Difference Between Original Car Paint and Repaint – The paint on a car can tell you a lot about its history and your best option might be to go with original car paint rather than repaint it again yourself.
This will preserve the car’s value in the long run and keep you from spending too much on extra parts that don’t need replacing.
If you’re not sure whether you’re looking at original car paint or repaint, here are some ways to spot the difference between the two.
How Can I Tell if My Car Paint is Original?
Many car buyers aren’t familiar with what original paint means. In short, it refers to a vehicle that has never had its original factory paint removed, then been repainted.
On some cars, original paint is easy to find because it can still be in excellent condition after years of use.
However, on other vehicles, particularly ones that were repainted within their first few years or when they sustained minor scratches.
The original coat of paint may have worn off by now, leaving only a faded layer beneath that was applied during a recent re-paint. Here’s how to tell the difference between the two:
Differences in Vibrancy
Most differences between original car paint and repaint are quite noticeable, but subtle differences do exist.
If you’re able to spot even subtle changes in vibrancy or brightness, you may have spotted a repainted panel.
The depth of paint will appear much richer on an original car paint job, but once it has been stripped down, a new coat will appear noticeably thinner.
And this is something you will probably see on an older vehicle that has received several fresh coats of paint.
Differences in Hue
You might not know it, but there is a difference between original car paint and repaint.
The hues of both are different because manufacturers have individualized mixes for specific auto body paint colors, a quick visual check can help you determine whether or not your car paint is original.
If it’s a light blue, for example, then it’s likely that your vehicle was painted at a factory on an assembly line, in other words.
If your paint is light compared to other cars’ light blue, then you probably don’t have the original paint.
If you’ve got some experience behind an easel or are just really observant, subtle differences in hue can provide clues about whether or not your car has been repainted.
Differences in Depth
One of the easiest ways to tell if a car’s been repainted is by looking at its paint in different lights. Sunlight will show underlying flaws, so go out when it’s overcast or find a shady spot.
Shine a flashlight on both sides of your car, if you notice any chipping or scratches, there’s a good chance you have repainted auto parts.
Finally, touch your finger against your vehicle’s paint, if it feels rough or crunchy, you probably have fake painted-on paint.
Differences in Sheen
A glossy finish is a dead giveaway that your car has been repainted. It’s impossible to achieve that shine without having gone through an elaborate, multi-stage painting process.
That said, there are other subtle differences in sheen between original paint and repaint, and if you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to spot them.
It’s these differences in a sheen that can help reveal whether your vehicle was painted using PPG (DuPont) or BASF paints, click here for the best paint for cars.
BASF paints are often found on Asian vehicles; they tend toward a much more reflective surface with a high gloss, although they may have a slight orange tint.
PPG paints typically have fewer shine issues but are shinier than OEM paint jobs.
Read also: Best Automotive Paint Guns for Beginners
Differences in Texture
If you’re looking for signs that a car has been repainted, try to feel or touch it. If you think of your car’s paint as a thin layer that covers your vehicle.
The original paint will be relatively thin compared with the repaint. It may also have a rougher texture than you’d expect from new paint because it doesn’t lay completely flat on top of existing layers.
The repaint will look flatter than the original paint and is less likely to have air bubbles in it after being applied.
Pigment Type & Amount
Many people don’t realize that not all car paints are created equal. If you have an older car, there is a good chance it has been repainted. How can you tell if your paint job is original?
The easiest way is by checking out your paint code sticker which most likely will be on or near your door jam/jamb or perhaps underneath your trunk lid/hood.
Check for a number under each letter of a four-digit code; each digit represents a different color applied during manufacturing.
Read also: Best Paint for Car Interior Plastic
Disadvantages of Repainting Car
Perhaps the biggest drawback to painting a car is the fact that what you do is permanent.
The color change can’t be easily undone without repainting the car entirely a second time. If a paint scheme gets damaged in the future, then you’ll have to repaint it again anyway.
Here are some of the biggest disadvantages to repainting your car so you can make sure it’s worth doing before you go ahead and do it.
You Can’t Undo Mistakes Without Replacing the Entire Paint Job
Repainting a car can be expensive, taking into account the cost of paint and labor. The new color may not match the original at all, even if you were to try to mix it yourself.
