It should be simple to spot a bad auto body paint shop, right? But that isn’t always the case. Here’s the tricky part: repairs are often harder to notice unless you can see them under the sun.

There are some red flags to watch out for before taking your car home from the car paint shop. So, whether you’ve noticed some obvious errors, or you’re just not quite happy with how your freshly-painted car looks, watch out for these red flags before signing off on the bill.


Some shady auto body paint shops offer quick-fix services to car owners. And, as someone who has no professional knowledge about auto painting, you might think that it’s a good idea to take your car home as soon as possible. But actually, these technicians skip important steps. At times, they don’t mask off areas where a repair is being painted. Panels that aren’t masked off will often have overspray paint on the surface. This can be problematic to remove, and can also require more sections to be repainted.

Poor Color Matching

Matching auto paint colors become difficult and time-consuming when you don’t hire experienced auto painters. The problem is, some vehicle owners don’t immediately notice these small streaks, blotches, and swirls on their panels.

It’s understandable that these poor color matching mistakes can be hard to spot, even in good artificial light. But it often becomes more obvious once you look closely under the sun, or better yet, take your car to another auto painting shop.

Uneven Texture

There’s a specific method for how auto paint should be sprayed. If you spray too close to the surface, this can result in uneven looking textures. These textures can resemble ripples, waves, or orange peels. This often happens when an auto body painter is in a hurry. These shops may also use heat to hastily dry paint before another layer is added.

Related Content: How Does an Auto Body Shop Match Car Paint?

Sagging or Running Paint

Sagging paint is an unsightly mess to see on four wheels. This happens when the paint shop fails to mix the paint correctly. A layer that’s too thick will start to run as it dries under a heat lamp. Running and sagging paint will form long droopy paint wrinkles that look terrible, oftentimes even from a distance. Although this sagging can be very subtle, you surely want your car paint to be 100% smooth and polished. In this case, it will need to be repainted.

Poor Sanding Under the Paint

Dents or damage to the “skin” of your car will need repairs that usually include Bondo and auto-body fillers. As these polyester fillers cure, they can be shaped and sanded. Finer versions of auto body filler help create a smooth texture, but cheap or incompetent auto body shops skip this step. As a result, the car’s surface can include pits, odd bulges, or uneven sanding.

Related Content: Types of Auto Body Damage and How They’re Repaired

Auto Body Paint Shop

No car owner should settle for a botched paint job. If you notice any of these problems in your newly painted car, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion to arrive at the best solution. California Collision offers premium auto painting services in the Tri-Valley area. Get in touch with us at (925) 484-0111 for more information!