The Structure of a Car Paint
In addition to the shape and technical features, a flawless paint job is the most important aspect when buying a vehicle. It should shine and match the owner’s color preference. But it can and must do much more, from protecting the body from corrosion to protecting it from mechanical and harmful weather influences. That’s why the construction of such a paint job is quite complex. During series painting, various technologies are used that, when combined, make a car paint job perfect and ensure that the body is optimally protected, looks shiny, and contributes to maintaining the value of the vehicle in the long term.
Painting in four steps
As a rule, standard car paint today consists of four layers, which are applied in several steps using different processes. First, the degreased and cleaned, a perfect body is coated with a closed film of paint in every cavity using an electrochemical painting system. This cathodic dip coating is the basis for comprehensive corrosion protection. The cathodic, i.e., negatively charged, body is passed through an aqueous, conductive dipping paint, in which the positively charged paint particles adhere to the body and form a closed and uniform coating.
The filler ensures smooth surfaces
Then comes the order of the so-called filler, who has to fulfill several tasks at once. In addition to protecting against rock chips, it evens out small imperfections on the surface, filling them up, so to speak. It also ensures that the subsequent top coat can adhere better. In the event of scratches, the filler can usually be seen as a white layer under the colored paint. If this layer is not damaged, it can be assumed that the corrosion protection is still intact. However, today, there are also fillers that already contain color pigments and thus enhance the color of the subsequent base coat. After application, the filler is sanded to obtain a flawless surface.
Color and shine
Only now does the body get its color from the so-called base coat. In automobile factories, painting robots spray the entire body. These water-based paint systems today can contain pigments or, as in the case of metallic paint, aluminum flakes. Areas that are difficult to reach for the painting robots are reworked by painters directly at the end of the painting line. The car now has its color, but the shine is still missing. This is created by spraying on a colorless, clear varnish. Only now does the body acquire its shiny appearance, which really highlights the design of the vehicle. The clear coat also has the function of protecting the color coating from external influences such as UV radiation. organic or chemical contamination or other damage. Without it, the color of the paint would gradually change with the light of the sun.
Matching colors on all accessories
With these four steps, the painting of the body is complete. Only then are accessories such as exterior mirrors or bumpers installed on the outside and inside. They are usually made of plastic and painted by supplier companies. Despite the different surfaces and production conditions, the colors match exactly those of the body. The entire coating of the car is completed by particularly stone chip-resistant underbody coatings as well as the sealing and spraying of cavities, for example, in the doors, which is particularly beneficial for the acoustics in the vehicle’s interior.
Auto Body CA is the only Body Shop in Los Angeles using the method mentioned above.