When it comes to colour matching, a little time spent at the start of the process can make all the difference between a perfect colour match and a costly re-work. There are two main ways to correctly identify a colour; by eye using a swatch, or by machine with a colour photo spectrometer. In both cases the panel must be exceptionally clean to ensure accurate results.
There’s no point in trying to colour match to a dirty car. Before you attempt colour identification, ensure that the vehicle is properly washed and polished to reveal the true colour of the paintwork. As tempting as it may be to just give the surface a quick going over with a panel wipe, cutting corners at this stage will mean a poor colour match and the risk of grinding more dirt into the surface you’re trying to prepare.
All paint colours fade because pigments within the paint substrate change their colour based on exposure to the ultra violet rays of the sun. Therefore, it is vital to bring the colour back to its original shade. Some paint companies won’t provide a warranty beyond one year on selected colours because of their UV degradation. Using Farécla G3 Ultra Compound to polish clearcoats and solid colours will remove the top layer of oxidation very effectively thereby revealing the original colour you need to match.
Another helpful tip is to always match in daylight, or under a daylight bulb wherever possible. Never attempt to colour match in full sunlight or under a fluorescent, sodium or incandescent bulb because they will give a false hue.
Once you’re confident that you have the correct colour for the job, apply the paint as usual and cure to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Once cured, remove any surface defects with an abrasive disc or wet and dry paper and follow this with Farécla G3 Ultra Compound to remove the sanding marks and restore the gloss. A further application of G3 Fine will help to remove any remaining swirl marks.
For a perfect finish, continue polishing the adjacent panels to help blend the repair into the rest of the vehicle. Incorrect colours result in costly re-works. Typical calculations by expert specialists will tell you that a re-work that has to go back through the booth will cost you a minimum of £500. Therefore it makes sense to take care to get your colour matching right first time.