Even the most carefully maintained vehicles will be subject to paint damage at some point. Whether it’s fixing sun-fading or physical damage, repairing your car’s paintwork can be complex and costly.
Before deciding whether or not to repaint your car, there are some factors you should consider. For example, can the damage be touched up or does it need a complete respray? Do you just need to repaint a panel or does the entire vehicle need repainting? If it’s a minor job, can you do it yourself or should you leave it to the pros? If there’s existing damage, should you see a panel beater or smash repairer before painting?
To help you answer these questions, we’ve listed the key things that you need to know about vehicle repainting.
Extent of the Damage
If there’s a scratch or dent on your car, you need to inspect the affected area and see how deep the damage is. The depth of the damage will determine the kind of repainting process that is required.
Your car’s paintwork is made up of a number of layers. In general, these include the clear coat, the base coat and the primer. The clear coat is the outermost layer that protects the surface from oxidation, stains and shallow scratches. Beneath that is the base coat, which is the layer of paint. Depending on your vehicle, the base coat may consist of several layers. Beneath the base is the primer, which is applied to help the paint adhere to the metal surface of the vehicle.
If there is physical damage to your vehicle, the depth or severity of the damage will determine the extent of the paint repairs required. If the damage doesn’t penetrate the paint layers, then some panel beaters can provide paintless dent repairs. However, if the damage penetrates through to the metal layer and damages the surface of the vehicle, more complex repairs will be required. The dent or scratch will need to be repaired before repainting can happen. Repainting in this case is essential since the paint provides important protection against corrosion. If the car’s metal surface is exposed it can start to rust.
It’s also important to get any physical damage professionally repaired before repainting because if you apply a fresh coat of paint without repairing the damage, the scratch can be accentuated, making your exterior look worse. Generally, any scratches, dents, rust or holes should be sorted out before repainting.
The only time when it might be appropriate to immediately apply a coat of paint is when the damage is only on the base layer. However, painting over even the shallowest of damage can lead to a bumpy finish.
Repainting will Take Time
Spray painting a car can be a time-consuming process. In order for the paint job to look smooth and clean, professional painters have to first prepare the body of your vehicle. This prep work includes removing the clear coat, the base coat and the primer. This will allow the workers to properly repair any surface damage to the exterior.
Removing the outer layers is also important if your current paint job has cracks or deformations on it already. In this case, it’s best to start with a bare metal surface and apply new layers of paint. If you work over a damaged painted surface, your new finish will not have the sleek and smooth appearance you’re looking for.
A good paint job will also require several layers of paint and since the painters will have to wait for each layer to dry before applying the next, this process can take several days.
Repainting can help Sell a Vehicle
If you’re looking to sell your car, touching up the paintwork can make it more appealing to potential buyers. It may even help you get a better price.
One thing to keep in mind is the overall condition of your car. If your vehicle is getting on in age or if it has a lot of kilometres on the clock, a new paint job might not add much appeal. In such a case, the money that you spend on a new finish might not be worth as much as the improved resale value.
Also, if your car was damaged in an accident, check with your insurance provider if you can get coverage. This might help you pay for the costs of repairing your car’s exterior.
The overall cost of a paint job depends on the amount of preparation, the number parts being painted and the nature paint itself.
To find out how much your paint job will cost, you can ask the repairer for a written estimate. Make sure that they take into account any prep work or repairs that need to be done beforehand. Also, it’s a good idea to ask about the parts of the vehicle that will need to be repainted.
Lastly, make sure that a clear surface sealer is included in the estimate. This sealer is important as it will protect the new finish from future damage.
Now that you know what to expect, your car is now ready to go in for a new paint job. When it comes to repainting your car, it’s best to not take any chances and go to a trusted professional. Doing these repairs yourself can leave you with unmatching colours, a bumpy finish or a damaged interior.