Prepare and apply spray paint to heavy goods and public service vehicles

Business Sectors (Suites): Coachbuilding
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


This standard identifies the competencies you need to ensure prepared surfaces are suitable to accept paint material.  You will be able to prepare materials and equipment, and apply both foundation and topcoats to body panels and components using spray equipment.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 wear suitable personal protective equipment and use the specified environmental safety equipment throughout all vehicle refinishing operations
P2 prepare, check and adjust all the tools and equipment required following manufacturer's instructions, prior to use
P3 support vehicle refinishing operations by reviewing: 

P3.1 product data
P3.2 manufacturer's technical data
P3.3 colour libraries
P3.4 work instructions
P4 identify the correct preparation method prior to application using spray equipment
P5 apply all refinishing materials to body panels using approved tools and equipment and following:

P5.1 manufacturer's instructions
P5.2 industry approved methods and application techniques
P5.3 health, safety and environmental requirements
P6 dry all refinishing materials following health and safety requirements and using:

P6.1 manufacturer's approved method
P6.2 manufacturer's approved equipment
P7 identify the suitability of the final finish prior to undertaking any flatting and polishing work
P8 ensure the finished product:

P8.1 meets the refinishing specification required
P8.2 blends with the existing finish
P8.3 is free from contaminants and defects 
P9 clean and return or dispose of all painting equipment on completion of the painting activities
P10 clean the work area and safely dispose of waste materials in accordance with safe working practices and approved procedures
P11 complete all refinishing activities within the agreed timescale 
P12 report any anticipated delays in completion to the relevant person(s) 
P13 complete work records as required 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

**Legislative and organisational requirements and procedures **
K1 the health and safety and environmental legislative requirements specific to vehicle refinishing operations and why it is important that these are followed
K2 workplace procedures and workshop practices relevant to personal and vehicle protection before, during and after vehicle refinishing operations
K3 the importance of disposing of waste safely and the consequences of not doing so to others, the business and the environment 
K4 your workplace procedures for:
K4.1 the referral of problems
K4.2 reporting of delays to the completion of work
K4.3 the use of personal protection
K5 how to work safely avoiding damage to vehicles, personal injury and injury to colleagues
K6 the importance of leaving workshop environment and equipment in a clean and workable condition
K7 the procedures for reporting **defects **to workshop **tools and equipment**
K8 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress
K9 the relationship between time, cost and productivity
K10 the importance of promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 
K11 the extent of your own responsibility and to whom you should report if you have problems that you cannot solve or your original specification changes
K12 the hazards associated with working on, near or with high energy electrical vehicle components
K13 the risks of causing damage to Advanced Driver Assistance System components or affecting their calibration and the consequences this could have for the vehicle’s safety
**Use of technical information**
K14 how to source and use relevant **information** for planning and progressing your work
K15 the importance of using technical **information **to inform your **refinishing method**
K16 how to find, interpret and use sources of **information **relevant to the mixing and matching of vehicle paint colours
**Tools and equipment**
K17 how to prepare, check, adjust and use all the **tools and equipment** required for vehicle refinishing operations 
K18 the types and grades of abrasives and the factors governing their use for different **substrates**
K19 spray gun faults, their cause and their rectification
K20 the importance of using extraction equipment and how these should be used
K21 the implications of cross-contamination of dissimilar metals when using abrasives and extraction equipment
**Mixing and matching vehicle colours**
K22 the principles of colour and the effects of light
K23 how to compare, mix, test and adjust colour tones and effects, including metallic, mica and other specialist effects
K24 the consequences of adding too much tinter and the method for correcting and adjusting it
K25 the implications of combining different manufacturer’s paint products throughout the refinishing process
K26 the factors affecting colour variation and tone, including the effects of metamerism and application techniques
K27 how to dry test panels and colour test cards and the importance of doing so
K28 how to identify the causes of colour mismatch and how to rectify
K29 how to assess and evaluate the need for blending techniques to achieve an acceptable colour match
K30 the importance and implications of correctly preparing the existing finish for colour matching and checking the match using the correct light source
K31 the advantages of creating and storing your own colour library
K32 the varied range of technology used within the mixing and matching method
**Vehicle refinishing activities**
K33 the factors governing the choice of panel preparation **method **for the **substrate **identified
K34 how to rectify **substrate defects**
K35 the importance of **substrate **cleaning and identifying the correct foundation material to ensure adequate adhesion of the **refinishing system**
K36 how to apply foundation coatings to body panels
K37 how to apply top coat materials to body panels using **application techniques** avoiding contamination and **defects**
K38 how spraying equipment and application technique can be used to obtain the correct colour match
K39 the implications of static when working within the application method
K40 how to dry/cure foundation and top coat materials
K41 how to identify and rectify the faults associated with painting body panels and components
K42 the importance of following manufacturer’s instructions and using their approved methods of working 
K43 the consequences of failing to follow manufacturer’s instructions
K44 the implications of not following an agreed quality control method


1. **Tools and equipment** are:

1.1. polishing machines
1.2. denibbing blocks
1.3. flatting equipment
1.4. masking material dispensers
1.5. dust extraction
1.6. paint mixing and application equipment
1.7. compliant paint scheme
1.8. viscosity measuring equipment
1.9. air supply equipment
1.10. spray booth
1.11. drying/curing equipment

2. Refinishing materials are:

2.1. compounds 
2.2. flatting papers 
2.3. polishes 
2.4. etch primers
2.5. high build primers
2.6. surfacers
2.7. anti-corrosion treatments 
2.8. cleaning agents 
2.9. conditioning agents 
2.10. adhesion promoters 
2.11. metallic clear over base paints 
2.12. non-metallic clear over base paints 
2.13. mica clear over base paint
2.14. direct gloss
2.15. dilutants
2.16. tinters
2.17. additives 
2.18. hardeners

3. Refinishing methods are:

3.1. flatting 
3.2. masking 
3.3. de-greasing 
3.4. ensuring prepared surface is suitable to accept paint material 
3.5. tack off
3.6. application of foundation and top-coat materials using spraying equipment
3.7. polishing 

4. Information sources are:

4.1. electronically stored information
4.2. data sheets
4.3. inspection sheets
4.4. specifications
4.5. workshop manuals
4.6. vehicle manufacturers' technical data
4.7. material manufacturers' technical data
4.8. colour libraries/spectrometer

5. Substrates are:

5.1. new panels
5.2. repaired panels 
5.3. original manufacturer’s finish 
5.4. ferrous and non-ferrous materials
5.5. plastics

6. Defects include:

6.1. runs
6.2. bleeding
6.3. contamination
6.4. poor adhesion
6.5. sanding
6.6. dirt nibs
6.7. orange peel
6.8. solvent popping

7. Application techniques are: 

7.1. edge to edge 
7.2. fade out 
7.3. blending colour into adjacent panels 
7.4. spot repair
7.5. respray

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





*This section contains examples and explanations of some of the terms used but does not form part of the standard.*
**Body panels**
These include full panels, part panel, combination of two or more panels or complete vehicle
**Heavy goods and public service vehicles**
These are medium and heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches of 3500kgs gross vehicle mass (GVM) and above.
**Refinishing operations **
Covers preparation, application, drying and polishing
**Working on, near or with high energy electrical vehicle components**
Any work which does not include working on the high voltage systems.

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations


SOC Code



Bus; coach; body; panel; refinishing; paint; maintenance; spray.