount of sanding before disassembling a large portion of the car. You’ll then have to don something akin to a hazmat suit plus a bulky spray paint respirator to protect yourself from the noxious fumes. Oh, and the spray gun itself isn’t exactly cheap or easy to use.

  1. Thinking you can paint over the damage

If you’ve recently been involved in a fender bender, you might consider a fresh coat of paint to be the perfect cure for your battered and bruised ride. However, in reality, a shiny new paint job can make existing damage worse by highlighting the issues at hand.

Things like scratches, dents, gouges, rust spots, and holes need to be fixed rather than just painted over. Make sure your auto body shop is going to remove the old paint job and address these issues before applying a new layer. If you’re looking to only fix a certain area, a paint matching service is usually the best way to go.

  1. Not allowing sufficient time

By now, you’re aware painting a car is no simple task—you’ve got to remove stacks of parts, sand the bodywork for hours on end, then cautiously apply coat after coat. The best-case scenario is you’ll get your ride back within three business days, although more often than not, you’ll be waiting around for a week.

Ask your auto shop if they can provide a courtesy car and get ready to wait for a while.

By keeping these common car painting mistakes in mind, you’ll be better prepared to take on the task. And through careful planning, preparation, and budgeting, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the ideal paint job for your ride.


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