Use Less, Make More in the Paint Shop - BodyShop Business

Use Less, Make More in the Paint Shop

Sponsored by Axalta

One of the challenges we face every day is how can we be more competitive in the marketplace. Collision Centers must be efficient and profitable if they want to remain in the game long term. It is critical that we identify the steps to becoming more efficient by using less to make more money.

Step 1

Understand what you have in stock. Take inventory and try to simplify in any way possible. One example is understanding how many grades of sandpaper you have. There shouldn’t be any reason, for example, to have P500 and P600 grade paper. By consolidating down to one grade, you will save inventory costs, create more organization, and cause less confusion.

Step 2

Create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) with your paint and abrasives suppliers to have a standard process for each step. When everyone is following the same process, there is more consistent high-quality work with less defects. The most expensive mistake is rework. Not only do you have to repeat the work, but you also delay work from being completed on the next job.

Step 3

Group your jobs together whenever possible. If you prime, seal or clear multiple RO’s (Repair Order) at once, the materials only need to be mixed once, the spray gun is only cleaned once, and there is only one set amount of waste. Time and material savings can be made here.

Step 4

Make sure you are using the proper additives such as hardeners and reducers. This will enable you to apply the proper amount of paint. Using additives with a speed that is too fast may create a situation where you need to slow down during application and apply more material than necessary.

Step 5

Check your equipment. Use the correct spray gun, not just your favorite. People tend to find a spray gun they like and use it for everything. Using the correct or approved spray gun and setup will create the best spray appearance and will also apply the correct amount of film thickness for coverage and appearance.

Be sure to adjust your booth in the wintertime when using waterborne paint. In low temperatures, the humidity is naturally very low. Lower your booth temperature to allow the waterborne paint to stay wet during application. This will save paint material and help you to apply the correct amount. Once the coating is applied, the booth temperature can be raised for the flash off.

Step 6

Minimize overlap areas whenever possible. Not the overlap from one pass to the next, but the overlap from one section to the next. Most people will choose to paint panel by panel when painting or applying clear. Each time the spray gun stops, the overlap area has possibly double the paint. Choose to spray as far as you can reach instead of painting panel by panel. This will minimize the overlap zones and possibly save paint and clear.

By following the steps above, time and material savings will help drive shop profitability and performance.

Sponsored by Axalta.

You May Also Like


By Steve Calitri

The 500 oldest body shops in the nation, being compiled right now by Body Shop Business, will be honored by the magazine in Fort Worth, Texas during WreckWeek (June 20-22), and on the cover of an issue later in the year. Body shops established any time prior to 2010 should apply at

An Ode to the Parts Cart: The Deceivingly Simple Solution to Optimizing Shop Productivity

By Tony Ashmore and Brian O’Reilly When it comes to managing your shop, in a perfect world there’s an organized, universal system. A system where every disassembled part is accounted for and stays perfectly intact, and where new parts are not misplaced, allowing every project to finish on time. Realistically though, we’re all human and

Easy, Open and Honest: What Consumers Expect from Businesses in 2024 and Beyond

How has your business and the world changed since COVID-19? One key takeaway from the pandemic was the need for accessibility—the option to do things conveniently and with as little friction as possible. Synchrony recently published a report titled “The Rise of the Consumer: Redefining the Brand Relationship,” where they found that consumers overall want

Pre-Scan and Post-Scan are Solid Gold for Profitability

To understand where we are, we must always understand where we have been. The first computer-controlled system on a vehicle had to perform only one function, to control the electronic fuel injection. This was back in the day when the 1968 Volkswagen® Type 3 Fastback had a transistorized electronic module manufactured by Bosch® and was


PPG MoonWalk® system takes color mixing to the next level of precision

Other Posts

Axalta Named 2023 General Motors Supplier of the Year

GM selects winners based on performance, innovation, cultural alignment with GM’s values and commitment to achieving GM’s ambitious goals.

The Digital Transformation of Collision Repair

The strategic integration of digital tools and technologies in body shops is becoming the new refinish industry benchmark.

Axalta Introduces Iris Mix Automated Mixing Machine

The Irus Mix is a fast and efficient fully automated and completely hands-free mixing machine for the automotive refinish industry.

Find the Perfect Match: Choosing a Franchise

Exploring franchise opportunities requires the same dedication and attention to detail as finding a soulmate, says ProColor Collision’s Scott Bridges. Deciding if you should join a franchise and, if so, which one, bears an uncanny resemblance to the world of dating apps. In both cases, you’re looking for a compatible partner who aligns with your