What Honda Says About Replicating Factory Paint Finishes in Wayne

The paint repair on our vehicles is the first thing we see, so naturally, it is one of the top concerns for our customers in Wayne. Newer cars are more complex with the latest and greatest innovations, but that means getting a quality paint job is much more involved. It’s more than just a shiny coat of paint so manufacturers are very detailed about how body shop painters should recreate the original paint finish. Not all body shops are created equal and go through the same lengths we do at 3D Collision Centers to make sure you get a quality paint finish that wont fade, chip or crack.

Recently, Honda published guidelines in their self-published Body Repair News and instructed repairers on how to deal with corrosion protection for Honda vehicles. We will outline the main points here for you and provide an easy to understand breakdown so that you will know what you can expect from us if we repair your Honda or any other brand of vehicle.

Honda says: “Stone chips are a leading cause of corrosion hot spots.”

Anti-chip primer

What Honda says:

A reputable body shop will refer to the OEM repair procedures to be sure where to apply an anti-chip primer. Next, they should check the paint manufacturer’s procedures to ensure sufficient protection.

“Each paint manufacturer has its own formulation for matching the durability of the factory anti-chip primer, some call for additional sealers in these areas. Some call for an increased mil thickness of the clear coat. And some call for catalyzation of the base coat. Always check with your paint manufacturer for recommendations of products and procedures.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Honda has a list of recommended manufacturers of auto paint that is approved to use for the repair of their brand of vehicles. Every collision repair shop utilizes their own preferred system which is made by and purchased from the paint manufacturer. Think of this system of the actual equipment used for the auto paint process. The most popular system and paint providers are Akzo Nobel, BASF, Sherwin Williams, and PPG.

Each paint manufacturer has unique paint formulations as part of their system, and Honda points out that as long as we follow the approved paint system directions, we will be compliant with Honda’s recommendation. Depending on the system used, it may mean additional applications of a sealer or needing to apply more layers of the clear coat.

What Honda Says: If the paint manufacturer doesn’t have such a procedure, then repairers should spray light coats of 2K primer surfacer/sealer, allowing appropriate flash time between coats until a thickness of 20 microns (0.79 Mils) is achieved. You can’t just cut corners and use Honda’s formula instead of putting in the time to research the paint manufacturer’s.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Sometimes there are no guidelines available but, despite that, there should always be a procedure. A clear step by step process that is always followed the same way each time to ensure cleanliness and quality. Honda feels so strongly about this fact that they specifically state not to cut corners. You would think this should go without saying, but you would be shocked how many body shops do not follow procedures and cut corners.

Paint Thickness

What Honda Says: “The main purpose of refinishing products is to protect the surface from corrosion,” Honda wrote. “To accomplish this, the proper mil thickness must be achieved.”

“Refer to your paint manufacturer for minimum and maximum mil thickness recommendations. A digital mil thickness gauge must be used to ensure these recommendations are followed.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Honda stipulates that all body shops use a mil gauge to make sure that there is enough paint thickness on the car. The reason for this mil gauge is because paint thickness can not be seen with the naked eye. This tool is hand held and provides a reading that in this case is 20 microns or .79 mils is the recommendation.

Intermediate chip guard

A feature you may have overlooked on your car until now may be the chip guard. If you look down near the rocker panels, or towards the bottom of your doors you’ll notice a change in the texture of the surface. It looks rough like sand paper and is meant to prevent rust from rock chips. This is an extremely important feature despite its lack of prevalence. It is crucial if it needs to be repaired to replicate it exactly to the manufacturers specifications.

What Honda Says:

Intermediate chip guard helps prevent chipping damage from flying stones and is commonly applied to the side sill areas of the vehicle. It is a chloride vinyl resin material that is granular in appearance and applied between 100 and 200 microns thick (4 to 8 Mils).

Matching the factory-applied function and appearance may take practice and use of multiple spray-out panels. Never apply chip guard over bare metal.

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

This is not an easy finish to replicate exactly on the first try, which is why a decent body shop will do a few tests first. Usually, we would create multiple test spray panels also called spray outs. This allows us to get the exact finish your specific car has. This also enables us to get the finish right on multiple surfaces.

Protective tape

You may or may not have noticed that there what looks like clear tape placed at the corners of your lower panels. This is not there on accident. Honda specifically says that clear tape should be reapplied if a repair needs to be performed to that area.

What Honda Says:

It is required, according to Honda, to replace the clear protective tape used on some of its models. This tape will be found typically in areas like the “lower doors, the dogleg area of rear outer panels, and the fenders.” You may be wondering why this clear tape is so important? This clear tape “material” is what protects the paint on your vehicle from chips.

“It is important to remove and replace the tape anytime a panel is repaired, refinished, or replaced,” Honda wrote. “Refer to the applicable service information for the location of the tape and the application procedure. … Never paint over the protection tape.”

What That Means To You And Your Repair:

Here is an easy are where a body shop can cut a corner to save an insurance company money at the expense of the consumer. But even something as simple as some protective tape can be omitted or improperly installed, even painted over, all of which are incorrect procedures.


We are also proud to say that we are among the 10% of auto body repair shops in the country that are I-CAR Gold Class trained. This is especially important when looking for the best place to take your car to be repaired when technicians aren’t legally required to follow OEM repair procedures.

In addition to providing you with only the safest and correct repair, we will work with you and your insurance company to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. You can think of us as your agency/policyholder liaison!

We have 7 different locations across Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery Counties. Feel free to give us a call at anytime at (877)-692-7776. For a list of the phone numbers for each of our locations or to schedule an estimate, click here.