Carry out mix and match colour activities for automotive vehicles

Business Sectors (Suites): Accident Repair - SMART - Cosmetic,Vehicle Paint Refinishing
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard is about the ability to identify, mix and match vehicle paint colours, including the use of tinters and the preparation of colour test cards.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 wear suitable personal protective equipment and use the specified environmental safety equipment throughout all paint mixing and matching activities
P2 support paint mixing and matching activities by reviewing:

P2.1 the vehicle manufacturer's technical data
P2.2 material manufacturer's technical data
P2.3 colour libraries
P2.4 spectrometer
P2.5 work instructions
P3 prepare, check and adjust all the equipment required, following manufacturer's instructions, prior to use
P4 prepare all the refinishing systems and materials required following health and safety requirements and using:

P4.1 materials which conform to the specification required
P4.2 the manufacturer's approved method
P4.3 the manufacturer's approved equipment
P5 mix, compare and adjust colour tones and effects correctly using suitable mixing and matching techniques
P6 estimate the appropriate amount of mix material
P7 select an appropriate refinishing technique
P8 ensure all refinishing systems and materials prepared meet the specification required for colour and viscosity prior to application
P9 apply refinishing systems and materials to colour test cards using approved equipment and following:

P9.1 the manufacturer's instructions
P9.2 the correct application techniques for managing colour and tone variables
P9.3 health and safety requirements
P10 dry all colour test cards before checking colour following health and safety requirements and using:

P10.1 the manufacturer's technical data
P10.2 the manufacturer's approved equipment
P11 ensure the colour produced:

P11.1 meets the material manufacturer's technical data
P11.2 meets the customer's requirements
P11.3 is a blendable match to the existing colour
P12 dispose of waste materials to conform with legal, environmental  and workplace requirements
P13 leave tools, equipment and work environment in a clean and serviceable condition, as appropriate
P14 complete all mixing and matching activities within the agreed timescale and to an agreed quality control process
P15 promptly report any anticipated delays in completion to the relevant person(s) 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

K1 the health and safety and environmental legislative requirements specific to mixing and matching vehicle colours 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 mixing and matching vehicle colours
K3 the importance of disposing of waste safely and the consequences of not doing so to others, the business and the environment
K4 the vehicle work specification agreed
K5 your workplace procedures for:

K5.1 the referral of problems
K5.2 reporting delays to the completion of work
K6 the importance of working to agreed timescales and keeping others informed of progress
K7 the relationship between time, cost and productivity
K8 the importance of promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 
K9 how to prepare, check, adjust and use all the equipment required for mixing and matching vehicle paint colours
K10 how spraying equipment adjustments can alter colour
K11 spray gun faults, their cause and their rectification
K12 the properties of refinishing systems and materials and the factors affecting their use
K13 how to find, interpret and use sources of information relevant to the mixing and matching of vehicle paint colours
K14 the principles of colour theory and the effects of light
K15 how to compare, mix, test and adjust colour tones and effects, including metallic, mica and other specialist effects
K16 the consequences of adding too much tinter and the process for correcting and adjusting it
K17 the implications of combining different manufacturer’s paint products throughout the refinishing process
K18 the factors affecting colour variation and tone, including the effects of metamerism
K19 how to dry test panels and colour test cards and the importance of doing so
K20 how to identify the causes of, and rectify, colour mismatch
K21 how to assess and evaluate the need for blending techniques to achieve an acceptable colour match
K22 the importance and implications of correctly preparing the existing finish for colour matching and checking the match using the correct light source
K23 how to identify the paint substrate and the importance of doing so
K24 how to dispose of waste materials in compliance with any environmental requirements/legislation and workplace procedures
K25 how to work safely avoiding damage to vehicles, personal injury and injury to colleagues
K26 the importance of following manufacturer's instructions and using their approved methods of working (including use of refinishing systems, materials and equipment)
K27 the consequences of failing to follow manufacturer’s instructions
K28 the varied range of technology used within the mixing and matching process
K29 the advantages of creating and storing your own colour library
K30 the implications of not following an agreed quality control process


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Cosmetic Refinishing Technician (Automotive), Cosmetic Senior Refinishing Technician (Automotive), Engineering, Senior Automotive Paint Technician, Vehicle Trades, Lead Senior Paint Technician

SOC Code



Mix; match; paint; colour; automotive; vehicle