Car Painters in Whangarei

Car Painters in WhangareiKamo Panel & Paint Ltd. can help you with any paintwork jobs you need on your vehicle and can do the panelwork too. Whether it's an insurance job (we deal with all insurance companies), just a tidy up of your paintwork or a complete respray call us or pop in for a free quote.

We have kept abreast of the innovations in panelbeating and painting which are many. We have a paint mixing bank and computerised formula access and can make any paint colour required in either lacquer or modern paints. Anything can be done from a single panel touch up (such as when the garage has shrunk and you scrape the corner of your bumper) to a complete respray. A common problem these days is the clearcoat lifting making the panel look blotchy. To rectify this the clearcoat has to be removed and the panel resprayed. Sometimes though a cut and polish can make a huge difference to paint which has oxidised.

Dashboard and window trims off a Model A, wood-grained in Mahogany. These pieces are metal made to look wood and were quite common on old cars.

Car painting over the years

Painting apprenticeships in the 1950's were a very physical job with no power tools. To prepare a car for a repaint took two people two days and involved wet rubbing (using sandpaper and a bucket of water - not to mention bleeding fingers with no fingerprints).

To buy a new car in those days you had to have overseas funds and usually a car to trade in. If you met that criteria your name would go on a waiting list for the car you wanted. Colours were varied but metallics were not common and you ordered the paint from a supplier whereas today most shops make up their own. To personalise their vehicle some people would "two-tone" their car, a favourite being to get the roof repainted in a different colour on a car such as the mid 50's Vauxhalls. Commercial vehicles would be in primer only and the business concerned would get the vehicle painted in their own colours then signwritten.

There were basically only two types of paint - enamel and lacquer and Dulux was the most common make. A lacquer finish was expensive with many coats of paint and man hours. The vehicle would have to be rubbed down again before the final coats were applied and it was then cut and polished by hand. Enamel was sometimes heated (hot spraying) and applied with no dilution giving a very thick glossy finish. Dulux 93 spraying enamel was a popular product being easy to apply and giving a good finish and was available right up to the 1990's before being replaced with a different product. Dulon lacquer is still available and being used but the more common paints are now 2-pack which is the colour plus a hardener and these are finished off with a clear coat. Many paints are also made to be much more UV resistant than before. First memories of a 2-pack paint was Durothane around 1969 which was developed for use on Concorde.

Around the late 1960's tinting systems for paintshops started coming in whereby you bought a variety of tinters and were supplied formulas to make up your own paint colours. You then poured the different tinting colours into a container using the "float" to add the right amount of each tinter. Eye Matching was then used to adjust the mixture if necessary by adding a bit more of whatever tinter was needed. Nowadays digital scales have replaced the old float system and instead of having formulas in swatch books these are now on computer downloads but the swatch books still show you the actual colours. Vehicle colours have come a long way since Henry Ford said you can have any colour as long as it's black. Now as well as metallic colours there are also pearls which contain a myriad of different coloured particles.

Over the last 20 years or so there have been many improvements and innovations for paintshops. Dry rubbing has come in using power sanders attached to vacuum machines to keep dust down although wet rubbing is still used. Whereas suction fed guns were the norm now gravity fed guns are more common and different guns are used for different finishes. To hasten drying time on smaller jobs infra-red lamps are used which can prevent moisture problems such as blushing. Air brushing of designs on vehicles has also partly replaced the signwriters art, as have stick-on coachlines.

Kamo Panel & Paint Ltd. have a painter who can still do hand painted coachlines (using a special brush and a steady hand!). He can also do the dying art of Woodgraining - making metal look like wood as can be seen on some of the older cars on dash boards and window surrounds.