What Honda Says About Replicating Factory Paint Finishes in Statesville

Honda accord

The paint on our vehicle is the first thing we notice so it tends to be the most popular concern when it comes to our collision repair. Modern cars continue to have improved technologies even including the paint finishes. This means quality paint finishes are more complex and involved when it comes to replicating the original paint finish. Not all collision repair facilities are the same or go to the extent we do at Statesville Collision Center to make sure you receive the best paint finish that wont fade, chip or crack.

Each paint manufacturer has their own processes and technique for the paint finishes on their vehicles. This is why each manufacturer has published guidelines and recommendations to replicate their paint finishes during a collision repair. For example, Honda released guidelines in their self-published Body Repair News and instructed repairers on how to deal with corrosion protection for Honda vehicles.

We outline the highlights of the guidelines here for you to provide a simplified breakdown so you know what to expect when having your Honda, or any other vehicle brand, repaired.

Honda says: “Stone chips are a leading cause of corrosion hot spots.”

Anti-chip primer

What Honda says:

A good, quality collision repair shop will always reference the OEM repair procedures before doing any prep work, paint or primer projects. This is important so the painter working on your vehicle knows exactly where to apply the anti-chip primer. These OEM procedures will also outline the steps the ensure sufficient protection.

“Each paint manufacturer has its own formulation for matching the durability of the factory anti-chip primer, some call for additional sealers in these areas. Some call for an increased mil thickness of the clear coat. And some call for catalyzation of the base coat. Always check with your paint manufacturer for recommendations of products and procedures.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Every car manufacturer has their own list of preferred auto paint providers approved to use for repairs on their own brand of vehicles. In addition, every auto body repair shop uses their own painting “system” or equipment which is made by and purchased directly from the auto paint provider or manufacturer. The most popular system and paint providers are Akzo Nobel, BASF, Sherwin Williams, and PPG.

Every paint provider has their own unique paint formulation, much like each different auto manufacturer designs their cars differently. Honda specifies that as long as repairers follow the outlined paint system directions in the guidelines, the final repair will be compliant with Honda’s recommendation. Depending on the system used, it may mean additional applications of a sealer or needing to apply more layers of the clear coat.

What Honda Says: If the paint manufacturer doesn’t have such a procedure, then repairers should spray light coats of 2K primer surfacer/sealer, allowing appropriate flash time between coats until a thickness of 20 microns (0.79 Mils) is achieved. You can’t just cut corners and use Honda’s formula instead of putting in the time to research the paint manufacturer’s.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

There are times when there is no formal written process available, however a protocol and strict process should still be followed. Using a clear step by step procedure will ensure cleanliness and a quality paint repair. Honda feels so strongly about this fact that they specifically state not to cut corners. You would think this should go without saying, but you would be shocked how many body shops do not follow procedures and do cut corners.

Paint Thickness

What Honda Says: “The main purpose of refinishing products is to protect the surface from corrosion,” Honda wrote. “To accomplish this, the proper mil thickness must be achieved.”

“Refer to your paint manufacturer for minimum and maximum mil thickness recommendations. A digital mil thickness gauge must be used to ensure these recommendations are followed.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Honda stipulates that all body shops use a mil gauge to make sure that there is enough paint thickness on the car. The reason for this mil gauge is because paint thickness can not be seen with the naked eye. This tool is hand held and provides a reading that in this case is 20 microns or .79 mils is the recommendation.

Intermediate chip guard

A chip guard is that rough-looking surface usually body-colored down near the rocker panels. It almost looks like a pick up truck bed liner, and it is designed to protect the bottom of the rocker panels from rock chips that will cause rust. You probably never noticed it before, but it is an important finish to replicate and to replicate it exactly to manufacturer specifications.

What Honda Says:

Intermediate chip guard helps prevent chipping damage from flying stones and is commonly applied to the side sill areas of the vehicle. It is a chloride vinyl resin material that is granular in appearance and applied between 100 and 200 microns thick (4 to 8 Mils).

Matching the factory-applied function and appearance may take practice and use of multiple spray-out panels. Never apply chip guard over bare metal.

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

This means that as repairers, we need to create a few test spray panels (spray outs) in order to achieve the same exact finish that your car has. Also, the chip guard has to be applied over painted surfaces.

Protective tape

Another thing you may not have noticed at the corners of some the lower panels of your car is what looks like clear tape. It may seem odd but it is there for good reason and Honda specifies its replacement if a repair is required in those areas.This is not there on accident. Honda specifically says that clear tape should be reapplied if a repair needs to be performed to that area.

What Honda Says:

According to Honda, the clear protective tape must be replaced if removed on some of its models. This tape is usually located in areas like the “lower doors, the dogleg area of rear outer panels, and the fenders.”

“It is important to remove and replace the tape anytime a panel is repaired, refinished, or replaced,” Honda wrote. “Refer to the applicable service information for the location of the tape and the application procedure. … Never paint over the protection tape.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

This is a simple step where a collision repair shop might cut a corner to save money at the expense of the customer. But even something as simple as some protective tape can be omitted or improperly installed, even painted over, all of which are incorrect procedures.

Statesville Collision Center is among only 10 percent of collision repair businesses to achieve Gold Class status, whereas shops that are not Gold Class may train minimally or not at all. Gold Class shops are trained on how to fix your vehicle right; on what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced; and on how to see hidden damage you may not see. 

We never cut corners because a complete, safe, accurate repair is our priority. Your safe repair is what you deserve. If you’d like to schedule an appointment or to get an online quote, click any of the buttons below! Or, feel free to give us a call at (704) 881-0410. We look forward to hearing from you!