Churning Out Consistent Paint Jobs On Automobiles: How Your Car Got Its Details

Paint jobs and custom paint jobs on cars could all be done by hand, but the problem with hand-painting an automobile is that there is never enough consistency across a multitude of vehicles. Instead, your car was probably painted in one of three ways, all of which use compressed air. If you have ever wondered how auto body detailing shops and auto manufacturers have created consistent results when they make multiple cars and trucks or recreate very similar designs on hundreds of vehicles each year, the following information will reveal what you have always wanted to know about air compressors, paint jobs, and the auto industry.

Compressed Air and Paint in a Can

Compressed air and paint in a can is more commonly known as "spray paint". While it would be far too laborious, time-consuming and expensive to use spray paint to completely paint thousands of cars, auto manufacturers and detailers use this paint method for detailing and custom designs. It is also a method that you could use at home if you wanted to add some design or color to your vehicle using a taped-on stencil.

Handheld Spray Paint Guns

Quite often, this may be the method of choice when an auto manufacturer does not have an automated paint line in the factory. Employees hook a spray paint gun up to an air compressor, turn on the compressor and release the compressed air and paint through the gun with wide-sweeping horizontal motions. Uniform, drip-free color is applied to every vehicle in this fashion, although it takes a little bit longer to complete because the employees have to move all the way around each car using the same sweeping motions until it is covered in paint.

Automated Compressed Air Painting Systems

While you could use either of the previously mentioned methods to paint or repaint your vehicle at home, there is no way you would be able to use an automated compressed air painting system. This is the professional, industrial and manufacturing level of air compressors combined with paint and/or finishes. It delivers uniform coatings and color across every vehicle that passes through the doors of the auto industry's manufacturing plants.

The system is comprised of a compressed air tank attached to what resembles a big, inverted and block letter-style "U" and a massive paint tank. As the cars pass through and under the "U" on a conveyor system, the automated compressor releases air through the paint tank, which pushes the paint into the inverted "U" bar and out the many holes in the bar to spread paint uniformly over the vehicle. The conveyor belt then continues to move the freshly painted car down the line where it receives a topcoat and detailing or custom paint work, which may be completed by one of the other two compressed air painting methods.

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