Everything there is to know about our paint service…

Everything there is to know about our paint service…

Unless you have been living under a rock for the better part of a decade, you’ve probably noticed by now that the cars on our roads are getting flashier and fancier each year. This is probably due to the ever increasing demand for more sophisticated, luxurious and more powerful machines to get us about.

The most popular method of sprucing up a car is most obviously touching up the exterior, car manufacturers absolutely love adding touches of chrome wherever they can and they have become overly confident in the use of bright, exotic colours to match.

An extremely popular addition to cars over the past couple of decades is to paint the wing mirrors; whilst a simple change, it makes a huge difference to an area of the vehicle we always look at. Gone are the days where wing mirrors were an unsightly lump of black plastic hanging off the side of your stunningly elegant BMW E36 or MK1 Volkswagen Golf.

Instead, vehicle manufacturers have elected a more striking approach by either colour-coding wing mirrors to match the car for a stylish and executive look OR attacking them with chrome, carbon fibre and two-toned paints.

Look at Citroen’s current range for example, nearly 80% of their current offering includes a two-toned wing mirrors & roof, making a plain, boring (some may say ugly) car into a wildly attractive unusual machine.

This doesn’t mean that vehicle manufacturers have made it easy to repair however! Like the majority of luxuries in our life right now, repairing your vehicle is becoming more expensive with each mile, what used to be a simple “unsightly lump of black plastic”, cheap to manufacture, cheap to replace has become a flairish painted wing mirror with lights that shine to the floor as you open your door and automatic folding when you park up; yes, we absolutely love the new look and the fancy technology, but can we really be expected to fork-out a small fortune just to replace a single item on our cars?

The best yet is that the majority of dealerships don’t even offer this like-for-like service. An unfortunate sign of the times, over the past decade the all-in-one dealership solution is becoming increasingly rare, opting instead for super dealerships in high profile or heavily dense areas meaning when you drop-in to buy a part for your car, more times than not, they will not have it available for a week and better yet, if you ask them to paint it, they may as well show you the door.

Take for example, Evans Halshaw, one of the largest vehicle sales conglomerates in the UK right now with over 100 locations, only 8 have internal body shops equipped to complete paint repair or refurbishment.

This ultimately leaves you with an unfinished, unpainted wing mirror which cannot be fitted to your car immediately, instead forcing you to either become a self-taught automotive body specialist with a (nearly) accurate spray-can OR spend an arm and a leg finding a local body specialist and asking them to paint a tiny slither of plastic in their probably already overwhelming schedule.

This is why, way back in 2006, we decided there has to be a better approach. Unlike the vast majority of part suppliers in the UK, we wanted to offer something unique which actually improved the purchasing process when buying a replacement car part.

So we got together and decided to open our very own in-house spray-booth and by employing ex-dealer trained body specialists, our paint service was born.

We now have an expertly managed professional paint team on-site painting hundreds of orders on a weekly basis! Almost 40% of all items leaving our warehouse are now pre-painted to order and we expect this to grow significantly as our cars become flashier.

To demonstrate exactly how we get this done, we bribed our head paint technician, Paul, to give a live demonstration to our photographer, if your interested in how we do this, take a look below and enjoy!

Step 1: Paul completes all his “pre-painting” checks and verifies the colour, colour code and finish.

Step 2: Paul will then complete a sanding of the item in several stages to ensure a smooth, blemish free surface; perfect for accepting paint.

Step 3: Paul then removes any residual dust using a lint free cotton cloth leaving the surface perfectly prepped.

Step 4: Paul finally cleans the primed area ensuring that no dirt or dust remains which would affect the final finish.

Step 5: This step is a little bit of magic, we then use your vehicle registration number to retrieve the exact colour code and formulation for your vehicle (Yes, it is possible!) from our state of the art paint-tec database which is linked universally to vehicle manufactures and is constantly updated.

Step 6: This step is also a little magic, almost alchemical! Paul would then use the formulation provided by our paint-tec system to carefully select the exact colours and tints required to create your colour. Who knew a purple tint would be used to make a dark blue?

Step 7: It is mixing time! Paul then carefully mixes the paint, being sure to add the right tints and colours at the right time to create the perfect silky finish we need!

Step 8: The mixed formula is then inserted into a high pressure hydraulic spray-gun which applies a small layer of paint evenly across the primed surface.

Step 9: Then we wait! And yes, It really is as interesting as watching paint dry. Not really! Our dual-purpose spray-booth also doubles as an industrial induction oven which increases the internal temperature and “bakes” the items, quickly drying the paint and solidifying it to the surface.

Step 10 : Once completely dried, a protective layer of paint lacquer is applied, this secures the paint, provides the gloss finish we want and provides a longer lasting brightness to the item, otherwise affected by sun starching and weather.

Step 11: The item is then checked for blemishes and packed away into its box ready for sending to our customer!

We complete this service day-in day-out and have done for over 15 years, we are the experts! Better yet, because of our high volumes, you do not pay the excess that you would at a local body specialist, we charge flat rates based on the surface area of an item and do not charge any additional fees for unusual, hard to replicate or expensive paint finishes, this is all included in one set cost.

Whether your car is bright green or dull black, the cost is the same and the time it takes to complete is the same!

So next time you forget that fence post is there and demolish your wing mirror, give us a visit, a one-stop solution, an alternative to the increasingly frustrating rigmarole of dealership service.