Skip to content

How to Spot a Bad Car Paint Job

There comes a time in a car’s life when you may have to get a paint job, either to touch up damaged areas, match new parts to your old color, or just for a change in your car’s look. After your paint job your car may look perfect as you see it, but looking at it in direct sunlight and from many different angles, you may discover imperfections or errors that should be covered by the company that did the job’s warranty.

Be sure to check your vehicle as soon as you can in direct sunlight, and to check everywhere so that you can bring any issues to the attention of the paint shop and get your issue resolved quickly. There are many different signs that something might be wrong, some extremely obvious– and some a bit harder to spot. After this article, you should have the know-how to make sure that your paint job is done perfectly, or know for certain if that isn’t the case.

Sagging or Running Paint

One big issue is sagging or running paint, which is usually caused by an inexperienced painter rushing the job or failing to mix the paint correctly. The sagging could be very subtle or it could be very obvious even when viewed from afar, but either way, you will need your vehicle to be repainted if you spot the warning signs. You may also notice unsightly spots or raised marks on the vehicle, which may be a sign of over spraying. Overspray may be visible when panels aren’t masked off properly, showing that important steps may have been omitted in your car’s paint job.

Uneven Texture

Uneven texture may be an issue you can spot as well, which could be the result of spraying too close to the surface or having the pressure on the paint gun too low or under-thinned paint. The texture of the paint may resemble ripples or waves, or even have the texture of an orange peel. Trapped air under your paint could produce pinholes in the paint job that can be seen with the naked eye. Wrinkles or feathered edges (raised or lifted edges outlining a repaired area) are sure signs that an issue is present, as well as small circular openings in the surface of the paint job, caused by spraying onto a dirty, oily, or waxy surface. You may also see bubbles on the surface, thick raised and uneven lines, or even spots where the paint is simply peeling off of the vehicle.

Color Quality

Besides the texture and structure of your paint job, there can be issues with the color or look as well, which will indicate that action must be taken to fix a mistake that occurred during a paint job. If a vehicle has a gray cloud that appears on your car over time, that may indicate that condensation had formed on your vehicle as the paint was being applied. You may also notice discolorations, which look like stains forming over time that could be caused by a contaminated product, or too little or too much hardener used. The most obvious issue could be poor color matching. Something may look like it matches at the time, but seeing it in a different light and at different angles can sometimes bring to light streaks, blotches, swirls, or entirely different colored panels than the rest of the vehicle.

Miscellaneous Issues

Your paint job will either look or feel wrong, but it may take some careful examination to actually diagnose the issue. Besides what was listed above, there are many other small issues that you may notice after a paint job. You could see pieces of the paint chipping off or cracking, or forming crow’s feet (like what appears on your face, but on your vehicle’s paint job instead.) You could notice peeling paint or even patches where the paint seems to be sagging or running down the vehicle. There are many different issues you may see, but you will easily be able to see that something isn’t quite right, even if you’re not sure exactly what that something is. Always be sure to document and take as many pictures and videos as you can and send them to the shop you used for the paint job immediately. The quicker you solve the issue, the less of a chance that it could turn into a bigger issue.

Looking for the Best South Jersey Auto Body Shop?

You should always go with a shop that offers a warranty, so any issues discovered after the paint job can be addressed and fixed with minimal stress from you, the owner of the vehicle. Consider Elmer’s Auto Body for your future auto paint job, with over 75 years of experience and high standards for customer satisfaction, safety, and performance, Elmer’s Auto Body will match your color exactly and guarantee that the job is done right the first time, so you can rest assured that now that you know what exactly to look for in a bad paint job, you won’t see any signs of what we’ve discussed, since you will have an unparalleled paint job! So don’t leave the quality of your auto paint job to chance, contact Elmer’s Auto Body today for a free consultation, or book your appointment today!

Contact us

Skip to content