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Old 14-11-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
pdrpaul
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How accurate is a spectrometre

Hi bodyshop has made a pigs ear of matching /blending in paint on my car now going to have to get whole side resprayed. Colour is breeze blue which has faded. But the painter has painted edge to edge even blending it would still show though its a much darker shade. If I was to get paint mixed using a spectro would I be able to get a accurate match. Not happy with any the spray out cards the paint shop was comparing they were all a fair bit darker.. they said they could only match waterbased paint with the spectro I don't mind as long as the match is blendable.
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Old 15-11-2019, 01:19 PM   #2
mikechesterman
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It depends on no end of factors to be honest.

I own a bodyshop/restoration workshop and we have our own mixing scheme, complete with Spectrophotometer and it's effectiveness varies.

The spectro takes a reading from the paint from 3 different points/angles and in most cases it does a good enough job for at least a blendable match. It will rank the colour match on a scale of 1 to 20. 1 being a perfect match straight out (very rare), 20 being nowhere near (again, very rare). Most colours tend to rank around 7 (a good, blendable match and good enough for edge-to-edge against a bumper/bonnet in most cases if you're doing the whole side of the car), unless you play around with the colour yourself to make it better.

If it's a particularly difficult colour to match, we can always send it off to our paint manufacturer (Lechler), who have probably the best paint lab in the country, where they have a scanner which can read the paint from 64 different angles and at different light levels etc. We've only have had to do this once to date so far for a customer who had a 30 year old Mercedes from new, which was in showroom condition apart from the usual front wings had started to go and he insisted he didn't want any blending work done and it was probably the hardest colour to match on an old car (a silvery light blue). They need this level of scanner as they supply paint for all manner of industries aside from automotive. At least with a car you get a paint code as a starting point. If you've got to match the paint on some cladding that's been out exposed to the sun for years and years then you've got very little to go on, but it's also useful for car paint that is particularly difficult.

But if you're talking about a fairly modern car at least, with a fairly standard paint finish, then a spectro should give a good enough indication for a blendable match, but it depends on the paint manufacturer and how good the person is doing the mixing! Across all paint manufacturers I believe there are only 2 different manufacturers producing their systems for the workings of the spectros, so they're all much of a muchness, it just depends on how good the formulas/tinters and/or the person mixing at adapting them to suit. I'd recommend Lechler as a paint manufacturer for a good match. No other scheme seems to suits so much so well, hence why we went with them.
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Old 15-11-2019, 01:47 PM   #3
RS3
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Really interesting contribution from a paint shop - cheers.
I'll bet theres loads you can usefully educate us on.
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Old 15-11-2019, 08:02 PM   #4
mikechesterman
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I can certainly try! Some questions that pop up on forums are difficult to answer concisely in words, it would be easier to demonstrate, but always willing to try and help where I can!
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Old 17-11-2019, 06:13 PM   #5
pdrpaul
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Wow thank you for that very detailed answer. Paint on the car at the moment is solvent I think but for the local paint shop to mix using spectro it will have to be waterbase I assume there will be no issues putting a good bendable waterbase paint over a well keyed solvent paint?? Will be a good few weeks till I can get it done but judging by the way it looks especially under street light I reckon full side is the only way unfortunately. Thanks again for the explanation.
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Old 18-11-2019, 12:33 PM   #6
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No, no issues at all.
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