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  1. #1
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    I replied earlier to another thread with the following information relative to touching up paint chips. Mike replied and suggested that I copy the information into a new thread in this section so here it is...

    Here's how I do chip repairs. This process is very time consuming and thus expensive. It's not for everyone and certainly not for every vehicle. But if you have a special interest vehicle or any super nice vehicle this is the way I'd go...

    Paint Chip Touch-Up

    I'm an old body shop and paint guy. Don't do it any more but did a lot of custom cars and bikes back in the 1970 – 2000 time frame.

    The best process I've found for touching up chips on BC/CC finishes (short of repainting the entire panel) is this...

    1)
    Using the edge of a razor blade or Exacto knife, test the margins of the chip for adhesion and carefully chip/trim away any paint that is not firmly adhered to the substrate.

    2)
    Clean the damaged area using a swap and solvent. Enamel reducer or alcohol is my solvent of choice as it will not damage the existing painted surface.

    3)
    Using a fine tip artist’s brush, dab the chip with the appropriate color. Do not try to make the color coat flush to the existing painted surface - you need room for the clear-coat. Minimize any application of paint outside the margin of the chip being repaired. If you do exceed the margin, clean away the excess as described below in step 6). As with most paint applications, multiple thin coats/layers are preferred over a single heavy coat.

    4)
    Allow the color coat to dry thoroughly. It will shrink a little as it dries and if you did step 3 correctly the touched-up color surface will be lower than the existing paint surface.

    5)
    Carefully clean away any remaining excess color that may have exceeded the margin of the chip. If you're really careful a new and sharp single edge razor blade works well. Very fine (i.e., 1500G) wet-or-dry sandpaper is another option.

    6)
    Again, using your artists brush, apply the clear coat in thin coats until the chip is filled flush or slightly higher than the existing paint surface. As in step 3), minimize exceeding the margins of the chip. Where you do exceed the margins or your paint build is too high, squeegee or slice away the excess using the edge of a credit card, a single edge razor blade, or a swab dampened with an appropriate solvent. Any smeared paint resulting from squeegeeing can also be removed with a swab dampened with an appropriate solvent, or with a light sanding once dried. Slightly exceeding the margins with the final coat is acceptable, and even desirable, as long as it’s a very thin coat. Allow to dry thoroughly between coats and overnight or longer for the final coat.

    7)
    Wet sand the repaired area with 1500G wet-or-dry paper.

    8)
    Polish the repaired area.

    It takes some time and patience, but done correctly, this process will yield a virtually undetectable repair on solid colors such as black, white, red, etc. Other colors such as metallics, pearls, etc., are more difficult because it's very difficult to match the lay of the metallic when touching-up with a brush.

    All of the materials needed including the paint can be obtained at most automotive paint supply stores and/or many body shops.

    Hope this might help some of you in the future.

  2. Thanks Diner, DBAILEY, SWETM, spazzz, wing commander thanked for this post
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  3. #2
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    I don't know why my previous post came out all bold, I copy and pasted it from another thread and it was not bold there. Anyways, I looked at editing it to correct it but when I opened the edit window that looked like more work than I felt like doing. So bold it will stay even though that was not my intent.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Rsurfer's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    Thanks for posting this. IIRC Apex did a Youtube exactly as you explained.

  5. #4
    Senior Member AaronE's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    One tip I found from Larry at Ammo was to put carnuba around the chips and clean inside the chips (I use sandpaper attached to a pencil eraser) then use an IPA dabbed in the chip. The carnuba prevents the paint from sticking outside the chip.

    It's a PIA and adds more time to an already time consuming process but it does make things easier.

    Great write up and a nice way to do things on older DDs that may not be worth spending a ton of money on.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Autogeekonline mobile app

  6. #5
    Senior Member Rsurfer's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronE View Post
    Great write up and a nice way to do things on older DDs that may not be worth spending a ton of money on.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Autogeekonline mobile app
    Aaron, IMO Dr. Color Chip should be used for daily drivers and the OP should be used for well taken care of cars.

    The OP method will give you way better results than a smear on system that doesn't remove the ridges of the paint.

  7. #6
    Senior Member AaronE's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    I suppose I should have elaborated a bit more. I chose the similar method to the OP due to cost. It was cheaper for me to buy touch-up paint and gently fill the chips with the touch-up than it was to buy a Dr. Colorchip set for a 10 year old car (I'm great shape) but I'm trying to save money where I can on the car now and dedicate funds to other vehicle maintenance.

    I'm sure the Dr. Colorchip would have sped up the process and given very desirable results as well. I just chose to spend my time instead of money is all.

