BMW April 2022

There are many things about coatings that can be described as “fake news”. Let us take a look three myths that need to be dispelled.

Myth No 1

You can mix different brands of paint together, they’re all the same really.

We’ve all heard that it happens – and maybe you’ve seen it in practice, where workshops are trying to save some money. Or perhaps it’s simply that they’ve run out of a specific paint and still have the repair to finish. The fact is that brands of paints are all different. What’s more, they’re normally part of a system that includes primer, basecoat and clearcoat – all designed to complement each other to provide the optimum finish and warranty.

Besides the effect on performance and durability, mixing different paints means the result cannot be guaranteed. If a customer complains about a repair that has been completed using a mixture of paint brands the warranty will be void and the body shop will potentially be responsible for the full cost of reworking the repair.

Myth No 2

The more paint you apply, the more you can get away with – and the better it looks.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, the skilled and fully trained paint technicians will know the implications of this. Motor manufacturers only use the required amount of paint layers, because they understand that’s the way to get the best and most durable finish. By applying too much paint, the finish will not replicate the motor manufacturer OE finish and the more layers applied the longer it will take to cure.

At the end of the recommended bake time the paint system will not have cured sufficiently, leaving it prone to defects and rework.

By over-applying paint on a vehicle, the potential risk will increase, which can lead to numerous defects. This is especially so on body panels where excessive paint layers can mean less robust. So, when you over-apply the paint, you simply increase the problems and the cost of the repair.

Myth No 3

PPE and health regulations are more of a nuisance than they’re worth.

It’s amazing how many people are irresponsible about wearing the proper PPE and following best practice for spraying. If you’re not wearing the correct PPE for applying today’s paint materials, then you’re leaving yourself open to developing potential health problems such as asthma and dermatitis.

Another common belief is that clearance times in the spray booth are a waste of time. Far from it. If you open the booth door before the recommended time has elapsed, you’re not only putting your own health at risk, but the health of the rest of the workshop team, too. Even if you can’t see the overspray in the atmosphere, it is there and by opening the spray booth doors any overspray will be released into the workshop.

A good example of this is when the paint technicians start applying primer in the open workshop. Making decisions like this affects the health of everyone around them.

It is surprising how many people take their health for granted, especially these days when our working lives are getting longer and longer.

Hopefully this round-up of the common body shop myths will help people be more aware of what is right, and what’s certainly not. It should be a reminder to us all how to work professionally, skilfully and safely at all times.