10305 Hull Street Rd.
Midlothian, VA 23112

Refinishing your vehicle, what you should know Part 1

Have you ever wondered what exactly is involved in refinishing of a vehicle? Have you asked a repair facility before if they will be getting the paint for your vehicle from the manufacturer, or have you decided to have your vehicle repaired at a dealer because you thought they used only the manufacturer’s paint? Over the next two weeks, we are going to shed some light on how refinishing your vehicle really works.


First, we want to clarify for you that there is no such thing as paint made by Toyota, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, or any other vehicle manufacturer and then sold to anyone outside the production plant. In fact, suppliers such as Martin Senour, PPG, and Sherwin Williams, to name a few, supply repair facilities, including dealerships, with tints and products used in the refinish process. These facilities then use a room known as a mixing booth along with a sophisticated computer program tied into a very sensitive scale to mix the paint for each individual vehicle based on the Vehicle Identification Number, or, VIN. For you, this means that any repair facility with this equipment has the capability to mix the exact color of your vehicle based on the formula supplied by the manufacturer.


The refinish formula provided by the VIN also tells us if your vehicle has a 2-stage or 3-stage refinish process. Most vehicles with common colors are based on a 2-stage process. This process involves applying a base coat of color and a top coat of clear which protects and seals the base coat underneath. 3-stage formulas add a third mid-coat to the process which increases the time, knowledge, and materials required to produce a quality product and tends to be exponentially more expensive. An example of a 3-stage color would be fiery metallic pearl.


Price points also come into play depending on who refinishes your vehicle. Many people hear the ads for companies such as Maaco who offer vehicle refinishing packages starting at around $299.00. Ladies and gentlemen, when it comes to refinishing your vehicle, you get what you pay for. The companies advertising like this will not be masking off your vehicle or removing necessary items and, chances are, they will not be performing any of the final stages after the vehicle is repaired such as removing any unwanted particles and buffing the final product. You could receive your vehicle back with unwanted debris in the finish or even with over-spray on the moldings, weather strips or lamps.


Next week, we will go over the actual process involved in the refinishing and go over a little on waterborne refinish versus solvent based.



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    10305 Hull Street Rd.
    Midlothian, VA 23112

  • Phone: (804) 674-1173
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    7:00AM - 6:00PM

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