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crashtestdummy 05-20-2012 07:52 PM

question on paint flip flop and color matching B106 saffron yellow
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I have a 2005 Lotus Elise saffron yellow (B106 paint code)that was involved in a hit and run. The damages were to the right side door and lower rocker panel. I took it to the most recommended collision center in the Louisville, KY area and they cannot match the door. This place works on Mercedes, Ferraris, Porsches, etc. and I have seen their work and it seems to be top notch. I had three spots in the back of the vehicle that were spotted in and a spot under the right side door repaired and you cannot tell that anything was ever repaired. I requested the shop to paint the door and not blend it. I would really rather not have the whole side of the vehicle painted, especially now that they canít get the color to match. This vehicle is in excellent condition. I know that paint fades over time exposed to the sun but after every drive, this car gets washed and hand dried. I will then drive it around the block to knock any potential surface rust off of the rotors from the wash. I will then dry the new waster spots, pull it in to the garage. Once in the garage it gets plugged into a battery tender and covered until the next outing. This vehicle does not see the rain. This vehicle is in excellent condition. I gave the paint code(B106) and paint manufacturer(DuPont) to the collision center from the get go (appox 9 months ago). The collision center has painted a new and old door several times and just canít seem to get it right, or even close IMHO even though each time I am told this one is the best yet. I am being told now they have another shade but they want to paint the side of the vehicle and blend the front end. When looking at the door it looks kind of gray or a shade off. The door looks close in sunlight but horrible inside under the lights. I have even asked if they are painting/priming it first with a white base coat. I am being told that the reason it looks off is due to the flip flop of the paint. I understand the flip flop effect of the paint, and would have more patience if it were pearlescent but why canít they get the door to match the rest of the vehicle? Again, they spotted it in and it looks great at any angle. I really do not want to give them the go ahead to paint the complete side and front section if it is not the right color. I understand that they can fade it but I will still have the right side of my car the wrong color or shade just faded to not notice it as much. I donít know what to do at this point? I greatly appreciate any advice and insight to my situation.

attached is a profile of the vehicle.

MARTINSR 05-20-2012 09:49 PM

Is this color a pearl or metallic? If it is a solid color without pearl or metallic it can't "flip flop", it can have a case looking different from an angle but it isn't a "flip flop" that only happens with metallics or pearls.

"Panel painting" a door in the middle of a car is asking a lot but if it is a solid color they should be able to pull it off. A pearl or metallic, this is a BIG request.

The difference inside under lights or outside under sun light is understandable and hard to eliminate but not impossible. It's caused by a condition called "metamerism". You now how a color can change under certain light? You have seen this I'm sure. I remember we had some super yellow street lights in town on one street and my bright red truck would be absolutely hideous brown under them, this was caused by metamerism.

Color is being "killed" or neutralized by the light from the light source.

Ok, so you know this happens right? Well when you have two panels painted by a different paint company, you are going to have different formulas that created those colors. The different formulas will likely have different toners making up the color. Well the color may look the same under white light, but if the light is yellowed or blued as most every light isn't "white" those toners that are in the two "colors" (the new and the old paint) are being affected differently by the light because of the different colors within the color.

Whew, I think I confused myself with that one.

I have to tell you, it is the norm to blend, if the panels are prepared properly there is nothing wrong with it. I know I feel the same way as to not paint more of the car than what is really needed. I use to be a nut on that and would spend a LOT of time (too darn much time) matching colors so I could panel paint cars. But I have to tell you, if your car is a basecoat clearcoat, why worry about the fender and quarter having another coat of paint and clear on it? I know we don't WANT it to, as building up paint makes it more likely to chip easier. But man, if it's done properly it will hold up pretty well.

They "spotted it" right? THAT was blending. To "panel paint" the door in the side of a car is REALLY asking a lot. The hood, the decklid, you can get a way with murder. But a door in the middle of the car, that is a BIGGIE to pull off.

If they paint that door over and over because they can't pull of the color that is building up a bunch of paint and clear on that door too.

