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Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:13 am    Post subject: Touching up paint / Improving stone chips Reply with quote

Everyone probably has their own way of doing this, but I thought I would share mine.

I've been using this method for years now. I kind of came up with it by accident one day after putting too much paint on a scratch on my wife’s car, anyway, I've been using it ever since, and I thought it might be useful to someone to help them get rid of the odd annoying chip / mark in the paint. If you don't have the time, and don't want to go through the expense of having something resprayed for the sake of a few marks then this could help. From my point of view, I am currently sourcing a mk1 GT3 front bumper, so there is little point in a full respray on this one, but the touching up will freshen it up while i am waiting for a new one.

I must say that you do this at your own risk of course! My brother used this method on an older car that had very thin paint, and he was a little over-enthusiastic rubbing away the lacquer leaving a dull patch! With that in mind this is how you do it:

You will need, wax, a very mild cutting paste (or T-cut original as it is much kinder than normal cutting paste), touch up paint from an OPC (there is never any substitute for paint, always get it from the manufacturer), a cocktail stick (for smaller nicks) and a couple of soft cloths, degreaser (white spirit is fine).

The first example is the rather annoying marks on my front bumper, from a normal distance and in daylight they don't look so bad, but under a fluorescent strip and a flash of a camera they are easily noticeable.

The first thing to tackle is the two splits / scratches in the paint. To fill scratches that have gone through to the base coat, I first cleaned with soapy water, then used a small amount of white spirit to remove any wax. Dry the area thoroughly.

I use the brush for scratches, just enough to provide a thick-ish but even layer over the scratches.

This paint dries very quickly at normal room temperature and even a below, so I leave for approximately one minute and then apply t-cut to a soft cloth and wipe it over the area painted to dampen. Then, working the T-cut over the area removes the paint you have just put on, but if you rub over the surface evenly it will leave a layer of paint in the scratch.

Repeat the process three time aprox (any more you risk thinning the lacquer):


Third (starting to take care of some chip marks as well at this point)

Fourth (with some more stone chip work as well)

Job done with a lot of the other chips touched in using a similar method:

I use a similar method for small chips but instead, I use a cocktail stick for small marks:

The driver’s front side of the bumper (this is work in progress but you can already see the difference after one application):



You'll notice I haven't touched in all the marks at this point, even with a first coat. The reason is that if you try to cover to much of an area, or too many chips, you will not get to them all in time before they dry leaving nasty blobs on your paintwork!

I hope this is useful to someone, like I said, I have used this method for years, you have to remember to buff the excess paint off with t-cut or similar literally one minute after application otherwise you will not be able to get it off without a real struggle. You can apply the next layer straight over the top after t-cutting and it will adhere.

When you’re done, wash the area and wax it. As you can see, even sticking the camera right on top of the paint with the flash is showing great results, at a normal distance or just standing up in daylight, you would not be able to see the marks were ever there.

For deep chips and blemishes I apply lacquer using the brush or cocktail stick to help level the area, but from experience even the paint polished into the chip area will last for years. Also, the method I use for using a cocktail stick is to wipe excess off of the brush and rod, then turn upside down, get a small amount on the tip, and literally just touch it on the mark as if you are using a pen.



*edited because I can't spell...*
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Long Beach

Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Posts: 6762

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up Steve ,Thanks Thumb
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 5798
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been struggling to keep up thumbsup
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Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys Smile

Hopefully the pics and various bits of info will help.

I like to do a lot of the work on the car myself, as I know it's been done then. For example, the front struts - I inspected and cleaned / repacked the bearings as well as cleaning up a lot of other bits. I dare say most garages would just fire everything back in, as lets be honest they aren't getting paid to do more than the base job. I had someone tell me not so long ago that the N/S front bearing had a notch, I tested by lifting the car and couldn't feel a thing, upon inspection there was no wear and no notches present (familiar with replacing and inspecting race bearings in sportsbikes). So I was a little miffed, but still a bonus that it was ok.

I still make sure the car goes into the OPC to get it's annual service to keep the history up, but it's a little anoying seeing as a £400 service would cost about £70.00. Never mind.

Anyway, hope the pics etc have some use.

Oh, I'll take the opportunity to put in a dislcaimer now saying anyone who finds these threads in future and uses anything in them does so at their own risk Smile

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Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S, with the touching up of paint, it shouldn't be done in direct sunlight. If the paint or pannels are warm the touch up paint will dry very quickly indeed.
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