You also risk damaging any other part of the car while you’re working on it with solvents or harsh chemicals.
If someone else damages your car in the future, then you’ll have to replace your entire paint job again.
Most Cars Are Not Designed to Handle Major Bodywork
The average car repaint cost is around $1500, which means if you’re in the habit of painting your car every year, then you can expect to spend nearly $10,000 over the course of 10 years.
But not all paint jobs are equal. The higher-quality paints will last longer and provide better coverage for scratches and dents.
If you want to keep the car looking new for as long as possible, then it may be worth paying a little more upfront.
Hiring a Professional Isn’t Always Better
Painting a car can be done by anyone but the results can vary. The decision to hire a professional or do it yourself depends on the cost and expertise needed for your specific project.
A car repaint can cost anywhere from $300 to $1500 with costs varying depending on the size, color, and any additional work needed.
If you’re looking for a high-quality paint job, then hiring a professional might be more appropriate than trying to do it yourself.
Prep Work Is Crucial When Painting on Your Own
There are a few things you should do before painting your car. First, make sure that the car is completely clean and dry.
You don’t want any dirt to get mixed in with the paint, so wash it thoroughly and use a wet/dry vacuum to remove dust from the surface.
Second, remove any stickers or decals that might be covering up parts of the paint job.
Third, mask off anything you don’t want to be painted, this includes window frames and door handles.
A Bad Paint Job Takes Years Off the Life of Your Car
It’s no wonder that people put so much consideration into what color car they want to buy.
It can be a big investment and if you don’t like the color, then it might not make sense to buy the car at all. The other downside to repainting a car is the cost associated with it.
If you take your car to a body shop and have them paint it, then you’ll be looking at around $3,000 or more in costs.
That’s a lot of money, but there are some options available that will allow you to repaint your own car in your driveway for less than $1,000.
You’ll also save on labor costs when you do it yourself and won’t have to wait while they’re working on it too.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is original paint better?
How can you tell if a car’s paint is original? This is often a question that arises when two people are thinking about buying a used car.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to buy a car, it’s natural to want one that has had as little wear and tear as possible.
Many cars, however, lose some of their value when they have been repainted because they don’t look as new.
But how do you know if your potential purchase has original paint or if it has had multiple layers applied?
You might think checking beneath old coats of paint is enough, but there could be several layers underneath.
Is it good to repaint car?
If you’re looking to sell your car, you’ve probably looked into how much it will cost to repaint it. Is it worth doing? Should you just buy a new car instead?
The truth is that painting a car isn’t really a big deal these days. It used to be that anyone who wanted their paint job done right would have their vehicle sent out for a professional touch-up.
In another review, we’ve also covered 10 steps to professionally paint your car, so your body looks like it just came out of the dealership.
Nowadays, anyone can take on most paint jobs at home as long as they have access to some basic supplies and know-how.
Unfortunately, having someone who knows what they are doing guide them through can often be more important than being able to do it themselves.
Especially when dealing with lacquer paints like those found on German vehicles like Mercedes Benz or BMW.
Can you repaint your car yourself?
The difference between repainted car paint and the original car paint is vast. There are many factors that come into play when deciding whether or not you should repaint your vehicle yourself.
However, there is a simple way to check if your car’s paint is original or not. This short guide will walk you through identifying an original factory coat of paint and some things you can do if you suspect it has been re-sprayed.
Can you paint over the original paint on a car?
Yes, you can paint over the original paint on a car. However, if you’re considering going that route make sure that you do a few things first.
First, test any paint products or tools on an area of your car where they’ll be out of sight. Secondly, ask your mechanic if painting over old paint will hurt your car in any way.
Thirdly, consult an auto-body specialist before making a decision, getting advice from them will help you make sure that you’re doing everything by-the-book in terms of safety standards as well as auto resale value.
The Final Verdict
There are many ways you can check if your car paint is original. There are some tell-tale signs that indicate a repainted surface, but nothing is foolproof.
While it may seem like an easy way out, make sure you keep your vehicle in mind when considering a paint job instead of just replacing parts or entire surfaces.
That way, you’ll have an original vehicle with as much of its value preserved as possible.
But if you do decide to have your car repainted, there are several ways you can find original paint for cheap on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.