The thing is, can you find someone who CAN match the color for you, it's going to be a battle "forcing" someone who isn't capable (or they would have already done it) to match the color properly.


delawarebill 05-21-2012 07:53 AM

flip flop paint
i agree with martin.. a friend of mine owns an opel gt fully custom.. two times he's had someone hit his car, even thought is was very small damage the custom painter tried but failed to match and fully painted the car both times..

crashtestdummy 05-22-2012 05:33 AM

Brian, To my knowledge it is a base coat clearcoat paint with no additives. I would definitely understand these problems with metal flake or pearl.

MARTINSR 05-22-2012 10:47 AM

Things have changed so much in the last decade when it comes to color matches. Painters blend EVERYTHING and don't spend the time they once spent matching colors. Back when I was a young whipper snapper I walked to work up hill both ways in the snow, with no shoes. :D

Honestly, it has REALLY changed. When I was new to this business you got ONE formula and YOU matched it by hand to get it closer. Then came base/coat clear coat and blending became much more acceptable. Blend into the next panel became the norm. But even then we blended within the panel much more than they do now. I would blend a fender to hood with only a few inches, they simply don't do this anymore, the hood will get blended.

But it really went nuts when the paint manufacturers started offering "alternates" or "variants". They will have as much as 10-12 or even more formulas for the same color! The auto manufacturing hasn't changed, there were always varying shades of the same color because of different "batches" of color that was sold to the manufacturer. It's understandable that a 55 gallon drum of paint sold by PPG in January is going to be a different shade of color than another 55 gallon mixed up a year later and sent to the factory to paint cars. Those variants were matched by the painter a few decades ago, he tinted those colors and made them blendable or panel paintable close.

Now, the average painter has lost that skill because the paint manufacturer provides a bunch of "alternates". Today "matching" a color by the typical painters skills is simply picking the closest alternate formula! They have lost the skills needed to actually match the colors.

I had no color chips of your Lotus but these are four variants of a yellow for a Ford that will give you an idea. These are all the "same" color code. My cheapie camera didn't do it Justice, all four look pretty different and not even close to good enough for a panel paint of your door in the middle of the side of that car. It would stand out like a sore thumb with any of these colors.

I am thinking, you car is going to be blended to make you happy with the match.


swvalcon 05-22-2012 01:14 PM

I would think If a guy were to sand and mask the whole side then paint the door and rocker blending out the paint and clear coat the whole side it would take a body guy with a real sharp eye to see a difference in color. Any one else would never know it had been touched. THe days of panel painting are over unless it a black or maybe some whites.

MARTINSR 05-22-2012 01:31 PM

Since they took the carbon out of the back back in the late seventies there is no such thing as "Black" so the "black" formula will have many toners in it just like every other color.

And you are right on the money, if it's blended properly even another pro will see nothing.


crashtestdummy 05-22-2012 01:38 PM

Ok, lets say we paint the whole side, what about the color/shade not matching? It just wont matter since you cant see the other side/right color?

How far back and forward do you think will need to be blended?

MARTINSR 05-22-2012 02:12 PM

Don't worry about how much or how far because that is the painters job, to create illusion so you don't know where it starts or stops. The quarter, the rocker, the hood and the lower fender extension will all have to be blended.

If done properly every component that is bolted to those panels comes off, the bumpers, lights, scoop grilles, ect.

The entire panel is prepaired by scuffing it lightly. The door is painted then the color is brought out onto those adjacent panels. Then all the panels are cleared.

It does sound crazy I know, why not just match the color? I am telling you the facts, most shops don't have a guy who can match colors as close as you would need. It simply isn't part of the deal anymore, it has evolved into what I described and blending is the norm. When you replace a door on a Mini Cooper you have to do the same thing, blend the quarter, the rocker, the hood, the fender ext, and the cowl panel where the wipers are. No one questions a thing, the insurance pay without so much as a blink of an eye, this is where we have gone. And if your shop is a quality shop they will have a life time warrantee on everything they do so that paint will have a longer warrantee than Lotus gives. :D


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