    Hopefully that makes sense to me line of thought!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Autogeekonline mobile app

  8. #7
    Senior Member spazzz's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    Thanks 2black. I love reading experienced paint techniques from masters.

    Refresh my memory. Is lacquer thinner safe on 2K paint or is it to hot?

    I usually use Prep-All wax and grease remover for this but is this a good choice?

    I dab a sandwich baggie with a blob of paint then run a couple lines with the brush to define my edge on the baggie and reduce excess paint on the bristles.
    When that spot starts to gum I blob again.

    Would you use 1K clear for the touch-up?

  9. #8
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by spazzz View Post
    Thanks 2black. I love reading experienced paint techniques from masters.

    Refresh my memory. Is lacquer thinner safe on 2K paint or is it to hot?

    I usually use Prep-All wax and grease remover for this but is this a good choice?

    I dab a sandwich baggie with a blob of paint then run a couple lines with the brush to define my edge on the baggie and reduce excess paint on the bristles.
    When that spot starts to gum I blob again.

    Would you use 1K clear for the touch-up?
    Lacquer thinner is usually ok on fully cured 2k clearcoat but like anything when you're unsure... use caution. Testing in an inconspicuous area is a good idea.

    Typically I like to use 2k clear on my touch-ups. Granted, I have the materials around so I can mix very small amounts. If I didn't, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 1k clear.

    One thing about 1k vs. 2k for the clear is that most single component clears tend to start to set pretty quickly and that can make it a little tougher to get the clear to flow within the chip. The two-component clears give you a little more initial working time.

  10. #9
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    2black1s awesome write up and guide on chip touch ups!

    My car has just been hammered with rock chips on the front bumper and the hood and the side mirrors. And even the windshield has got a lot of them. It's from a road construction site during a couple of days only. It's a DD but still frustrateing when you see it.

    They are not big and shallow rock chips l have. And only a couple of them is through the base color coat. If I'm able to clean up the chip with the base color coat intact. Do you think it's enough to just fill it up with clearcoat? Or should I try to apply 1 or 2 thin layer of base color coat and then clearcoat?

    Do you do this even when the chip is through the primer? How about dab in some self etching primer first if it's started to rust? Maybe it's not enough room for the 3 different paints then. Now it's winter months here in Sweden so will see if I can do it when the road salt is off the roads in the spring. I live out on the country and they use gravel/sand with a little of road salt blended in on the smaller asphalt roads here. That's also a high risk of getting rock chips so would be a bummer to fix them and then have to go at them again. They have also started to use milled rocks on the roads cause it's better for the environment. This are getting even more rock chips on the vehicals. As they get caught in the winter tires and then when you speed up they releases. Sorry for the rant LOL

    / Tony

  11. #10
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Discerning Paint Chip Touch-Up; Not for Everyone or Every Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by SWETM View Post
    2black1s awesome write up and guide on chip touch ups!

    My car has just been hammered with rock chips on the front bumper and the hood and the side mirrors. And even the windshield has got a lot of them. It's from a road construction site during a couple of days only. It's a DD but still frustrateing when you see it.

    They are not big and shallow rock chips l have. And only a couple of them is through the base color coat. If I'm able to clean up the chip with the base color coat intact. Do you think it's enough to just fill it up with clearcoat? Or should I try to apply 1 or 2 thin layer of base color coat and then clearcoat?

    Do you do this even when the chip is through the primer? How about dab in some self etching primer first if it's started to rust? Maybe it's not enough room for the 3 different paints then. Now it's winter months here in Sweden so will see if I can do it when the road salt is off the roads in the spring. I live out on the country and they use gravel/sand with a little of road salt blended in on the smaller asphalt roads here. That's also a high risk of getting rock chips so would be a bummer to fix them and then have to go at them again. They have also started to use milled rocks on the roads cause it's better for the environment. This are getting even more rock chips on the vehicals. As they get caught in the winter tires and then when you speed up they releases. Sorry for the rant LOL

    / Tony
    Tony,

    If the chip is not through the color coat you can try the clear only approach. After the first coat of clear inspect the chip... This will tell you if you need some color first. If you do need to add some color then remove the clear with a swab and solvent and start over.

    As for rust forming in the chip, I like to remove it with an acidic metal cleaner/conditioner before proceeding.

    And for the primer when the chip exposes bare metal. It's a judgement call. The primer will provide some additional corrosion resistance but it can also make the touch-up more difficult... If the primer climbs the wall around the perimeter of the chip it may show up as a faint outline of the chip when the repair is completed. If using primer be very careful to only apply it only to the base of the chip.

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