Even when it’s sitting on the new car lot, your vehicle’s paint is under duress. Unless the car is hidden indoors a car paint repair is inevitable. Everything from the sun beating down to manmade stresses threatens a car’s shine in Madison WI.
The No. 1 cause of automotive paint going bad is UV radiation from the sun. I does more harm in a short period than you think possible. Whenever your vehicle is parked in the sun the paint is undergoing a chemical reaction. Add dirt, grit and environmental pollutants and the problems multiply in hurry.
The quality of the original paint – or new paint applied sometime in the past – influences how it protects, too. As it ages, paint oxidizes – it fades, peels and disintegrates.
5 Causes Leading To Car Paint Repair
There are five major conditions that lead to a visit to an auto body paint shop:
When layers of clear coat start peel off is called delamination. It starts small and spreads like a rash. It is the result of poor paint during a repair or from extended exposure to the sun. The best way to avoid it is parking indoors or at least in the shade whenever possible.
It takes considerable wear or damage for paint to actually peel. Dings and damage to clear coat opens the surface. Repairing and repainting dings and sheet metal damage as soon as possible it the best prevention.
Exposure to the sun and Wisconsin weather causes your car’s finish to look dull. The shine is lost. UV rays in addition to pollution fades the paint. Regular washing and routine waxing are the best steps to reduce fading.
Storms, flying debris and folks not paying attention in parking lots all contribute to the collection of scratches on your vehicle. Your driving and parking habits help to reduce the threat of scratches. Unfortunately you cannot control the action of others or Mother Nature.
The biggest attacker of car paint is rust. Dings and scratches open wounds in the clear coat and paint. Moisture works in and rust follows. A good wash and wax and keeping your vehicle out of the weather as often as possible is the best protection.
Keep Car Paint In Top Condition
A sharp-looking ride makes a great first impression. It makes you feel good to get into a clean, shining car, truck or SUV. Paying attention to details and keeping the paint in prime shape is worth it to protect your investment, right?
Neglect the car’s paint and it grows duller and duller. Even if your car’s paint job has begun to fade it isn’t too late to get the shine back. Paint selection and paint restoration is an art form backed by science. It takes a skilled professional to get it right.
If you’re enjoying a classic car it may have been coated with a single-stage paint job. Early automotive paints were thin and easily damaged. About 40 years ago manufacturers switched to two-stage systems – using a basecoat and a clear coat. Two-stage painting is more durable and environmentally-friendly.
Old-style or modern paint, no car’s surface lasts without proper care:
- Regular car washes and detailing – get the outside of the vehicle clean. Remove all dirt, debris and corrosives. Road salt in winter is a huge problem. Oil, bugs and drippings from trees – sap and pollen – add to the chemical threats.
- Remove contaminants – even a good wash may not remove oil, road grime, tar, splattered bugs and other chemicals. If left untreated these elements get baked onto the clear coat. Bonded the surface they’re hard to remove. Detailing clay is an option as are several commercially available cleaning products. If the contaminants are thick or baked on, the best choice is a skilled, trained professional technician.
- Polish and protect – buff over tiny scratches and swirl marks with high-quality car polish. If you are serious about keeping your car – or several vehicles – polished, invest in a rotary polisher.
Car Paint Isn’t All Alike
If it is too late to buff and polish your car’s paint to a factory shine car paint repair is the next step. A professional painter is an artist when it comes to making old car’s look new and blending new paint with old. The process of repainting a car, truck or SUV is complicated. And there are several steps and several options. The process includes:
- Preparation – custom car painting begins with primers, usually a flat gray color. Primer helps fresh paint stick to the surface. Professional painters’ primers keep moisture away from metal, too. An added level of protection from rust and oxidation.
- Basic paints – the base coat paint is the source of color. It doesn’t have specialized hardeners and does not go on with a glossy shine.
- Clear coats – just as it sounds, clear coat adds no color but it does protect the base paint and adds shine. Most are chemical preparations that are flexible enough to work on plastic parts. Clear coats are also UV inhibitors to help prevent fading from the sun.
Those are the basics of auto body painting. But there are more custom options that include:
- Custom metallic finishes – metal-flake looks for extra sparkle
- Chameleon paints – blends that allow the car to “change color” in different light
- Acrylics – available as enamel and lacquers they are not factory-applied these days. They’re one-stage paints that go on without basecoat or clear coat. Enamel is rare. Lacquers are more popular for antique and classic cars. They are really high gloss but don’t protect the finish like modern paints.
Car Paint Repair Or All-new Color?
Some colors are everywhere you look. Some are rare. The International Carwash Association asked which paint colors are easiest to keep looking like new. No surprise, black is the most difficult to keep clean. The new high-gloss whites are a close second. Gray and silver get higher grades for keeping clean and not showing dirt. If you’re planning to repaint with the same color you have made your choice. If not, consider these paint color options:
- Classic black – literally the hottest color for any vehicle because it heats the interior when parked in the sun. It shows every paint flaw and even the slightest coating of dust or dirt. On the other hand, nothing looks sharper than a freshly washed and waxed black vehicle.
- Modern white – while each manufacturer has a different name for its white paint, they all fall into the same ranking. White is forgiving when it comes to dust and takes less effort to keep it clean – at least keep it looking clean. That’s probably why white is one of the top 3 colors for new cars.
- Silver– here is the No. 1 color for new vehicles. Light enough that it doesn’t show dust but darker than white so it doesn’t show road grime as quickly. A good choice to avoid extreme heating from the sun, too.
- Metallic gray– about halfway between light colors like silver and the dark hues. Easy care and considered elegant.
- Champaign, taupe and tan – more mid-tones that don’t show dirt and grime. Basically the color of dust, they go a long time before people noticing dirt.
- Light Blue – Not a “hot” color, light blue not too dark or not too light.
Bold Automotive Paint Color Choices
There’s a trend toward bold, bright colors – harking back to the muscle cars of the 1970s—1980s. Darker colors other than black include:
- Dark blue – Not as difficult to maintain as black but similar with all the same concerns – including the same emotional response when it’s detailed and shining.
- Dark green – needs the same loving care as any other dark color.
- Maroon and burgundy – a rich metallic burgundy reflects a classic look. Burgundy and maroon paint jobs absorb UV rays and show flaws in paint surfaces.
- Red and orange – bright red and orange are the colors of speed and sport. Is it true red cars get pulled over more than any other color – no, but it generates strong emotion. Red is much easier to maintain than most other dark colors and provides less heat transfer. Professionals advise that red paint may have more different pigments in it so matching paint can be difficult.
When You’re Ready For Car Paint Repair
With each new model year car-makers come out with new colors – some have three or four names for white and black! Each has its pros and cons. What’s new in paints is less important to car owners dealing with dings, dents and aging paint. Matching existing paint jobs, taking into account fading and weathering is more important. You don’t want your car to have two fenders with different shades of paint, right?
AutoColor painting professionals are experienced and keep up with the latest technology. When your car, truck or SUV needs paint touch up or you want an all-new look, visit our Madison area locations – West on Parmenter Road in Middleton and East on Stoughton Road. Or call AutoColor and take advantage of our facilities and technicians to protect or restore your ride with the best car paint repair in the Madison WI area.