Copyright 2016 - Checker Car Club of America
Editor's Note: The following article covers the process for custom color matching in cases where you DO NOT have an original manufacturer's paint code or when you are sure that your Checker was repainted in a color that did not match one used by Checker.
When I bought my Checker Aerobus in 2011, I noticed several spots where the paint had chipped off or was worn down by the elements. Then, about a year later, I had the misfortune of banging the front left fender into a telephone pole. This required a fair amount of body work followed by the repainting of the entire fender. Since I did not want to repaint the whole car (estimated at $7,000), the best course was to find some touch-up paint that matched the existing body color.
Searching the internet, I found several companies that offer color matching services and chose PaintScratch.com of Incline Village, Nevada.
Editor's Note 2: I am using PaintScratch for illustration purposes in this article. This does not mean that I am endorsing their products or vouching for their quality. I can state that I was very satisfied with the touch-up paint I purchased from them and found their staff to be helpful and responsive whenever I had a question/problem.
When you connect to their web site, you can find the "Custom Paint Matching" option under the Products menu.
It pays to read the instructions carefully. In brief, however, you can have them do a one-time 'hand match', a hand match with a 'paint formula' or a computer scan. Going in reverse order, a computer scan of a paint chip that you supply is done for free. The down side of this is that the match will be close but not exact. The paint formula option will set you back $150 (as of April 2016) since the color matching will require that the engineer keep track of the exact amount of any color that is added to arrive at an exact match. This option is important if you plan to re-order the paint many times in subsequent years. The one-time 'hand match' option is usually the best option since it will result in an exact match of the paint chip that you supply for the quantity of paint that you are ordering.
When you are ready to place the order, scroll down to the Custom Matching Order Form. Since 'Checker' is not going to show up as a 'Make,' just select the year and enter "Checker xxxx" in the Model field where xxxx is the model name (e.g. Marathon). Fill out the rest of the form as you see fit and select "Custom Hand Matching" if you want an exact color match. Otherwise, choose "Computer Scanning."
Assuming that you go with the 'hand match' option, make sure that you know how much paint you need. If you plan to use a spray paint gun, you can order the paint in pint, quart or gallon quantities. If you prefer to use a typical spray can, they will send you those in 12.5 ounce cans.
The key to getting an exact match is for you to include a sample paint chip with your order. When I placed my order several years ago, I had to find a spot on the car that was not too obvious and where the paint was as close to the original as possible. If you think ahead, choose a spot that you know needs to be sanded, primed and painted anyway. Then go head and bang and/or scrape off the sample as best you can. If the paint comes off in smaller pieces, glue them to a piece of paper to create a larger sample.
IMPORTANT: Note that the paint sample has to be sent to an address in California and not Nevada. The exact address is:
San Leandro Color
Attn: Ruth Toovey
555 E. 14th Street
San Leandro, CA 94577
As you scroll through the rest of the order form, you will note that PaintScratch will send you any other supplies and tools that you may need to complete the repainting/retouching process. It is not necessary for you to buy everything from them since everything but the paint can be purchased for less if you shop around on the internet or at your local auto supply stores.
Except for the paint sample, your order can be completed on the PaintScratch web site.