A Refinishing Prep Technician removes parts, masks, performs chemical cleaning, applies putty, sands, primes, and generally prepares an automobile for the refinishing process. The job requires good manual dexterity, attention to detail and reasonable physical strength. Certification in this trade is a prerequisite to apprenticeship in the automotive painting trade.
Automotive Refinishing Prep Technicians, sometimes known as auto detailers, tend to work with minimal supervision, cleaning vehicles inside and out, including washing windows and shampooing upholstery. They may use carpet cleaning and polishing machines, power tools and pressure cleaners in a typical day. It can be a physically demanding occupation but requires communication, organization and analytical skills.
Before paint application, Refinishing Prep Technicians must first remove grease, dirt, paint and rust from auto body surfaces, using abrasives, solvents, brushes, blowtorches and sand blasters. Accessories such as chrome or mirrors are removed, while other parts are masked with paper or tape to protect them from paint. They fill small dents or scratches with body fillers and smooth the body’s surfaces before they’re rust-resistant undercoats, primers and coatings are applied.
There is an intricate process to the act of automotive painting. Training programs will include the following subject matter:
- Introduction to the Automotive Industry and shop safety
- Automotive detailing
- Automotive refinishing prep tools and shop procedures
- Surface preparation
- Small dent repair
- Plastic parts refinishing
- Masking procedures
- Introduction to refinishing procedures
- Tools and equipment
- Welding technology
- Sheet metal repair
- Vehicle construction technology
- Plastic repair technology