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· Registered
724 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found this on popular mechanics website. what do you think:

As always, you've parked your new, expensive, shiny car at the far end of the parking lot, several rows away from the nearest vehicle of any sort. You've even been careful to park at the top of the lot's drainage pitch so any errant shopping carts will roll away from, not toward, your car.

But nobody said life was fair. Returning to your car 3 minutes later with a $50 bag of chocolate napoleons, sushi and okra for your pregnant wife, you find that the unthinkable has happened--there's a rusted, sagging minivan parked only inches from your car. And, yes, the careless driver has managed to chip the paint on your wheel well arch in two places.

Carefully apply touchup paint to fill chips and cracks. Degrease, sand and prime bare metal before applying color.

Getting It Fixed
The body shop wants $250 to begin repairing it. And the shop foreman says something about clearcoat and not guaranteeing an exact match for your pearlescent mica paint.

Unfortunately, that's about the size of it. It's frustratingly difficult to match many of today's high-tech finishes if you respray an entire panel. If the nick is small, but large enough to go through the clearcoat and into the pigmented paint, your best bet may be a simple touchup, which you can do in the driveway. It won't be perfect, but it may be far less noticeable.

Paint By Number
This method is best for small scratches or the chips that flake off edges--for example, near trunk and door openings. Work indoors in a heated garage during the cooler months, or outdoors out of the wind and sun. If you live in Truth or Consequences, N.M., or Las Vegas, you may want to work early in the day, before the heat builds up, to keep the paint fluid enough to flow properly.

Go to the car dealership or auto parts store and acquire touchup paint in the appropriate color, clearcoat and, if you've got bare metal showing, primer. Do not use primer intended for lawn furniture or naval vessels--it should be automotive primer, preferably of the same brand as the touchup paint.

Apply primer, color and clearcoat in layers over chipped areas. Sand the area you're working on between layers to keep it smooth.

Start by using masking tape to isolate the area around the chip, to prevent you from damaging other parts of the finish. Allow about 1/4 in. around the damaged spot. Next, clean road grime and wax away from the inside of the chipped area with a cloth moistened with lacquer thinner. (If your car is painted with a lacquer-based paint--which is possible if it dates to the '70s or earlier, or has been repainted--the paint will dissolve in lacquer thinner. Use denatured alcohol instead.) If the paint is chipped down to the metal, use a sharp knife point or some 40-grit sandpaper to rough up the surface, particularly if there's any rust. With the applicator brush in the bottle or with a toothpick, prime any bare metal. Flow primer in a thin coat, but be careful not to lap any primer onto the paint surrounding the chip. Your job at this point is to lay a smooth layer of primer down without any lumps or bumps--just enough to cover the bare metal. Let this dry for at least 24 hours.

Now comes the tricky part. Using the brush or toothpick, fill the chip with paint in a nice, even layer. Don't try to fill it up, just be sure you get to all the corners. Don't let it sag or bulge. If you get a little overlap, use a cotton swab lightly moistened with lacquer thinner to mop up any excess paint. If the paint is too thin, leave the applicator brush out in the open for a minute or two and the paint will thicken. If it's too gooey, a few drops of lacquer thinner will fix that. Thin sparingly, if you must.

Allow the layer of paint to dry for 24 hours. It will shrink substantially as it dries, and you don't want too much paint. If it gets lumpy, you can try sanding it with 600-grit or 800-grit waterproof sandpaper and water. Don't sand the paint surrounding the chip--you want that to remain undisturbed.

Build up the color touchup paint until it's nearly flush with the surrounding surface, but definitely recessed. If your car is still wearing its factory coat, that may be only one or two coats of color. Resprayed cars with a thicker layer of chip-prone paint may require four to six coats. Keep chasing the overlap back with cotton swabs and thinner.

After a week's drying time (longer in cool weather) you can coat the repair with clearcoat. If you've had good luck filling the chip, you may simply be able to continue with the process of flowing touchup paint right up to the original paint without overlap, and achieve a nearly invisible repair.

