Common Causes of Contamination That Will Ruin Your Paint Job

Achieving a high-quality paint finish that is clean and free of defects is the number one goal of any auto body shop. It’s the reason why customers come to you instead of the shop down the street, and there’s no better way to grow your business than to be able to provide that consistent, beautiful paint finish every time. Not only will your positive reputation grow because of your ability to exceed expectations, but being able to complete the job right the first time will save you much time and money in the long run. 

In today’s blog from centerline spray booths, we want to discuss some of the most common causes of paint contamination and how to avoid them. Even the smallest specs of dust can ruin a high-dollar paint job, so knowing where contamination can come from is the first step in controlling it. Keep reading to learn more, and if you’d like to grow your auto body business, give us a call to discuss our automotive spray booths.  

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Dirty Vehicles

One of the most common sources of paint contamination is from the vehicle itself. Of course, every painter knows that the vehicle has to be thoroughly cleaned before starting work, but how you clean makes all the difference. First, you’ll need to use a high-pressure washer to remove any dirt and grime that’s securely attached. Pay special attention to commonly missed areas like wheel wells and the undercarriage. Just because you’re not applying paint to those areas doesn’t mean that they won’t be a source of contamination.

Next, a cloth to dry the vehicle and remove any waxes, oils, or other debris. But don’t just use any cloth — even tack rags can shed small fibers that will contaminate your paint. Instead, make sure to use only nylon-based tack rags to completely clean and dry the vehicle without leaving anything behind.  

Cross Contamination

There’s a lot more that goes on in an auto body shop besides painting. There’s cutting, grinding, filing, and sanding, and all of these tasks generate fine particles that fall to the ground and carry through the air. Make sure that what’s going on in one room of your shop isn’t having a detrimental impact on another area. In other words, make sure that repair areas are isolated and far from painting areas. At the very least, there should be adequate barriers and a substantial filtration system in place to remove metal particles from the air. 

Poor Mixing and Storage Practices

Storage and mixing rooms are another source of paint contamination. Paints, hardeners, and containers should always be kept closed to prevent dust, dirt, metal, and moisture from entering. Be careful of the tools you use in your mixing room. Wood stirs, rags, and even cardboard boxes or paper can be a source of contamination. The room itself should be kept clean, bright, and well-ventilated. Setting up a cleaning and maintenance schedule will help to make sure that it is in working condition at all times.

Painter Apparel

Sometimes it’s the little things that are overlooked. You might spend a lot of time and energy making sure your painting areas are clean and dust-free and that you have the best filtration systems you can get, but if your painter is working in street clothes or wearing a cotton uniform or frock, you’re likely going to end up with lint in your paint. To avoid this from happening, painters should wear clothing that is lint-free and specifically made for the job.

Spray Gun

Cleaning and maintaining your spray gun is another common cause of contamination. Sure, it takes time to thoroughly clean after each color, but rushing through this process can leave you with old paint left in the spray gun. Even just a small amount can easily contaminate your next job and require you to have to repaint. The time it takes upfront to thoroughly clean your spray gun will save you time and money from having to do a job a second time. 

Not Maintaining Your Automotive Spray Booth

Automotive spray booths are a necessary and valuable investment for shops that want to minimize contamination, increase productivity, and produce flawless results every time. However, if they are not properly installed and maintained, they, too, can be a source of contamination. That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted company if you’re thinking about installing or upgrading your automotive spray booth. At Centerline, we’ve been the experts in spray booth installation for over 30 years. When you buy a quality, name-brand spray booth from us, you can be assured that your booth will be installed properly for optimum performance.

If you already have an automotive spray booth, it’s important that you’re maintaining it properly. That includes daily sweeps and at least weekly wash downs. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re changing your filters according to schedule. This can vary depending on the number of jobs per week. For information on how often you should be changing your filter, or to order new replacement filters, contact Centerline and we’ll get you set up with what you need. 

Contact Centerline For All Of Your Automotive Spray Booth Needs

Centerline Spraybooths is based in Amityville, New York, but we provide service to the entire tri-state area and beyond. We partner with some of the most trusted names in the business like  USI ITALIA and Zhongda and we also offer Wind Wizard waterborne dryers to add efficiency to your process. Whether you’re looking to add a spray booth to your shop, upgrade your current one, or you just have questions, we encourage you to give us a call for all of your automotive spray booth needs.