Why does the colour on my bumper vary from the rest of the car?

If you have ever found yourself wondering why there is a difference in the colour from panel to panel on your car, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and you’re certainly not seeing 1things. Even if your car is brand new you can still see the difference between panels. There are four main reasons for us to see a colour difference on our cars.

A colour can vary depending on the material it is painted on. The same paint mixed and sprayed at the same time but on metal and plastic surfaces will have a different outcome. This is because the evaporation rate for solvent varies between metal and plastic surfaces. Plastic holds heat for longer than metal does, which means the paint takes longer to dry. The longer the solvent takes to evaporate, the longer the metal flakes within the paint has to ‘float’ and this can darken the colour.2

The body of a car is painted on a production line in a factory, mostly with electrostatic spray equipment, while the other plastic parts such as bumpers, mirror covers etc. are painted by conventional methods. The variance here will come from the difference in equipment used to spray the paint on; each will deliver a different result. This is why even new cars will have a colour variation between panels.

Plastic panels are excellent electrical insulators so it is important that the static is discharged during the preparation of the panel. If not, the metallic or mica within the paint can lay down differently and create either a lighter or darker effect.3

The way light reflects and refracts from the panel differs between curved panels, like bumper bars, and a flatter panel, such as a bonnet or door, and could appear different.

You can be assured that with proper preparation of the panel, formulation and mixing of our tints and dyes with our computerised measuring system, spraying out test cards to find the exact match, using the correct application techniques (taking into account environmental factors such as heat and humidity) and blending into other panels wherever necessary – your repair will be undetectable.


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