Auto Body Surface Paint Preparation

Preparing Your Car for Premium Paint

Before we apply any paint to your vehicle, our technician will properly prepare the surface of your car.  What does that mean?  Below we give a brief explanation of our process.

Step 1. Professional Body Repair

First in the process, your car needs to be clear of dents, scratches, and dings.  After the metal work is complete, plastic body filler is applied to fill in the remaining depressions in the panel and to create a smooth, level surface.  In this phase our leading technician will make sure your car’s body has been fully repaired and is smooth to the touch.

Step 2. Detailed Cleaning

Second, we thoroughly clean your car with soapy water.  It is important to thoroughly wash all repair panels prior to refinishing.  Otherwise, dirt particles will be visible through the new paint film.  Many waxes contain silicone.  To remove wax and silicone, the tech will use cleaning solvents.  Any foreign substance on the repair panel will result in poor adhesion of the new paint.  A condition called fisheye occurs in the paint if the silicone is not removed.

Step 3. Thorough Paint Removal

The third step is stripping, also known as paint removal.  In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the original paint off your car if it is in poor condition (pits, rust, poor adhesion, flaking, etc.).  If the old finish is badly damaged or deteriorated, the paint will be removed.

Methods to Removing Stubborn Paint

  • Power grinding/sanding
  • Media blasting
  • Sandblasting
  • Chemical remover
  • Commercial dipping

Step 4. Quality Sanding and Wet Sanding

Sanding is the fourth step, this is to remove oxides and contamination, and which also provides a slightly rough surface for better adhesion of the new paint.  For a smooth surface our skilled technicians will then wet sand your car to get rid of any nicks and scratches.  This type of sanding is slower than dry sanding but it produces a much smoother surface.  This step is crucial in order to feel and repair the slightest irregularity on your vehicle’s body.

Step 5. Proper Metal Conditioning

Bare metal quickly begins to rust that is why a metal conditioner is applied.  Otherwise, the surface rust will eventually destroy the bond between the new finish and the metal, which will result in peeling.  After metal conditioner, the metal will be sprayed with primer to seal it against further rust formation.

Step 6. Precise Masking

Before spraying any primer or topcoats, the last step of professional paint prep is to exclusively mask all the surfaces of your car that will not get painted, for example:

  • Trim
  • Glass
  • Hardware
  • Windshields
  • Windows
  • Panels
  • Upholstery
  • Trunk
  • Engine compartment
  • Headlights
  • Wheels
  • Front end
  • Exhaust pipes
  • Tires
  • Fender wells
  • Splash shields

Once the masking is complete, the repair area will be given a final cleaning just before the new finish.  Dust is blown out of the corners and crevices and then we wipe down with a tack rag.

And that’s it, it’s ready for the next step – primer!

“I went there to replace the bumper. I had the bumper and the hood painted. West Coast far exceeded my expectations. They were on time. The quality of work is second to none, and the price was more than fair.
Jaider is a great guy to deal with. Always accommodating to my needs.  I have some more work to do in my car in the future, West Coast Body Shop is my place.”

Jay P., 2020

Thank you for taking the time to read this page.  

As of January 2022 we have some good news and some bad news…  

The BAD NEWS is we have moved out of our location and are in search of a new home for the West Coast Body and Paint shop.  

The GOOD NEWS is that we have a West Coast Body and Paint mobile paint repair service unit that will come to you!  The mobile paint unit provides auto services for minor body and paint repairs.

Our estimates are free.  Once we receive your images we will provide you with a rough quote.   The estimate is a ballpark figure, and after we assess your vehicle’s damage in person, we will revise the estimate with you.  If you agree with the final estimate, we can begin repairing your car.  Fill out the form below or contact us through WhatsApp to request a quote.


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Does your car need a quality paint job in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area?

Come by our seasoned car paint shop in Van Nuys if you have any questions give us a call 818.785.2639, text 818.793.7728, or drop us a line to schedule an appointment for a free estimate.  Check out our gallery or before and after pictures here.  We serve the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.