None of us want to see our car get damaged – but the reality is, it’s far from a freak occurrence. Whether it’s parking in the wrong spot or pulling over without paying attention to the kerb, sometimes you’ll end up with a scratch or dent on your car that needs a car paint repair.
But fixing a scratch isn’t something most car owners have to do on a regular basis. In fact, most cars are only likely to have their paintwork repaired a handful of times over their entire lifespan.
Unsurprisingly, most owners have no idea how to get their car paint repaired, and what they should be on the lookout for.
To help, we have a five-step list of what you need to know about car paint repairs.
- YouTube makes it appear easier than it is…
If you’ve scratched your car, you might’ve had a look at whether or not an at-home repair can be done. While the latest YouTube videos may make it look easy to fix yourself, it can often be more difficult than you might think.
Fixing a car requires the right equipment and knowhow – otherwise you may end up with a problem that looks worse than the initial scratch. Any errors made during your ‘self-repair’ will end up costing you more money in the long run, to not only fix the car but address the damage from an incorrect paint job.
2. … so, it’s probably worth calling the professionals
For the reasons above, this is probably one job best left to the professionals. Short of implementing significant time and space to work as well as buying the right equipment and safety gear, most paint repairs need professional help.
In fact, the paint itself is a serious poisonous chemical, meaning the paint that is left over has to be disposed of properly. Getting the right equipment for the job, can even cost more than simply letting a professional do the work for you.
Finally, it’s a matter of skills – even a steady hand can’t make up for the years of experience that comes from hiring a professional paint repairer.
3. It’s easy to spot a poor repair
By now you might be wondering: what are the tell-tale signs of a poor car paint repair? Even for a non-expert, it can be obvious.
When it’s time for you to check the quality of your paint repair, it’s important to move your car into a well-lit area for inspection. It’s hard to check for imperfections under dim light or in a poorly lit repair shop.
There are three easy things to look for:
- Does the colour perfectly match?
- Is there overspray anywhere else on the vehicle?
- Are there any imperfections in the paint?
A poor-quality paint job isn’t just annoying. It can detract from the appeal of your car, especially when you go to sell it.
4. Masking and preparation are key
When it comes to respraying a car, the devil is in the detail: proper masking and preparation can make or break any respray.
While the process sounds simple, there’s actually a lot of prep work that goes in before priming or painting begins. Missing a step or making a simple error can be the difference between a professionally fixed scratch and a car with a paint job that just doesn’t look right.
5. There are more steps involved then you might think
Everything from choosing the right colour (which is harder than it sounds) to stripping, priming, rubbing down right through to buffing and polishing must be done correctly.
Even the most basic repairs require at least eight steps. If even one goes wrong, it can leave the vehicle looking worse than it began. Sadly, they don’t tell you that in most self-help YouTube videos!
Does your car need a paint repair? If so – it’s time to call in the professionals.