The art of colour matching

27th February 2018

Our technicians are real experts when it comes to colour matching, it’s safe to say that they can colour match and refinish almost any surface, from wood grain to a 1970’s aubergine bath panel.

But how?  We speak to James Winston, Head of Training at Plastic Surgeon.

“Our technicians go through a rigorous interview process before they are even put through their paces on our training programme, which establishes their suitability for the role, we have to ensure that they have a real eye for detail!”
“Once they begin their training, one of the core skills we work on is ‘colour matching’.

Back to basics

“We go back to the real basics when it comes to colour theory”.

“It’s essentially going back to school, learning the basics of colour, what are primary colours, tertiary colours, what colours give you light and shade etc.”

“We then take this a stage further looking at the real detail in every colour, breaking colours down to explore what primary, secondary and tertiary colours make the final shade, this ensures that our technicians will eventually be able to completely copy colours by eye.”

Intensive training

It’s a programme that has served Plastic Surgeon well for over 20 years – the company began in 1995 – finishers are put through their paces on an intensive three-month training programme, which begins with a one-week residential course in the classroom before they go out on the road for an intensive mix of mentoring and on-the-job training.  Plastic Surgeon are also the first in the industry to offer all finishers the opportunity to gain an NVQ in Surface Repair, which is attained during the training period.

James continues: “Once we understand colours and how we copy and recreate shades by eye we then look at the various hard surfaces and the products we need to use”.

“It doesn’t end there however, colours once dry can look quite different.  Our finishers have to understand with confidence how they are likely to dry to enable a great match.”

Secret to success

The products that Plastic Surgeon use are a closely guarded secret:

Gary Danson, Operations Director at Plastic Surgeon, heads up the Product Development team and explains: “We have spent years refining and developing our products, which we can safely say are the best in the market, and enables our finishers to produce the very best results for our customers. There is only a handful of people who know the secret!”

Colour Matching in the Insurance Industry

Colour matching requires a real eye for detail and our finishers are experts at what they do.  The skill is particularly useful to the insurance industry.

Head of insurance services at Plastic Surgeon, Chris Edwards explains:

“We advocate a repair over replacement approach, and many insurers and customers are seeing the value of this approach, offering the customer an alternative less disruptive solution, reducing the overall lifecycle of the claim, impact on the environment and finally the average cost of every claim.”

Plastic Surgeon this year reported that it had seen record landfill savings on last year’s figures, 3,474 tonnes of landfill was saved, and 135,445 items saved from being replaced.

Chris continued: “We can repair, and colour match a wide range of surfaces, from wooden and tiled floors, to worktops, baths, basins, the list is endless”.

A solution for matching set clauses

“Providing an alternative solution to insurers and customers when dealing with the matching sets clause that is in most home insurance policies is also very important and the reason why Plastic Surgeon have spent so much time getting this right. The insurance ombudsman receives a great deal of complaints regarding matching set clauses – their application and contribution from insurers. In this scenario, we can colour match the repaired surface to that of the original, and then colour match other items to bring them in line with the items already in place.”

We can also ensure that traditional and loved items can be repaired to their former glory, experienced Fine Finisher James Botting explains:

“We recently completed an insurance job where a customer had a very expensive and beautiful hardwood mahogany kitchen which had been damaged during a house fire.  In this situation the customer would not have been able to replace the kitchen as it was many years old”.

“We were able to return it to its former glory, matching the very tricky mahogany wood grain using our colour matching techniques”.

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