This one is in the top 5 questions asked during the estimating and claims process. We will drill down and touch on this subject so you as the Claimant/Insured can understand.
During the repair process, we get the paint code (factory color number) from the car, look up the number or call the paint supplier or mix the color on site depending on the situation. In either case, the mix will be using the factory formula. After viewing the color chip in the color book, we can check for variations in the shade, the flop or the way the color casts. In other words, looking at the color from various angles to determine a match (and you thought it was just the color). With today's metallic (actually the flakes are ceramic now), the chip will affect the way a color looks after it is applied. If there seems to be a known issue, experience tells us some colors are always problematic, we do what is called a “Let Down Panel,” basically spraying the mixed color on a card to hold next to the original paint. This process will determine the quality of the match and how much blend room will be needed or if a blend is even possible, in extreme cases, colors can be so far off it must be remixed or use an alternate. In any case, the paint will be worked with until we have a match.
On average, Insurance Companies do provide additional time for extra steps to ensure you get a proper OEM style color match. In extreme cases, a supplement filed for extra time, in both cases our Body Shop and Your Insurance Company both want to do the best repair possible.