A Day in the Life of An Auto Body Painting Prep Technician for Those Considering Auto Body Technician Careers

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It takes a lot of care and attention to get a damaged car back up to its original glory. Depending on the level of dents, scratches, rust, and other auto body flaws needing to be refinished, there are a number of steps that must be taken before the final gleaming paint job can be applied.

Failing to perform those steps in the right order and using incorrect products can make the final result look sub-par, or may cause the finish to deteriorate quickly. These outcomes are likely to cause a customer to demand their money back and maybe even trash your body shop’s reputation. 

A key figure in the chain of events for a paint job is the auto body painting tech, whose role is to get the car thoroughly buffed and primed for the final spray job. To understand the level of work that takes, let’s take a quick look at a day in the life of this important auto body shop team member!

Smoothing out Flaws Is Often a Good Place to Start

After a car rolls in with damage, an auto body repair technician will go to work banging out dents, removing rust, filling cavities, and replacing parts as necessary to get the car’s surface in as smooth a condition as possible. 

After those initial repairs have been completed, the car goes to the next phase of prep work. The paint tech must work in close communication with the auto body repair team to keep on the same timeline for expected delivery to the customer. 

An Auto Body Repair Technician Must Work Closely with the Painting Tech

If some flaws have not been attended to adequately, the paint tech might need the repair team to go over those areas again before the first coats can be applied. When the body surface is deemed to be in a good condition, the next step is taping off details to produce clean lines and avoid getting any paint beyond the intended surface.

auto body technician career
Using both the right colour and type of paint product is key to doing a great paint job

The team member with the right auto body technician training will know what type of paint product to use at this etch primer undercoat phase. This depends on the paint manufacturer’s specification, but also the type of surface being painted—with aluminum needing quite a different product application to steel or plastics, for example. 

The type of vehicle being painted must also be considered, since some commercial trucks or vehicles might require longer-lasting products to withstand harsher weather conditions.

Ready for the Final Spray

After the car has been properly primed, the car is ready to be sprayed with its top coat. The paint technician is responsible for choosing the specific colours and products for this phase of the job, again factoring in the paint manufacturing directives to warranty, as well as the surface material and type of car. 

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Spot and panel refinishing and custom finishes are all part of the paint tech’s job

A combination of sprayers and brushes may be used at this phase, with careful attention paid to ensure no sags or runs appear in the finish. Once the car has been sprayed to perfection, the last phase is a final polishing from the paint team to achieve the gleaming effect car owners are looking for. 

Whether a customer brings a car in for a simple paint touch up, a custom job, or repair work, the end result will depend on the collaborative efforts of the auto body repair team. A day in the life of an auto body paint tech can be challenging, but taking pride in the team effort and the job at hand can provide a truly rewarding career.

Interested in training professionally for one of many exciting auto body technician careers

Contact Automotive Training Centres for more information on their refinishing prep program!

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