How Does Paint Matching Work?

March 21st, 2023 by

Car Paint Matching

If your car suffers damage, your first concern usually lies in repairing any damaged parts, then making your car’s paint look like new. When looking for an automotive paint job in San Diego, understanding the paint color matching process will help you receive the best service possible. 

Car Paint Codes

Car manufacturers utilize a color code to differentiate the color of each model. Unlike computer colors, where you can describe the color using precise proportions of red, blue, and green or a hexadecimal value, each car maker uses a different system. Ford vehicles utilize a two-character alphanumeric code, whereas Honda cars may have a four to six-character code.

Where to Find the Color Code

The color code’s location differs between car makes and even models from the same company. Typical placements include the driver’s side door jam, glove compartment, or even inside the trunk lid. You may also find the paint code alongside the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Your car’s owner’s manual will also contain its paint code.

How a Body Shop Acquires Matching Paint

When a body shop paints your car, technicians will order the paint beforehand or reverse-engineer the original paint. Mixing identical resin, pigment, and toner quantities will make the new paint look identical and apply to the car evenly. The color code helps the technicians create the correct tint.

However, paint fades with exposure to UV rays and the elements, so your body shop will use a spectrophotometer, an instrument that measures the light waves that bounce off your car, to faithfully recreate the color of faded paint. Analyzing the distribution of the various light wavelengths will yield an exact color match, even if that color isn’t an exact match for a paint color already on the market.

Fix Your Car’s Paint like New

You’ll find that the right equipment and experience matter when you need collision repair. To find your car’s paint shade or repair damaged paint, schedule service at Sunroad Collision Center near San Diego, California.

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