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How are pearlescent paints repaired?

 
Old 05-21-15, 11:11 AM
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Question How are pearlescent paints repaired?

Hello,

So the front of my LS 430 (Moonlight Pearl) has some paint chips in it and I want to have the hood repainted so it looks new.

I know it's expensive, let's put that aside

My question is, to have it match the rest of the car perfectly, how should the shop do it?

Do I need to ask to make sure they use a certain type of paint or painting method? Does Lexus sell perfectly matching paints? I know they sell touch up paint, but I'm assuming that's a different kind of paint.

The dealer told me that this type of paint has actual ground up microscopic pearls in it.

I'm not sure if that's true though. When I read the wikipedia article it said Pearlescent Paint uses mica.

Is Pearlescent paint layered a certain way? Is it a base, then Pearlescent , then clear? Or is the base itself Pearlescent ?

Because it's pricey I would like for it to be done perfectly, &I don't want to walk into the paint shop and not sound like I know what I'm talking about.

The worst situation would be if they just color matched it and it wasn't Pearlescent anymore.

Any advice and info would be greatly appreciated.

Sincere thanks.

P.S. another reason I want this done is because I'm afraid the bare metal will rust. Does the LS 430 have galvanized steel though? If it does that would be less of a concern.

P.P.S. if this is the wrong sub-forum please let me know & direct me to the correct one.

Last edited by Salted; 05-21-15 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 05-21-15, 11:26 AM
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Ah ok, I have a starfire pearl white car. I have added body kits in before and have asked body shop to paint the molded diffuser. What I learn is that the paint has 3 stages. The base (white), the pearl, and the clear. Color code alone is not sufficient to color match. They would have to look at your current car paint and match it. They also have to examine the final product under various lighting and angles such as under the sun, under fluorescent light, under daytime etc.

If you go to a reputable body shop, the chance is high that they will know what they are doing.
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Old 05-21-15, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FSportIS View Post
If you go to a reputable body shop, the chance is high that they will know what they are doing.
^^ This is key

Don't cheap out on repaints/repairs... find someone who knows what they are doing and if they cost a bit more, it is likely because that is how much quality work costs and the other guys are just out there trying to be the cheapest, not necessarily the best.
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Old 05-21-15, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by FSportIS View Post
Ah ok, I have a starfire pearl white car. I have added body kits in before and have asked body shop to paint the molded diffuser. What I learn is that the paint has 3 stages. The base (white), the pearl, and the clear. Color code alone is not sufficient to color match. They would have to look at your current car paint and match it. They also have to examine the final product under various lighting and angles such as under the sun, under fluorescent light, under daytime etc.

If you go to a reputable body shop, the chance is high that they will know what they are doing.
Originally Posted by zmcgovern4 View Post
^^ This is key

Don't cheap out on repaints/repairs... find someone who knows what they are doing and if they cost a bit more, it is likely because that is how much quality work costs and the other guys are just out there trying to be the cheapest, not necessarily the best.
How do I know if a shop is reputable? Thanks
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Old 05-21-15, 11:39 AM
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Look at their Yelp, Google reviews and talk to car guys in your area. Also, at the shop, ask them how they paint it and their process.

If you are Southern CA, I know a lot of good shops to recommend lol.
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Old 05-21-15, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FSportIS View Post
Look at their Yelp, Google reviews and talk to car guys in your area. Also, at the shop, ask them how they paint it and their process.

If you are Southern CA, I know a lot of good shops to recommend lol.
I'm in OR, thanks for the offer though

I looked on Yelp and there was only 1 review of the 2 shops around here. It was a positive review, but 1 isn't a large sample size. There were no google reviews or hits I could find on them in google.

None of my friends are car guys, except for one and the only repair he had done, he had done about 3 hours away from here a few years ago.

Finding a good car shop seems like it's just as hard as finding a good dentist lol.

If I knew the right questions to ask, and the right answers I should get to them it would make things much easier.

Right now I've been watching any youtube videos of paint jobs I can find but it's not helping me know what to say any better.
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Old 05-21-15, 11:52 AM
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Where in Oregon?
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Old 05-21-15, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JDR76 View Post
Where in Oregon?
Southern. Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass area
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Old 05-21-15, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Salted View Post
Southern. Medford/Ashland/Grants Pass area
Ah, that's much more difficult. Let me ask around.
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Old 05-21-15, 01:26 PM
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My method for finding a good body shop is to go into one of the big BMW forums and look in the regional forum for your area. Those BMW drivers are always wrecking their cars and needing body work and paint.

