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Old 04-18-2010, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Ever wonder what actually makes up the color of your car?

Hey guys,

Was just working on an FWI for Yonkerse 05 SLE and figured I would share a little bit of information you may have never known.

Ever wonder why when a bumper or a fender etc.. on a car gets painted it doesnt always match perfectly?

Take a look at Yonkerse car here:

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Just a simple grey car right? what could be so hard about that?

Well I am only using his car as an example..as just about every color out there (besides white and most blacks) is similar to what I am showing you.

So his paint code is WA-812k...so if you went into a store that sells paint and told them you needed that color, they would sell it to you...ever wonder what actually goes into that color?

Well lets find out:

Here I put in the paint code into my PDA:

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Next I will do a search for that code, here are the results:

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As you can see the color that comes up is a GM color with Steel Mist in the name.. Also further down you can see a Saturn variant as well.


So I choose the first one on the list which is the one I want since it is AA aplication (meaning for the main body color): And it brings me to this screen:

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Notice there are 11 variants of this color..this right here is why paint doesnt ALWAYS match perfectly...if you have an 10+ year old car that has been subject to fading etc.. and then there are actually 11 options to chose from for that 1 color..makes it a bit tough doesnt it! Most people don't realize that just because there is a paint code for the car, doesnt mean there is only one variation of mixing that color. I have had colors I have painted on cars that had 30+variants..and it took me 2 or 3 trys to find the right one to match...just a matter of patience (or buying a several thousand dollar device that scans the paint on the car and is able to tell you exactly what'* in it)

So the program I use ussually breaks down the codes into the most standard/commonly used variations, so I chose to use the first standard and here is the next screen it brings me too:

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so you thought 11 variants was bad?!?! well now I have 8 different solutions to choose from just off that 1 variant I chose! So by looking at the dates when the solutions came out I can narrow down a bit closer which one I want to use for the car I am doing.

After choosing the one I want I finally get to where it tells me what I need to use to make this color:

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So after all those options, I now have these to make this one color, that most people assume is just a simple gray:

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As you can see there are several different silvers, whites, blues, blacks etc.. that all go into this color.


So I get my handy little $300+ scale out so I can begin mixing this color up:

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And here is just the products I use to paint a simple FWI for our cars..

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All said and done..you have your "simple" Gray Intake for a pontiac bonneville (also a red one for Mouse'* car next to it)

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There you go...so next time you think there isn't much involved in simply mixing the color of a car, think again! haha
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Yes, a lot goes in to each color. But with computer mixing it'* all about the same. The reason the bumper color looks a bit different then the rest of the car is the additives. Bumpers get a flexing agent added at the point of mixing before it'* put in to the gun. That additive has a slight effect on the color and shine. Without that additive the paint would crack.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
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When I was in HS I used go in to the auto body class and watch them paint the cars. I watching my friend mix up a certain white color and started freaking out when he put black in it. He then showed me what basically what you just showed the rest of us.

Another friend was doing collision repair on a 5 year old silver car. Went to O Reilly for the paint, and sprayed it on a crumpled up fender to test the match. It was about 5 or 6 shades off. He ended up having O Reilly scan the fender piece to make a color that matched.
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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Wow I have always wondered that. Thanks Guns.

BTW do you have pictures of the vents you painted on that cardboard?
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthurs View Post
Yes, a lot goes in to each color. But with computer mixing it'* all about the same. The reason the bumper color looks a bit different then the rest of the car is the additives. Bumpers get a flexing agent added at the point of mixing before it'* put in to the gun. That additive has a slight effect on the color and shine. Without that additive the paint would crack.
Well with computer mixing they still have all those varients to choose from, so nothing changes.. I was simply showing how many different varients of one color there are..life would be simple if a paint code meant one color, but in reality it doesn't.

And as for the bumpers, that is not entirely true. The flex additive is ONLY needed when you are painting a bumper not on a car, and then put the bumper back on...being you are flexing the bumper lol...hence the name..when the bumper is on the car, there is no need for a flex additive. I have checked directly with BASF to see if it was needed because I wanted to be sure since I use their line of paints and they also assured me it is not needed.

As for the color difference being because of the additives..might be true to a point, but it isnt just bumpers, it'* fenders, doors...anything, and for the most part is different due to the varient of paint used. I could go out and mix up 5 batches of the same exact paint code (the gray I just did for example) in different varients..and I will tell you they will all be slightly different...which brings me back to the computer mixing..regardless who mixes it, the varients are still out there, and every one of them is slightly different.. For example my moms 2003 Aurora needed one of the doors repainted due to a side swipe...it was done at one of the best paint shops in our area, and they used computers to mix their paint...ended up bringing it back 3 times to have it redone to get it perfect...just the way it goes...You would be amazed how a few tenths of a gram of one of the colors used to make up a batch of paint can change the outcome of it..thats why I have to be sooo precise. Luckily with blending you can eliminate how noticeable it is if there is a slight difference.

Now if you want an exact match...many places have a tool that scans the paint and then you are able to mix it off of that..I live without it though..and I am doing paint work just about every day of the week on everything from bumpers on a $5k kia...to fenders on a couple year old porsche or mercedes..just takes a good eye, and some patience sometimes depending on the color and number of varients..
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Old 04-18-2010, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yutzybrian View Post
Wow I have always wondered that. Thanks Guns.

BTW do you have pictures of the vents you painted on that cardboard?
Ya..look for another thread..was about to post them
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