Car resprays: 5 facts you need before the paint job

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Car resprays: 5 facts you need before the paint job

Thinking of getting a car respray to update the colour or restore a showroom-new look to your vehicle? If you need more than a paint repair or want to change styles, repainting could be the way to go. We’ve helpfully rounded up the 5 facts you need to know before you book that car paint job.

Here’s the lowdown on car resprays:

1. They’re best left to the professionals

If you are a car whizz and have dedicated significant amounts of time to learning how to respray a car, you have a good space to work, the right equipment and safety gear, it may be that you are ready to take on the work yourself.

If you are like the rest of the people reading this article, it’s best to leave it to the professionals, who will factor in:

  • Health and safety - there are serious, poisonous chemicals in car paint which are very hazardous as airborne paint particles
  • Environmental protection – responsible paint use and disposal
  • The speed and skill that comes with experience

2. Due diligence pays dividends

As with expensive building work, like driveway installations, it’s important to do your homework before appointing a company. Don’t be tempted by bargain basement prices – this type of work requires a high level of expertise and attention to detail.

We recommend getting:

  • A range of quotes. The question of how much it costs to respray a car is a car forum favourite. Average prices can range from around £1,000 for a basic respray on an everyday model, to £10,000 for a luxury or vintage vehicle, or one that requires a lot of repair work
  • A look at the premises. It’s worth checking that everything appears professional and well maintained at the body shop
  • Personal references. Speak to recent customers and see their cars if possible

3. Scratches, chips & dents should be sorted before the work begins

Fixing Damage Before Painting

A ChipsAway Technician repairs a scraped wheel arch

The respray needs to be done on top of a completely flat, as-new surface.  Don’t count on a simple respray to fix rust or scrapes. As mentioned above, if the body shop needs to do this work it will add to the price you need to pay.

One option could be to get ChipsAway to complete the car scratch repair first, as in the image above, and take it for the respray from there. It may end up being more cost-effective.

4. Masking & prep make or break the respray

Masking Off Before Respray

ChipsAway expertly mask the car before repair

There’s a lot of skill involved in just prepping the car before any of the actual priming or painting begins. It’s a pretty laborious task and there’s little room for error – it’s the difference between perfection and having to overlook those little areas where it’s not quite right. Get it wrong altogether and it can be very expensive to put right.

Technicians will take off any removable trim elements first – rubber strips, mirrors, etc. and then mask off windows, lights, trims, alloys (anywhere you don’t want painted!) with extreme care.

5. There are at least 8 steps the technician needs to go through

And that’s after you have repaired scratches, filled dents and masked everything off to the highest standards. The steps of a respray include:

  • Choosing the right colour (sounds basic but it’s so important)
  • Stripping the original colour
  • Etch priming and priming
  • Rubbing down (with fine sandpaper)
  • Top coat and lacquer
  • Rubbing down
  • Buffing
  • Polishing

These can be broken down – some garages claim up to 125 different steps to respraying a car! But the above are the essentials.

If you bear these facts in mind, your car will look as good as new with its new paint job, just like the Lotus in the ChipsAway Car Repair Centre below (we don't carry out full resprays, but restore cars panel by panel).

Car Respray Booth 2

A shiny Lotus looking good as new in a ChipsAway Repair Centre

Of course, if you just need a repair for a scratch, dent or bumper crack, or a respray on one panel, there’s no need to go to an expensive body shop to get the whole car resprayed! Just make an enquiry via our website and your local ChipsAway technician will be in touch to provide a quote.

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