What is involved in auto paint repair? If you need to take your car in for body work, you might be curious about the process your car will undergo while it’s at the body shop.
Whether you are having something relatively simple done, such as car paint scratch repair, or a more involved job such as body work, paint perfecting, or a complete repaint, the basic steps are the same: prep, body work as needed, primer, paint, and clear coat.


Before any work can be done, your car must be prepped. In most cases, this means washing the car thoroughly and sanding the area to be worked on. If you are just having car paint scratch repair done, this might only mean filling the scratch and sanding the immediate area to disguise a deep scratch. Other things that are done in preparation include stripping the car of emblems, trim, and anything else that can easily be removed so that it doesn’t get in the way during painting.

Body Work

Whether your car simply needs a few scratches repaired, or multiple panels from a fender bender, some amount of body work will likely need to be done. Even just a repaint will look best if filler is used first to make all the panels straight — shiny new paint will show every little dent on your car.
Generally, body work entails using filler and sanding to create a perfectly smooth surface for painting. If you are just having car paint scratch repair done, this might only mean filling the scratch and sanding the immediate area to disguise a deep scratch. A fender bender, on the other hand, might require more filler and sanding. Entire panels might need to be replaced if the damage is bad enough.
If you have rust, that will need to be taken care of at this point too. If it’s just a little bit of surface rust, it can usually be ground down and filler used to make the panel straight again. In the worst case scenario, the auto paint repair specialist might need to weld new metal in or replace the entire panel.


Once the body work is done, the car will be masked and painted. There are three separate layers of paint that will need to be applied — primer, topcoat, and clear coat — and every coat needs time to dry before the next can be applied.

  • Primer: This is your bottom layer. Primer serves to fill any minor imperfections you might have missed, and helps the paint to stick to the metal.
  • Topcoat: The colored paint is the thickest layer and will require the most coats.
  • Clear coat: The very top layer is a clear lacquer that serves to protect the colored paint underneath. It is thanks to your clear coat that surface scratches and other minor imperfections can be polished out to restore your car’s original finish.

Finishing Touches

Once paint has been applied, any trim that was removed will be put back on, and your car will be returned to you — now with its damage repaired and a shiny new coat of paint! Be sure to ask the auto paint repair specialist how long you must wait before you can wax your car. The paint needs to cure, so you should not wax it too soon — but applying a coat of wax once you are able to will help protect the new paint job.
ColorMate Auto Appearance Specialists provides same day car paint repair services including paint perfecting, paint and bumper repair, headlight restoration, rim repair, and car interior repairs in Miami-Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach County. Schedule an appointment for a free estimate from a certified car paint repair specialist.