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  1. #1
    Registered User greenleaf's Avatar
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    How to spot repainted body panel like an appraiser?

    An appraiser can always tell which body panel has some repair work done down to a T just by looking at it even when the work is done by a factory approved bodyshop. Any idea?
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    usually the paint. most shops don't blend so you can see the color difference right away.
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    Really shows up in the correct lighting. There is usually a clue in the paint if you look close enough. If a body panel has been replaced its even easier to find because the fit will be slightly out of alignment in many cases. Plus all the shop can do is add the original color. If the paint on the car has changed slightly with age the colors will not exactly match.
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    if my brother did it no one could tell.

    no one in the world
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    Originally Posted by greenleaf View Post
    An appraiser can always tell which body panel has some repair work done down to a T just by looking at it even when the work is done by a factory approved bodyshop. Any idea?
    Wrong.

    Originally Posted by usersignup2 View Post
    usually the paint. most shops don't blend so you can see the color difference right away.
    Wrong.

    Originally Posted by bayrider View Post
    Really shows up in the correct lighting. There is usually a clue in the paint if you look close enough. If a body panel has been replaced its even easier to find because the fit will be slightly out of alignment in many cases. Plus all the shop can do is add the original color. If the paint on the car has changed slightly with age the colors will not exactly match.
    Super wrong.

    Originally Posted by bigdogfarmhand View Post
    if my brother did it no one could tell.

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    Anyways, if the job was done correctly it's impossible to tell, but then again if it was done correctly it probably costs more than just replacing the car. Usually an easy way to tell is to look at the interior seams of the car, like the wheel wells, or the door jamb, you might see over spray, or an abrupt transition. And a competent shop can match the color of the paint, and that includes accounting for any discoloration or fading. Also, if a competent shop replaces a panel it will not be out of alignment, I don't even understand how this can make sense. Lastly, there are usually no imperfections in the sheet metal because instead of fixing a door panel for example, they'll replace the whole exterior skin of the door.
    "So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. . . . Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place." -Tecumseh
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    ^ A lot of what he said here is correct. Things to look at:

    1. Panel gaps. Is anything out of whack? 1/4" gap on one side of the car and 3/4" on the other of a comparable panel?

    2. Color. It may seem right when you look at it lazily, but look at it from angles. Mainly the from sharp angles and the clear coat especially.

    3. 'Orange peel.' This is the effect when the paint/clear coat are set. The surface will resemble that of an orange peel.

    4. Jambs. Look for unpainted, over-spray, residue from finishing (cutting/buffing/polishing steps) and such.

    Then just look at overall alignment of the car. Wheel centering in the arches, ride height, door/trunk/hatch closing. If something doesn't open/close properly, check the body/paint/component in that area. If it ain't right, something is wrong.
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    Originally Posted by greenleaf View Post
    An appraiser can always tell which body panel has some repair work done down to a T just by looking at it even when the work is done by a factory approved bodyshop. Any idea?
    I'll give you an answer that you're actually looking for.

    Many times orange peel can be a giveaway. Yes many cars have orange peel from the factory(Nissans and chit). Look at the paint/ body through several different angles and bright lighting.



    Look for inconsistencies. Cloudy paint... Some areas have swirls/light scratches but the next area is smooth and shiny etc..

    Stand behind or in front of the car on all four corners and look down the side of the car at a very sharp angle between 5-15 degrees. Look at the body front to back/back to front. You can see if the body isn't straight and most/all dents and dings show.

    This pic is the best I can find.. Look down the car like this photo but at an even sharper angle. In sunlight and out of sunlight. Cast a shadow over every area.


    Touch and feel the body, feel for rougher areas and inconsistencies.

