When a car comes to our shop, our goal is to make sure it leaves in the exact condition it was before the accident. The paint is the finishing touch that seals a collision repair as if it never happened. In most cases, only a small portion of the car has to be painted, so matching the exact colour of the car is the real challenge. If we recreate the original colour of the car, a distinct discoloration could be seen on the rest of car. Since the vehicle was subjected to sunlight, road salt, dust, debris and car wax, the original paint color has been altered and thus, this has to be taken into consideration when painting the new parts.
That’s where Pierre Chiasson comes into play. Pierre is a paint specialist at CSN – Champlain Auto Body and his job is to make sure that no one can tell where your vehicle has been painted.
Here are the 6 steps your vehicle will go through during the painting process.
First: Pierre will check the colour match from the paint code directly from the manufacturer. A quick search on the computer allows him to check for a spray out card (industry jargon to describe a color swatch). Using a special tool that emits light as if it came directly from the sun itself, he can compare the sprayout card against the vehicle colour.
Second: The vehicle is sent to preparation, which consists of washing all soon to be painted parts with a degreaser, then protecting the rest of the vehicle with tape and plastic. This step is performed by a team of preppers.
Third: Using the computer and a colour camera if needed, Pierre will drill down the exact recipe to use in order to recreate the car’s colour. Pierre will mix all the different colour tones, a gentle shake as if it was a martini and it’s ready to use.
Fourth: All the components are brought into the paint booth specifically designed to paint cars and car parts. It has an ambient temperature of 75℉ or 24℃ and a powerful ventilation system that keeps the air clear. Using a compressed air nozzle, Pierre blows any remaining particles that could be found on the parts that will be painted. Finally, a tack cloth will be used to make sure there is no dust left.
Fifth: The vehicle and its components are now ready to be spray painted. Wearing all necessary safety attire including a fresh air mask, Pierre finally applies multiple thin layers of base coat (color). Before applying the clear coat that seals the car paint, he double checks the color with the spray out card to see if they match.
Sixth: Pierre sets the oven on and bakes the fresh paint to a 57℃ or 135℉ for 25 minutes. This saves 4-5 hours of normal ambient air drying.
The car is then ready to be reassembled. Here at CSN – Champlain Auto Body we paint about 6-8 cars on average every day.