How to Spot a Bad Car Paint Job

How Can You Spot a Bad Paint Job?

You go to pick up your car at the local independent shop or big corporate auto paint shop and everything seems to look fine… until, you get home and notice a problem.  The paint on your car looks a bit off.  Something is wrong.

If you look at the paint under direct sunlight or at different angles, you should be able to tell if something is not right.  When car paint looks bad, it can only mean that the body or paint work was not done properly.  If you spot an issue on your paint job, immediately -the same day if possible- contact the paint shop and describe the problem.  The shop should be able to correct the issue at no cost under its warranty.

Auto Paint Mistakes

Mistakes happen.  Nobody is perfect and that goes for auto paint jobs too.  Sometimes at the shop, the lighting or the angle in which the paint technician looks at the car paint might seem fine, but once the environment, angle, or light changes, it can expose mistakes.  Below is a condensed list of common paint issues your vehicle might have.  These terms are commonly used by the paint shop.  When you use these terms it helps the shop understand how the paint looks and gives them clues as to how it occurred and how it can be corrected.

Common Bad Auto Paint Work

  • Bleeding.  Discoloration or color seeping through the new topcoat color.
  • Blistering.  Bubbles or pimples appearance
  • Blushing.  Milky white haze appearance.
  • Chalking.  Dull appearance.
  • Chemical Staining.  Spotty discoloration appearance.
  • Chipping.  Small to large pieces of paint chipping off.
  • Cracking.  Small to large earthquake looking cracks.
  • Crows Feet. Crows feet but on your car’s paint.
  • Feather Edge Splitting.  Stretch mark appearance.
  • Fish Eyes.  Small, crater-like appearance.
  • Lifting.  Shriveled appearance.
  • Mismatch.  New color doesn’t match original paint.
  • Mottling.  Spotty or striped appearance.
  • Orange Peel.  Skin of an orange appearance.
  • Peeling.  Paint that is coming off edges or anywhere on a vehicle.
  • Pin-holing.  Tiny holes or groups of holes.
  • Runs/Sags.  Droopy looking paint.
  • Water Spotting/Wet Spots.  Dulling of gloss in spots.
  • Wrinkling. Wrinkling on your car’s paint and not your skin.

How To Get a Bad Paint Job Fixed

After you notice any one of theses paint mistakes call the shop right away, and then text or email the shop pictures.  Document the problem as soon as possible as to avoid issues down the line.  This also prevents that the paint get damaged even more.  So, the sooner the paint shop can see your car in-person, the sooner you get the paint repaired.  If you run into any issues, we recommend you take the appropriate steps to repair the problem properly.  For more information read our blog on what to do when a paint shop does a mistake.

Should I add something else? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If there is something you want me to write about let me know, I will do my best to write about it. If you ever need any auto body or paint work and you live in the Van Nuys or Los Angeles area call or text me 818.793.7728.

-Jaider, West Coast Body and Paint owner

“If I could give this business more than 5 stars I would. Every aspect of my experience here was EXCELLENT, from the moment I arrived until the time I picked my car up a few days later. Jaider welcomed me with respect by wearing a mask, he was cordial and kind while listening to my needs and concerns. He was extremely professional and appeared knowledgeable while explaining the process and approach he would take to fix my car.

I have been through some pretty tough times lately, which is partly why I needed his help to begin with, and I had to share some of the details of my story with him. He is clearly compassionate and a good listener because when my car was returned to me, not only was it repaired, he also went above and beyond by cleaning it up for me, both inside and out. That’s excellent customer service, and wow, the quality of his workmanship is OUTSTANDING! I would honestly go as far to say that my car looks even better than it did when I first brought it home from the dealership.

I’m truly amazed and extremely grateful, thank you Jaider, you’ve earned my trust and a new loyal customer!”

-Christy R. Los Angeles, 7/2020

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 an initial estimate.   The estimate is a ballpark figure, and after we assess your vehicle’s damage in person, we will review the estimate with you.  If you agree to the final estimate, we will begin repairing your car.  Fill out the form below or contact us through WhatsApp to request an estimate.


Step 1 of 3

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.