A note about Dr. ColorChip touch-up paint
. I used it just after we had our R detailed and just before a car show we participated in last week
. In short, I can highly recommend Dr. ColorChip!
Our R had a number of typical tiny to small rock chips and a few light scratches here and there. The detailer was able to remove most of the surface scratches and all of the swirls, etc., but a few chips and scratches remained. I was apprehensive about buying the Dr. ColorChip Squirt 'n Squeegee PLUS package at about $80 shipped. I was used to paying $10 or so for the little touch-up paint bottles from the local auto parts stores. However after watching their videos and some YouTube DIYs, plus some recommendations here I decided to give it a try.
I received the package in a little over a week. The paint was as perfect a match as I could hope for. All of the application parts and pieces made the job as easy as this kind of thing can be. In a nutshell the repair is made by putting a "blob" of paint ahead of the scratch or chip and then using their soft squeegee, dragging it across the damage to fill it in. After a few minutes it dries and then you apply their "blending solution" on a special cloth they provide which breaks down the touch-up paint left outside (and I suppose inside) the chip/scratch with some soft swirling motion (not pressing down at all). Slowly the build-up melts away leaving only the touch-up paint in the chip or scratch. Repeating the same steps for deeper problem areas continually fills them in until some are level with the original paint. A much better solution than the old touch-up bottle with the tiny paint brush, drop it on and hope for the best method.
There was one problem area in particular on the passenger's side front bumper a little above the fog light where there were two semi-wide, parallel scratches about three inches long. They weren't typical scratches but fairly wide, maybe a 32nd of an inch or more and not completely contiguous as if something metal was dragged across it. The detailer said that it would need to go to a body shop for paint repair. So after fixing a couple of rock chips to a surprisingly satisfactory finish I had the confidence to tackle them. I was concerned about it working on a horizontal surface. After the first try it was somewhat better but still easy to see. I persisted and did it three more times, letting it fully dry in between (about 30 minutes) while I worked on other, smaller imperfections. Each time the result was better than the last. The paint was filling the scratches in and due to their method of "blending" the paint, not building up on the areas around them.
As we all know, paint problems are most apparent due to reflection of light. As the surface is smoothed out the damaged part reflects less light. Well, after working on those two scratches for about a couple of hours total they became almost invisible! I was truly stunned. That I was able to do it on a horizontal surface was even more surprising. If I shine a high-intensity light on the area or get on my knees and look in the bright sun I can still find them, but to the naked eye, even a foot away they are gone. My wife couldn't find them and she knew about where they were. She too was shocked. I am kicking myself for not taking before and after photos.
So long story longer, I filled in the various chips here and there, an odd "divot" in the paint on the convertible deck and even a couple of noticeable chips on the side of the passenger door. Like the problematic scratches some took two or three attempts, filling in the paint a little more each time, but in the end they are gone for all intents and purposes. I gave it a couple of days to cure and went back over all of the repaired areas with some carnauba wax to seal the deal.
Had I taken the R to a body shop and gotten it back in this condition I would have been very happy, except for the bill which would have likely been in the hundreds of dollars. I know my time is worth something as well, but being retired I no longer calculate how much.
So with a little time and some practice I'm pretty sure anyone here could get as good or better results. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect. A full-on body shop spray booth repair is in order for more serious damage. But it's darned hard to find these little (and even medium) repairs unless you know exactly where they were to begin with.
After about a dozen or so fixes I still have about 75% of the paint in the kit left. I used about 50% of the blending solution but you can buy that separately along with any of the other supplies. So I'm prepared the next time I accidentally follow a semi truck a little closer than I should.
I don't work for or have any interest in Dr. ColorChip but as what I think is a typical car enthusiast I can certainly attest to its effectiveness. Hopefully the repairs will last, only time will tell. But for now, wow. Color me impressed!