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Vehicle Painter Courses and Classes Overview

Courses for aspiring vehicle painters are available at several community colleges and technical schools. Read on to learn about the most common vehicle painting courses and the topics they cover.

Essential Information

Courses in vehicle painting are typically included in certificate and associate's degree programs in auto body repair or auto painting. These programs train students to repair damages to a vehicle's appearance by using various refinishing and custom painting techniques. Courses generally include a large amount of hands-on lab work, which is essential for this field.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in vehicle painter courses:

  • Automotive damage repair
  • Equipment safety and gear
  • Paint mixing and tinting
  • Auto body panel alignment
  • Vehicle framework
  • Acrylic enamels
  • Molding and trim repair
  • Priming, painting, and finishing

List of Common Vehicle Painting and Repair Courses

Basic Auto Refinishing and Painting Course

Students focus on the basic skills needed to restore a vehicle's paint job after bodywork damages have been repaired. Topics include basic refinishing equipment, preparatory painting practices, auto body painting methods, metalwork surface protection and principles of shop safety. Instruction also covers refinishing techniques, such as the use of acrylic materials, spot repair work and troubleshooting common auto painting problems.

Color Matching and Application Course

This course introduces students to the theory and application of color in custom automotive paint jobs. Topics include color analysis, paint mixing and tint matching. Students may also receive instruction in primer choice and application, clear coat finishing and the equipment used to apply primer, paint and finisher.

Advanced Auto Refinishing and Painting Course

Advanced courses in vehicle painting examine complex refinishing procedures, including application techniques using acrylic lacquer, acrylic enamel and enamel. Some programs require students to complete a restoration project, which typically includes estimating repair costs, purchasing materials or parts and performing repairs.

Basic Auto Body Welding and Metalwork Course

Courses in auto body repair work are often included in automotive painting programs. Students receive instruction in basic welding skills using a variety of materials and techniques. They also learn metal finishing methods, such as roughing and bumping, as well as techniques for applying lead and plastic filler. Students are shown how to apply these skills to the repair, replacement and alignment of auto body panels prior to painting and refinishing the vehicle.

Advanced Auto Framework and Collision Repair Course

Advanced courses in auto repair address large damages received in collisions, usually to the vehicle's frame and body panels. Students review practices in straightening framework, as well as learn how to replace and repair body panels. Some advanced courses also include instruction in steering and suspension realignment, trim work and molding repair.


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