4 Ways You Can Avoid Repaints

July 1, 2021
What you can do to ensure each vehicle is done correctly—the first time.

"There's never enough time to do something right the first time, but there is always enough time to do it right the second time.”

As unfortunate as this statement is, it’s true. It’s easy to quickly paint a vehicle and look back to notice mistakes, causing a total repaint. But this time suck can be almost entirely avoided if the appropriate techniques, patience, and care was taken the first time round. 

Jeremy Winters has been discussing topics like this, along with other painting tips and tricks with guests on his podcast “Booth Talk” for the past few years. He’s a painter at RCI Collision in Warner Robins, Ga., and has been in the industry for over 17 years.“

At the end of the day, we’re human, we make errors and stuff happens, but we have to try and minimize them as much as we can,” he says.

No. 1: Prepare properly.

Correctly preparing for a job is where it all begins, and simply put, can act as a domino effect from there on out. 

“The more work you do upfront to make sure everything is going to be smooth, the faster everything is going to be and the less repaints you’re going to have,” Winters says. “Try to do everything in advance to minimize what happens on the backside.”

When everything isn’t prepared with absolute confidence and exactitude a “we can make it work” attitude can set in, which for Winters, is one of the most dangerous phrases in the history of refinishing—and can only lead to further work down the road. Correctly preparing for the job also includes color matching, which should be done before the vehicle ever hits the booth. 

“Once the vehicle is in the booth, all you want to do is mix up the paint and go in there and spray,” he says. “You don’t want to try to match the car in the booth because that’s now going to be doubling your time when another vehicle could be going through.” 

No. 2: Color match correctly.

Matching the color of the vehicle incorrectly before painting will undoubtedly cause you to go back and repaint, wasting precious time and materials. So it’s best to take the time and use correct technique to ensure a match.“

Color is the very first thing that the customer sees, so if you don’t deliver on doing that paint job it’s going to absolutely backfire,” Winters says.

In order to ensure the color is matched correctly, Winters emphasizes the importance of lighting.

“When color matching, make sure that you have color correct light, that’s first and foremost,” he explains. “The best way to match colors is to go outside, but it can be hard to see some of those colors because you can go snow-blind.”

To guarantee the colors match when back inside, Winters will also use his color correcting light, the SATA® trueSun™, to double check. 

No. 3: Assess your work.

While moving from each step in the refinishing process, it is vital to self-assess your work and ensure that the vehicle is ready to move on.

“When assessing my work, I’m first looking to see if the paint is laid down correctly,” Winters says. “I’m also checking to see if there’s any trash in the basecoat of the vehicle that might need to be fixed, or any cut throughs that my prepper may have forgotten to tell me about.”

Taking a step back and looking at your work along the way may seem like it’s taking too much time, but fixing errors along the way can save massive amounts of time in the long run. 

“Check everything before you pull the trigger, because once the clear goes on, it’s game over,” Winters explains. 

It may be helpful to also get a second set of eyes on your work along the way to get a look at the color or see if there is anything you missed.

No. 4: Slow down.

The biggest mistake painters can make that can cause almost every other oversight, is simply not taking the time needed to do the job correctly, says Winters.

Rushing through a job can cause small issues along the way that can be easily overlooked until it’s too late. Take an extra five minutes here and five minutes there to really be precise and intentional with each step of the process. The extra time added to slow down and self-assess along the way can save the hours needed to repaint an entire job. 

“At the end of the day, going slower is faster,” Winters says.

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