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View Poll Results: Does painting a plastic piece and a metal piece produce two different colors?
Yes, it does produce a different color 3 33.33%
No it doesn't ever happen. 3 33.33%
Yes, it happens but it is all due to application. 2 22.22%
You really have to screw up to have it. 2 22.22%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-17-2008, 02:50 PM
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Painting plastic produces a different color, myth?

We have all heard it, thought it, or said it, “The color is different because the part is plastic and the color will change compared to the metal part”. I have thought about this and I feel it is bs, we are kidding ourselves if we “accept” a poor color match because the part is plastic or fiberglass or what ever. The plastic parts on a car like deck lid trim or pillar mouldings that are plastic don’t match the original paint because they weren’t even painted by the cars manufacture! The manufacture has outside companies make most every part on the car, then all they do is assemble it. The sheet metal is usually stamped by the manufacture, that is about it for “making” the parts. The interior pieces, even something like the frame on a Toyota pickup is made by an outside vendor. The bumpers in these pictures were made by an outside vendor, paint and all. So, of course the color isn’t going to be right on, sometimes it is horrible like the ones in the photos. These photos were taken on brand new cars on the lot. I didn’t have any at work to take pictures of at the time. But we get brand new Toyotas from Toyota that haven’t even been to a dealer, hot off the line with bumpers that match like this. I specifically went looking for that light green color, that is one of the worse matching ever for the bumpers.




So, if we believe the old argument “it’s plastic, of course the color will different”. We will hear the plastic part “takes” the paint different as if we are to believe the plastic has some say so or something. “Hold on here, I want this paint to be a little lighter” the plastic says forcibly.
Why is it the cars that are made from different materials aren’t all different colors?
How about the Camaro in the photo? It has a “plastic” front fender, an SMC (fiberglass) door and a sheetmetal quarter. Why isn’t this car three different colors? If you believe that plastic or SMC “takes” paint differently, they would be.



How about this Cad, it has a plastic front fender (this one has a chunk taken out of it). This fender should be a different color, but as you can see it matches perfectly.


No, I don’t believe that plastic or SMC or what ever “takes” the color any differently. I can understand if the plastic is at a different temp, that makes sense. The metallic would “stand” differently on the panel if it was a different temp. If you were to pull a car in the booth and turn the heat on, the different materials would absorb the heat at different rates and could produce a different light tone, but not a different “color”. If the car was totally warmed so every panel was the same, the colors are going to be the same, in my opinion.

Again, this is my opinion, what changes the colors and shades is the plastic part has a different substrate color, or the application of the paint is different in some way. This is just human nature, you have some plastic part on a rack in the booth with the car and after you apply a coat on the car you turn around and apply it to the plastic. You are likely to apply it heavier or lighter to the plastic part. But often, as with bumpers the thing is a different color, it’s black primer or plastic. The painter applies the paint over it, applying a few more coats than on the body, thinking it is making it the same, the spray out test card looks good. But the black substrate has produced a different final color.

So, what do you all think? This has perplexed me for years hearing the plastic “takes” paint differently and the subject came up again at work the other day, this is why I bring it up now.

Brian

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Old 03-17-2008, 03:08 PM
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Just my take on this but we know from sad and sorry that if we use say gray primer on the hood and red oxide on the fenders then shoot our base the hood and fenders will show a bit different shade of color in the final..

I think that Gm is paying attention to substrate color so the final is uniform all over the car..When we do custom all overs we use or at least I do a seal coat of epoxy primer in a suitable color all over the car to get a uniform base substrate color to apply our base to..that way it turns out uniform in the final..Perhaps some of the other OEM's are not paying as much attention to this detail..

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Old 03-17-2008, 09:26 PM
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There's absolutely no difference in color or metalic orientation if both the plastic and metal parts are sprayed with the same paint, same panel temp, gun, etc.... I totally agree with Brian on this.
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Old 03-17-2008, 10:06 PM
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i agree with you too brian...

sound like some BS story a body shop would tell John Q Public to see if they could pass off a bad panel match...

the COLOR is in the paint....
i don't think the plastic is smart enough to tell the paint to change colors...
i also don't think the paint is dumb enough to listen to the plastic...

i'm no body guy but that's my 2 cents...
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:19 AM
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My Toyota Camry had bumpers that matched when I bought it
when it was 3 yrs old, within a couple of years they aged differently
and didn't match at all. And the car was kept in the garage most
of the time. That car prooved to me that it was an ageing problem
with that car with the notorious gold that bumpers always looked
different on.
They did match the first 3 yrs of the car.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:58 AM
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Now, that is an interesting point Jim. Did the plastic have something to do with it, or was the paint different? Again, it is painted by an outside vendor, and not Toyota at all. When Toyota does this they run that company with an iron fist, sometimes even owning it. I would assume they have all say so in the products it is painted with. However, just being plastic, it may be a completely different product than the car was painted with.

The variables are so high, the changing of the color is anyones guess.

