Close this search box.

How Automotive Paint Shops Mix Custom Car Paint Colors

Auto body shops specialize in repairing damaged cars. In addition to making vehicles safe to drive again, a body shop’s goal centers on revitalizing and fixing cosmetic flaws. Accidents, rust and age often require skilled trade workers to apply a fresh coat of paint. With the help of computerized systems, individuals in the auto body trade create custom car paint colors to match any original shade. Learn more about how computers help auto body shop workers with the car paint matching process.

Car Paint Matching Codes

Paint codes are specific digits that represent a vehicle’s paint color. Without the paint code, individuals in the auto body repair industry could apply the wrong shade during large restoration projects or small touch ups. To avoid choosing the wrong shade, auto body technicians can locate the paint code, which is typically provided in the driver’s side door jam.

The paint code, along with the car’s model and year it was produced, gives individuals in the auto body repair trade the information they need to enter into the car paint matching computer.

Identifying the Variant Color

Locating the paint code is just the first step. Next, workers determine the variant of the color. What is a variant color? There are often multiple variations, or shades, of a color. These can differ from batch to batch, or across different paint suppliers.

Blending the Match

After the computer determines the variant color, workers mix the paint and spray a sample on a test card. The test card is compared to the vehicle’s color. If the colors match, auto body technicians get to work painting the car with a fresh coat of paint. They carefully blend the new paint into the old paint. Color is blended into surrounding areas. When the automotive paint dries, the new color will be indistinguishable from the old color.

Auto Body Repair Classes

Students at Apex Technical School learn to improve a vehicle’s appearance. They use paint and welding techniques to restore cars damaged by rust and age. Students also learn to fix structural, safety and cosmetic issues such as dented doors and bumpers. If you have a passion for cars and want to pursue your goals in trade school, visit Apex to learn more. Schedule a tour to see our auto body shop, meet our friendly staff and observe students in class.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the State of New York, New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.