    Usually appraisers know what kind of paint job each car has and how its supposed to look. Benz/BMW/Porsche/Jag/Nissan/Mazda/Chevy and even certain models like vettes have their own paint characteristics from the factory.
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    I was too lazy to post pics but ^ elaborated on exactly what I was talking about.
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    Originally Posted by ninous26 View Post

    Many times orange peel can be a giveaway. Yes many cars have orange peel from the factory(Nissans and chit).
    If orange peel comes from the factory on a brand new car sitting in the showroom, does it mean the paint job is crappy?
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by greenleaf View Post
    If orange peel comes from the factory on a brand new car sitting in the showroom, does it mean the paint job is crappy?
    If it's on the showroom floor that says more about the dealer to me. That can be corrected in dealer prep and yes, it's a crappy paint job and probably Japanese if it's new. They tend to use garbage paint there.
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    Originally Posted by sumolgi View Post
    If it's on the showroom floor that says more about the dealer to me. That can be corrected in dealer prep and yes, it's a crappy paint job and probably Japanese if it's new. They tend to use garbage paint there.
    This.

    Early 90's Acura paint was HNNG tho.
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    -Uneven clear-coat or base-coat, usually the result of a chitty spray gun, chitty prep or just chitty painter.
    -Mismatching color, usually the result of a chitty painter chittily mixing by hand (yes they still do it, not every shop has a machine or scale).
    -Zero or poorly recon'd clear-coat. Sometimes they spray it and miss a few particles under the clear-coat when sanding and buffing.

    Its usually easier to spot when panels are plastic vs metal, blended vs not and metallic flakes / pearl usually exposes prior collision repair. I used to do both appraising and collision work myself and out of an entire shop, its usually 5-10% of the workers who are REALLY good, the majority are decent and another minority of chitty workers who are just starting or don't give a chit.
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    One of the biggest tell-tales, if it's not obvious, is mismatching orange peel. Pretty much all cars have orange peel from the factory. At the body shop they try to match that orange peel. It's not easy to do ESPECIALLY when the pieces are often 'cut and buffed'. Meaning wetsanded flat and buffed to a shine.

    Lots of good clues mentioned here. I see repaints driving in traffic every single day. I am a paint sales rep though, it's my job.


    It's always funny to tell someone a car has been painted and they SWEAR it hasn't b/c they bought it new lol. We have some dealerships as customers and they have to paint new cars occasionally that get damaged during shipment or on the lot. If someone tells you your car has been painted, don't argue just b/c you don't know about it.
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    Originally Posted by greenleaf View Post
    If orange peel comes from the factory on a brand new car sitting in the showroom, does it mean the paint job is crappy?
    My FRS is a giant white orange

    Paint chips and rusts easily

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    So the previous owner of my cts-v put a clear bra on the front hood, but just half of the hood. Very odd. I finally got around to taking it off a few weekends ago and noticed a terrible paint job in a little section under the peel. I tried to get it in a picture, but I couldn't. It was like an orange peel. You could only see if it you were absolutely looking for it, but I detail my cars myself and am very anal about paint correction and whatnot, so I will have to just replaced the entire hood.

    I will rarely even drive my V now that I bought this Benz, so I guess it's not worth the expense of replacing an entire panel, but that's what good paint work takes... replacing the entire panel.


    One sure way to tell is to be aware of where the stickers on the plastics of the panel are placed. If one sticker is new, it was replaced.
    Last edited by Griggz; 12-27-2017 at 08:48 AM.
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    Registered User sdoo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Griggz View Post
    So the previous owner of my cts-v put a clear bra on the front hood, but just half of the hood. Very odd. I finally got around to taking it off a few weekends ago and noticed a terrible paint job in a little section under the peel. I tried to get it in a picture, but I couldn't. It was like an orange peel. You could only see if it you were absolutely looking for it, but I detail my cars myself and am very anal about paint correction and whatnot, so I will have to just replaced the entire hood.

    I will rarely even drive my V now that I bought this Benz, so I guess it's not worth the expense of replacing an entire panel, but that's what good paint work takes... replacing the entire panel.