If not, you'll need to blend the repaired area with the surrounding paint. Overlap the chip by 1/4 in. or so. Add enough coats, a few days apart, to allow for the inevitable shrinkage, to make the repair stand a few thousandths of an inch--say, the thickness of a sheet of paper--higher than the surrounding paint. Allow the repair to dry and shrink in the sun for a week or so. Now you can gingerly sand with 600- or 800-grit waterproof sandpaper to blend in the color. This will feather the repair into the surrounding clearcoat and smooth the work, but will also leave it with an unattractive matte finish. Use a soft cloth and some rubbing compound to turn the sanded area shiny.

Use a cardboard mask to keep overspray to a minimum when spraying.

Use rubbing compund around the edge of the repair to clean up overspray before spraying the next coat of primer or paint.

Chipped Off
Got a chip in the middle of a flat panel? If you've tried the above repair and weren't happy with the results, you might get a better, less visible repair with spray paint. Again, you'll need to degrease, derust and sand the area for good adhesion. Cut a 1-1/2-in. hole in a file folder or piece of thin cardboard. Gently warm a spray can of automotive primer to 100°F with warm water to increase the pressure for a more even spray. Take the spray can in one hand and with your other hold the cardboard with the hole centered over the chip, 2 in. away from the panel. Sweep the spray can back and forth over the hole while spraying three or four passes over the chip. Don't put enough paint on the panel to sag, or even get shiny.

Wait an hour and repeat. Remove the masking, and use 800-grit paper to remove most of the primer from the paint, leaving the primer in the chip to backfill. Now use rubbing compound on a soft cloth to remove the overspray surrounding the area.

Be aware that primer and glazing putty will shrink in a few days.

Now that the repair is filled nearly level, mask the area again and spray touchup paint in your matching color through the hole in your cardboard mask. Give it about three coats, roughly a half-hour apart. Remove the masking, and let dry at least overnight. Use rubbing compound on the overspray again. Repeat this process with spray-can clearcoat.

You may wish to lightly sand the clearcoat with 800-grit paper, but rubbing compound should bring up the shine and blend the overspray into the panel's original clearcoat. The repair may still be visible, but it should be far less noticeable

· Registered
2,665 Posts
I picked up my "Paint Chip Repair Kit" at my dealership. They all carry them. Was around $20 I believe, but could be wrong on the price. This does not include the price of the touch up paint. The kit comes with various materials and good instructions that are a lot shorter than what they posted on your Popular mechanics article. Have not used my kit yet, since it is a one shot deal. Gonna wait till I get at least five chips to repair and then get to it. I've done it on other cars and it is really no big deal. Most of these modern paint jobs today are very prone to rock chips but the quality of the paint is superior to anything they have ever come up with in the past. Paint is a very complex science/chemistry, be it automotive or otherwise. You definately want to follow the instructions with the kit.

· Machell
22,391 Posts
paint chip

How long do you wait if you have a small nick that is showing metal? (Gray) I don't want to cause any problems but it is so small my hubby couldn't see it in the garage. I have to wait til the sun comes out. And it is on the top of the tailgate.

· Registered
724 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ed, What is in the kit?

· Registered
2,665 Posts
Part is 1#12378179, GR.8.800
Called Paint Chip Repair Kit, Stops rust instantly, Makes professional flush repairs, Eliminates abrasions, and scratches. Kit Contents:
-Prep Pen Spot Snading Pen
-Clear Top coat-Net Contents 1/3 oz.
-Ultra Fine Polish-Net contents 2/3 oz.
-Paint Applicators
-Micro fine Polishing Sandpapers
-Special Flexible Sanding Block
Touch up paint not included.
Hope this helps ya. Wildcat, my chips are down to the Gray Primer, not metal. Not to worry at this stage in my opinion but I could be wrong, still gonna wait a bit to fix mine. Car show in May so they will be fixed by then. Until then, happy cruisin. I expect to get a few more at the next autocross. Sure wish I could afford that magnacharger for the autocross. That would help a lot!
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