Daily Archives: August 6, 2012

Quality without exception

Friday we trimmed out the hood and fender and replaced the radiator on this Nissan Altima. Today Chris got busy sanding the replacement parts so that we can get this buggy painted and back to it’s owner. You can see Chris buzzing away at the hood with the DA (Dual Action) sander.

The second photo shows the hood after Chris finished roughing up the finish. This step is not strictly necessary but I want to make sure that the surface is as smooth as possible before the paint goes on … something we do on every job as part of our quality first philosophy.

The way I see it, if we do the job right the first time we will never have to do it a second time.

It’s all in the preparation

It doesn’t matter how good a painter you are, if the preparation steps are ignored or improperly done, the paint is either going to look bad, fail, or both. We take great care here at JMC AutoworX to ensure our repairs are as durable as they are attractive.

Take this Nissan Altima for example. The rear door was repaired in the past, but who ever did the job skimped on, or skipped, the preparation. You can see the results in the first two pictures … paint failure. I can’t know for sure, but it appears that the door handle wasn’t removed prior to painting, and because the handle wasn’t removed, the area behind the door handle wasn’t properly sanded.

Painting 101 clearly states that you can’t paint over paint without sanding first. Because shortcuts were taken the owner of this car is having to pay for the repair twice and it would have been much cheaper to have the repair done properly the first time.

Enough of the lecture … the third picture illustrates how the repair should have been handled … no pun intended. The door handle has been removed and the area behind it sanded to rough up the paint so the new paint has something to get it’s teeth into for adhesion.

When JMC AutoworX paints it, it stays painted. I guarantee it.

It’s like magic

Friday we did some beating and banging on the trunk lid of the Nissan Altima, teasing a dent out. After getting the dent as near right as possible, we finished out the repair with some body filler which I used to smooth and shape the contours of the trunk.

The first picture shows the result of all that sanding … the dent is repaired and filler has been smoothed and blended into the sheet metal of the car.

The second pictures shows the car masked off, leaving only the damaged area, and a little more, exposed. The unmasked area is treated with a primer to seal and further smooth the repair.

The third and final picture show the masking removed and the rear of the car sanded. If you look closely, it looks like the rear of the car has already been painted a flat white. It hasn’t … that dullness is the result of a light sanding to rough the clear coat so that the paint used to cover the repair can be blended into the rest of the car.

Blending is a technique to further disguise repairs. The human eye has an amazing ability to distinguish colors … but only if the colors are adjacent and divided by a hard line. The eyes ability to see the most subtle changes in color is a problem because it is almost impossible to mix two batches of paint so that they are exactly the same color. In other words, if you get a dead on color match it is mostly a function of luck.

Blending denies the eye that hard edge it needs to see the difference in color, if there is one. If I were to paint just the repair the customer could look at the repair and see exactly where I painted unless the color was spot on … and I’m not that lucky. But if I blend the new color into the old by feathering the edge there is no hard line for the eye to use to detect the very slight difference in color and the repair … just disappears. The dull white area on the car in the third picture is where I will blend the colors, then respray with clear to bring up the shine.

Blending  is an old technique, but it still works. Think of it as the car painter’s version of the magician sleight of hand.

In a bit of a bind

This Ford Expedition arrived at the shop today after being placed in a bind. You can see in the first two photos what happens when one is backing and a door hits an obstruction. It’s not exactly carnage … but it’s not good either.

The third photo has the door removed. I have already obtained replacement parts so the damaged door and fender will discarded.

The fourth photo shows the replacement door mounted to the truck. The door is mounted before it is painted but after its trimmed out to make sure it fits properly and to allow for blending.

Picture five and six show Chase trimming out the fender and door. Trimming out is painting the hard to paint sections before the part is painted on the vehicle. For example, painting the door is much easier when you don’t have to worry about preventing paint from entering the vehicle, so the inside edges are painted in the booth.

The fender is treated to the same painting routine. It is much easier to ensure full and complete coverage on the fender if the edges are painted first in the booth.

The final picture, picture seven, has the truck reassembled and ready for paint. You can see a bit of the trim out paint peeking around the edges of the fender.

You know … I like the color on the door and fender edges so much, I think tomorrow we will just go ahead and paint the rest of the panel the same color.

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