    One sure way to tell is to be aware of where the stickers on the plastics of the panel are placed. If one sticker is new, it was replaced.
    That's common, the idea is that rock chips will only affect the front half of the hood so only the front half needs a clear bra. But then you can see the clear divide between what is covered and not.
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    Originally Posted by sdoo View Post
    That's common, the idea is that rock chips will only affect the front half of the hood so only the front half needs a clear bra. But then you can see the clear divide between what is covered and not.
    Yeah, I know that dealerships do this now, but I hated it. It would just get wax built up at the edge of the 3m and made it impossible to get out. Cover the entire hood or don't waste time with it in my opinion.
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    Originally Posted by Godfrd824 View Post
    Anyways, if the job was done correctly it's impossible to tell, but then again if it was done correctly it probably costs more than just replacing the car. Usually an easy way to tell is to look at the interior seams of the car, like the wheel wells, or the door jamb, you might see over spray, or an abrupt transition. And a competent shop can match the color of the paint, and that includes accounting for any discoloration or fading. Also, if a competent shop replaces a panel it will not be out of alignment, I don't even understand how this can make sense. Lastly, there are usually no imperfections in the sheet metal because instead of fixing a door panel for example, they'll replace the whole exterior skin of the door.
    Sort of correct. Unless they are replacing and overspraying the hardware you can always still tell.
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    Originally Posted by thenamenottaken View Post
    ^ A lot of what he said here is correct. Things to look at:

    1. Panel gaps. Is anything out of whack? 1/4" gap on one side of the car and 3/4" on the other of a comparable panel?

    2. Color. It may seem right when you look at it lazily, but look at it from angles. Mainly the from sharp angles and the clear coat especially.

    3. 'Orange peel.' This is the effect when the paint/clear coat are set. The surface will resemble that of an orange peel.

    4. Jambs. Look for unpainted, over-spray, residue from finishing (cutting/buffing/polishing steps) and such.

    Then just look at overall alignment of the car. Wheel centering in the arches, ride height, door/trunk/hatch closing. If something doesn't open/close properly, check the body/paint/component in that area. If it ain't right, something is wrong.

    Orange peel is because of the rolling / stamping process on the sheet metal. Not necessarily the paint. However, a good paint and body guy can smooth out the surface of the metal before hand or after priming. Primer helps a lot by filling in the imperfections.




    Notice the door handle doesn't have this problem because it's perfectly smooth plastic.




    Skip to 11 min.
    Last edited by tng83; 12-27-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Registered User BraneyGumble's Avatar
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    If you want to be completely sure, buy a coating/paint thickness gauge - no idea what they cost in the US, but they are cheap here in EE - and check the various parts that are most likely to have been replaced/repainted.

    Rest of the time, mismatched panels, oversprays, chipped bolts (meaning panel was repainted/bolted back on and they had to remove the bolts, chipping factory paintjob), orange peels and checking the panels in daylight from sharp angles should do the job.

    But a gauge can'be fooled.
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    Originally Posted by BraneyGumble View Post
    If you want to be completely sure, buy a coating/paint thickness gauge - no idea what they cost in the US, but they are cheap here in EE - and check the various parts that are most likely to have been replaced/repainted.

    Rest of the time, mismatched panels, oversprays, chipped bolts (meaning panel was repainted/bolted back on and they had to remove the bolts, chipping factory paintjob), orange peels and checking the panels in daylight from sharp angles should do the job.

    But a gauge can'be fooled.
    Especially this in places where it snows. Will start oxidizing (Rust) right away on the edges of the bolt
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    16.75" of Clive wannabe natypes's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by tng83 View Post



    Notice the door handle doesn't have this problem because it's perfectly smooth plastic.

    I don't think so. The door handles are painted off of the car and easier to get flat, as are bumpers. And he's wrong, I've laid clear perfectly flat with no orange peel on occasion. If it wasn't so hard to post pics on here I'd post some pics, but trust me, I'm in bodyshops everyday.
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