Really matching the paint color after repair

Hi there. A delight to be posting here. I’ve been a lurker for a while, but admittedly have been so used to driving beaters that I’ve never had to actually care what my car looked like. :slight_smile:

I’ve got a 2011 Honda Fit that was involved in a minor scrape with a parking garage stanchion. I ended up denting the rear panel above the wheel, and putting some mighty scrapes in three panels. Insurance will cover it, but I have a question about how far you need to go to match the paint to the parts of the car that aren’t damaged. I get all the stuff about the structural repairs that have to happen, and needing to remove the rear door to repaint it correctly. However the shop also wants to remove the front door (which has no damage), so they can feather the new paint into the existing paint job.

Does this sound necessary? This is the dealer’s shop, so they’ll be using the “official” paint which should be a darned close match. I do keep the car outside but shouldn’t today’s space age polymer coatings diminish any fade? I feel like if I leave the front undamaged door alone there won’t be much (if any) visual difference. Am I nuts?

Thanks for any help. This has always been a great community, and I look forward to chatting with some of you. Again… Thanks!

It is common practice to blend the paint into the adjoining panels. Not doing so will result in a poor color match, as visually the panel break makes the color difference more obvious. The door would not need to be removed. There isn’t really an official paint. the shop will use its dyes to match the color. As it ages, it might fade a little differently, but there isn’t really anything you can do to avoid this, other than minimizing the cars time in the sun.

Painting a panel on a used car is problematic, due to color fade. Different colors and paints fade different amounts, so you’d need to consult a paint expert. But me, I’d be inclined to a accept a worse match now, if the expected fade 6-8 months down the line will result in a better match later.

I have a neighbor with a 60’s VW Beetle that the door panel needed painting, and to address the paint fade problem, she just had both doors painted an entirely different color, giving her a two tone Beetle.

Yes the door may need to be removed to blend the paint. Also color vaires from the factory. You can have many different hues of a color. It a good eye to match todays paint. Even when blending the paint. Even black is not black any more.

Panel painting wont work. Blending into other panels is needed.

I don’t think black ever was JUST black. There are variations in all colors caused by fading, and there are also variations of the SAME color code shot by the same manufacturer in the same year.

The dealer’s shop probably uses paint mixed by a professional paint supplier. There are many. Even the assembly plant bought the paint they used from a paint maker. They didn’t make it themselves.

I use Keystone a lot, but others are probably just as good, if not better. Keystone’s top grade of paint will have several samples of slightly varying shades. Ford’s FL paint code for red metallic has four or five. I’ve used at least two of them.

I don’t know why the think they need to REMOVE both doors, unless they intend to paint both of them off of the car, and also want to repaint the inside edges of the doors. I doubt that’s necessary. I’ve never bothered.

If a painter doesn’t blend beyond a body line, any minute mismatch will show up like a sore thumb. A good painter can blend to the point where no blending is evident. I hope that shop has such a painter.

My wife’s car, a silver Nissan, was broken into and the trunk lid lock destroyed. One estimator suggested a new trunk lid and lock. The insurance company wisely explained to me that the paint would never match and it was best to just replace the lock and fix and repaint the black strip the lock was located in. Great solution!

Taking the doors and panels off to paint makes painting a LOT easier. Especially when blending. It’s easier on the painter and they can get more light on the panel so they can do a better job blending and finishing the panel. When people are comfortable, they take their time and do better work :wink:

Painting a car after an accident is an art not a science. You can’t look at a chart and say it need red #3

@MG McAnick The dealer’s shop probably uses paint mixed by a professional paint supplier.

Almost all shops mix paint themselves in their own shops. Even small shops do this.

I agree. The shop I have used uses computer paint matching but then also insists on blending into the adjacent panels for a good match. Just let them do the job. Done a little myself too.

Blending helps prevent the repair from being obvious. Used to see cars with obvious repair to a fender, with the door a slightly different color.

Matching EXACTLY is more voodoo. That’s why they fade the paint into the adjacent panel.

Have any of you frugal types ever done what I did with my Ford truck? I may be the only one, this is sort of crazy … lol … Colorado puts salt on the roads, and the rear wheels throw the snow and salt up and it wedges at the bottom of the tailgate. So, like most other trucks in Colorado, I had a tailgate rusted completely through along the bottom. Seemed like a hard spot to fix as the curve is very tight there, so I bought a tailgate from a local junkyard here in Calif. I think it cost $80. No rust on tailgates here. But the junkyard tailgate was the wrong color.

You know what I did? I bought a can of spray paint rom the hardware store! Well, two cans, one primer, one the closest I could find to the matching color. And you know what? 20 years later, its impossible to tell the tailgate isn’t original.

Not that the tailgate paint job is in pristine condition mind you , but the whole truck, the tailgate and everything else, has the same case of paint oxidation. So it’s close to a perfect match.

No, never done that. I have used Dupli Color before with pretty good results. Back in school though when I needed body work and didn’t have money for a sprayer etc., I bought one of those vibrator Devilbus sprayers for about $10. Did a door or two, quarter panel etc. with it and worked much better than expected. Good equipment is nice but you can still do good work with less. When I was a kid, I used my Mom’s Kirby vacuum cleaner spray attachment to paint my bike and it worked much like the HVLP guns now.