Proper Paint Prep: Cleaning and Abrading

Proper Paint Prep: Cleaning and Abrading

Nothing is faster or more profitable than doing the job one time.

Courtesy of BodyShop Business by Carl Wilson

The history of paint as we know it in the collision repair industry has a fairly short timeline. The famous line by Henry Ford, “You can have any color of vehicle, as long as it’s black,” may or may not be true, but something we can be certain of is a single color on a production line is about productivity, not capability. 

As a species, evidence shows we’ve been fooling around with color since paleolithic times. For my knuckle-dragging brothers, that’s the old Stone Age. Naturally, as tools were just being developed, materials for these colors were limited to simple organic origin, such as clay, pollen and ground roots. Fast forward, but perhaps not as far as one might imagine, and synthetic colors were developed, resulting from a complex mixture that included metals. Interestingly, Egyptian Blue is the first known synthetic color. 


The first known synthetic color was Egyptian blue.

Man has always had a reason for the color chosen — Ford for productivity, Egyptian Blue symbolizing water and heaven, etc. But current OEM color choices are about sales.

You may be wondering why we’re looking at a little color history in an article on paint preparation. One of the reasons we’re able to see the vibrant colors Egyptians painted is because they prepped their substrate properly — and that is still required for longevity of the paint work.

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