Seriously, this is how I found one of the best body shops in Silicon Valley when a teenage girl ran into the back of my SUV.
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Old 05-22-15, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PondScum View Post
My method for finding a good body shop is to go into one of the big BMW forums and look in the regional forum for your area. Those BMW drivers are always wrecking their cars and needing body work and paint.
LOL this is exactly how I found a few decent body shops in my area too.
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Old 05-27-15, 01:52 PM
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Tried looking in BMW forums but haven't had much luck seeing anything in my area.

Maybe I'm missing the right ones. Which ones did you guys check?

If anybody knows anything about body work / painting w/ pearlescents, what are the right questions to ask and what answers should I expect to hear to them?

Thanks.

p.s. If anyone has any recs of really good body shops in OR or Northern CA feel free to post here or PM me. : )
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Old 05-28-15, 03:32 PM
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This may sound weird, but my advice would be to interview the shop foreman and/or owners of as many shops as you can find. Craftsmen love to talk about their craft. You don't want someone thinks of you as the next estimate he needs to get done, or someone that is all about profit and loss, or getting you in and out so they can move on to the next guy. You want someone that is passionate about paint and thinks of your car as a challenge. Then make sure they know you are also passionate and knowledgeable about your paint, and that you WILL see any flaws and hold them accountable. It worked for me!

I bet this would work for finding good detailers, too. Right Zach? You're passionate about your craft!
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Old 06-21-15, 05:14 PM
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Good luck. Pearl paint is much more difficult to match than regular flat colors. Some questions to ask:

How many coats of base? How many coats of pearl? How many coats of clear coat? What kind of clear coat do they use? There are three stages of clear coat. The first is the really cheap kind that is mixed in with the last coat of paint that is sprayed on. Then there is the typical stuff that I would consider middle grade that almost everyone uses....... Then there is the clear coat that's $800 a quart..... high dollar stuff but also tough as diamonds. This stuff is resistant to rock chips but not very many shops will use it due to cost as most people are not going to double their cost for a superior product.

The key to a good job is in the prep work. The actual spraying of paint usually goes smoothly. If the shop doesn't prep between coats you won't notice until a few years down the line when your pait job starts to fail. They should lightly wet sand between coats to allow the next layer of paint to bite onto something.

The final stage of paint should match so closely you shouldn't be able to tell a difference. Ask the painter if they screw up on the pearl will they own up to it and fix it? Respray if necessary to make it right? How good are they to backing their workmanship?

The quotes you get will cost more because it's a pearl paint and don't skimp on the cheap side. It takes time to do it right and we all know the saying time = money. You should be able to get the paint code fairly easily. I would recommend PPG paint as its one of the better ones on the market. The dealer will not have paint to buy. Only touchup paint.
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Old 06-21-15, 05:16 PM
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Good luck. Pearl paint is much more difficult to match than regular flat colors. Some questions to ask:

How many coats of base? How many coats of pearl? How many coats of clear coat? What kind of clear coat do they use? There are three stages of clear coat. The first is the really cheap kind that is mixed in with the last coat of paint that is sprayed on. Then there is the typical stuff that I would consider middle grade that almost everyone uses....... Then there is the clear coat that's $800 a quart..... high dollar stuff but also tough as diamonds. This stuff is resistant to rock chips but not very many shops will use it due to cost as most people are not going to double their cost for a superior product.

The key to a good job is in the prep work. The actual spraying of paint usually goes smoothly. If the shop doesn't prep between coats you won't notice until a few years down the line when your pait job starts to fail. They should lightly wet sand between coats to allow the next layer of paint to bite onto something.

The final stage of paint should match so closely you shouldn't be able to tell a difference. Ask the painter if they screw up on the pearl will they own up to it and fix it? Respray if necessary to make it right? How good are they to backing their workmanship?

The quotes you get will cost more because it's a pearl paint and don't skimp on the cheap side. It takes time to do it right and we all know the saying time = money. You should be able to get the paint code fairly easily. I would recommend PPG paint as its one of the better ones on the market. The dealer will not have paint to buy. Only touchup paint.
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