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If you are wondering about auto paint matching on your car, there are a few things to understand first about why it doesn’t match.

There can be so many variations of a color for many different reasons that it is hard to believe we can even get a good match to begin with. Colors are made up of many different pigments with metallics and/or pearls added in. When talking about auto paint matching, the original paint is produced for that line of cars and sprayed on your car at the factory. They use an automated system to do this. The batch of one color may have a touch of the last color still present in the system, the formula could be off slightly between different plants, or possibly the paint manufacturer got a pigment from a different supplier. There can be many variables but the bottom line is the job of the body shop is to match that color. The paint manufacturers like PPG, DuPont, Sherwin Williams, and others have the task of producing color chips with variables of each production color. So some color codes can have a few variances up to many ( 10-15). We take these samples and compare them to the vehicle, picking the closest one.

Now we can spray that out on a test card for our auto paint matching comparison. The color can change just by our paint spraying techniques, reducers we use, and the type of spray gun we have. Now we take a look at the sample and it looks good, but looking at the angle it does not. The paint can look lighter , darker, muddier, different cast, less/more metallic (glitter) or anything but what we are after. So at this point we try to tint the color the best we can get it. Auto paint matching is not always an exact science and does require some skill and experience.

Now we go ahead and blend our final color match. We do this by color blending or “fading” the new paint into the old auto paint. This procedure can be viewed on the following video:

One thing you want to keep in mind with auto paint matching is that the final color needs to be close enough to blend. Many times I thought it was close enough and once we took the car outside, it’s a different story. As a consumer, you will probably notice a mismatched paint before any type of poor body work. So auto paint matching is an important part of a good vehicle repair.