Brian
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:32 PM
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Some of the color differences on the factory stuff is that they are not the same type of paint. The bodies are painted with thermo cure paint which has to be baked to cure and plastics or not as they would melt. That is why I think they are different color when coming from the factory. However when properly sprayed in a shop the metal parts and the plastic parts will come out the same color. They only way I have found that You get a color shift is if the bumper is not sprayed at the right angle(like it goes against the adjacent panels and if when installed the bumper cover of plastic part does not fit quite right and is at a different angle causing what I call I side tone. BUT this only happens when using pearls and metallics. Of course if the paint does not match the car then you are shooting your self in the foot. The only other Way I would say is if there is not enough paint applied or the color primer on the bumper or plastic part is different than the metal parts. JMO Tim
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Now, that is an interesting point Jim. Did the plastic have something to do with it, or was the paint different? Again, it is painted by an outside vendor, and not Toyota at all. When Toyota does this they run that company with an iron fist, sometimes even owning it. I would assume they have all say so in the products it is painted with. However, just being plastic, it may be a completely different product than the car was painted with.

The variables are so high, the changing of the color is anyones guess.

Brian
I would guess the undercoat had a play in this scenerio, remember the peelers of the 90's and how the paint degraded at different rates?
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:30 PM
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The lady from Progressive has told all my customers that this is true.
So why should they pay for blend time?

So it has to be true - right?

Larry
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:41 PM
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I don't want to highjack this thread but it had to say this.....I dunno what progressive you got but send your adjuster down here cause they refuse to blend when it involves a bumper covers here. Hell those guys wont even pay you to refinish a whole panel they call what they pay "modified refinish" which is like 1/3 of regular time.


They supposed to pay blend for this reason...The paint manufacturers match paint and it is called a blend-able match. They do not recommend panel matching(paint a panel without blending to the next one for a match) . I think what we are talking about is when you are painting both a metal panel and a plastic part at the same time with the same paint . When you get into paint matching and blends you are opening up a whole new can of worms.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:04 PM
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two words... flex additive

When the flex additive cures out the color will change..
When the flex additive is there it looks darker ...
When the flex additive isn't used and it matches it's called perfection
When the flex additive isn't used and the work order says it will be it's called insurance fraud.
When the color doesn't match cause it was painted off the car with or without flex additive and not blended it's called profit margin.





If you want it right you have to do it yourself .
hence,

Yes, it does produce a different color

Last edited by milo; 03-18-2008 at 09:10 PM. Reason: found the other pic :thumbup:
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:56 PM
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I'm hoping people understand that my previous post was sarcastic.

Flex additives were probably a good excuse a decade ago. But there is no reason to use them anymore. Todays clears are made to provide great flexability without any additive.

When I paint a plastic piece and a metal piece from the same can, they are the same color.

Many people can benefit from having an excuse why a plastic part doesn't match the rest of the car. The bumper supplier can have an excuse, the car company can have an excuse, the refinish paint company can have and excuse, the body shop can have an excuse, the insurance company can have an excuse.

So let's get real. The reason bumpers don't match on new cars is because they are painted at a different place, with different techniques, from a different batch of paint, under different conditions. The reason that a bumper cover replaced at a shop is a different color is because the paint wasn't an exact match and wasn't blended into the surrounding areas. If a cover and fender are painted at the same time and are properly prepped, they will freaking match.

But it's certainly easier and cheaper for lots of people to pretend that color matching a bumper is impossible because of the substrate.

Larry
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:51 PM
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The reason Insurance companies don't want to pay for a complete front clip blend when replacing a bumper cover is because most bumper covers don't match perfectly from the factory. Shop's should point this out to their customer (the car owner) before the work begins. And the shop should be charging (supplement) for the necessary tint/color match time to get it dialed in for a factory level match. Blend operations aren't very profitable considering the time and materials involved and horizontal panels (hoods) can be a challenge for some painters. Some colors are easier than others, and I've seen some so tough that blending was the only option to get the job done. Ever notice with some paint brands there's a few colors that just don't work no matter what tuning is done but you can order the same colors from another paint line and have them hit right on? The newer GM color with the Harlequin type pigment is one I see painter's fight with regularly-GM's brilliant idea... The sad part is most car owners never notice the difference in color match from the time they purchase the car new to when it gets wrecked-but for some reason they spot the slightest color difference after the repairs are made. Educate your customers before the repairs begin and if the color can't be tinted for an acceptable match make sure to get a supplement sent in to the Insurance company for the needed blend time, keep your spray out test cards if the Insurance company wants proof of the color match attempt.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:59 AM
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Bob.... You're right on the money. The insurance company owes to put the owner's vehicle back to "pre-accident condition". When I was an insurance adjuster, and also as a shop estimator, I used to point out the color difference when writing the estimates. It was explained that the shop would try to match the surrounding areas as close as they can, but that there was not an "exact match" before. The owners were usually surprised that those pieces didn't match in the first place, as it was the first time they had seen that. There was not normally a problem with the customers when doing it that way.

Now, if the vehicle had been completely painted before, and the stuff matched, then the insurance company owes to pay for a blend if necessary. Since it basically takes as much work to blend as paint a complete panel, and you have to deal with all the rock chips on the front of the vehicle, it really isn't very profitable to blend every vehicle anyway.

Aaron
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:13 PM
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The shop i was last in had brochures provided by PPG that were to be given to the customer to explain why bumpers or plastic parts might not match the rest of the car.
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