It may not be as simple as you think to get the paint on your classic car to look just right.

Upon completion of most restoration projects, the classic car is given a brand-new coat of paint to celebrate its reintroduction to the public.

Even if the majority of the paintwork is in good condition, there will always be those who are adamant about keeping the vehicle’s original color by having it resprayed.

No one anticipates a new paint job to look good next to one that’s at least twenty years old. There will be rust and embedded Custom Wheels & Tires dirt in the paint. The sun may have bleached it. Additionally, some of the panels may have been repainted more recently.

These well-meaning efforts almost always end up costing more than they would have otherwise, however, due to the difficulty of precisely replicating the original paint colors. Mismatched paint colors are a common source of homeowner frustration. A costly makeover has the potential to look sloppy and thrown together.

Spending the time and energy to carefully match paint colors will be time and effort well spent.

At first glance, matching existing paintwork may appear easy, and it should be if the right steps are taken. The first step is to choose a color; as anyone who has seen a movie can attest, there are literally hundreds of variations on every hue.

Because of this, it is crucial to have as much specific information as possible about the existing paint color before visiting a paint store.

Look for the vehicle identification number (VIN)plate, which is typically located in the engine compartment, for the most reliable information.

The Vehicle Identification Number is comprised of 17 different pieces of information (digits and letters) that are all specific to a single vehicle. It unlocks a treasure trove of genetic data, including the color code.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a crucial piece of information for any restorer looking to accurately match an existing paint job.

Finding the code isn’t the end of the paint matching hunt. In most cases, it has just begun.

The reason for this is that formulas used to make paint are frequently updated:

Under perfect lighting conditions, two cans of the same paint may appear to be identical. Different colors may absorb different amounts of light, leading to different reflections in different lighting conditions.

Always bring a sample of the “original” paint color with you to avoid this, but be careful to avoid areas that have been resprayed throughout the car’s history.

Finding the best answer requires the full car as much as possible.

If the VIN can’t be found, the friendly folks at the car manufacturer’s owner’s club might be able to help. Colors used and when they were used on particular models will be documented in the archives maintained by many of these organizations.

Choosing a paint shop that has good mixing equipment is a big step toward getting a professional finish.

These businesses have access to state-of-the-art equipment that allows them to precisely match a vehicle’s paint job, and they hire experts who are eager to use their expertise to make necessary adjustments to the color using time-tested methods.

These details, while often overlooked, are crucial for a seamless paint job and restoration.

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