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Old 04-26-2012, 11:48 AM
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Post DIY: Wetsanding paint chip repair

The information below was initially thrown together to help a fellow member venture into the world of wetsanding to correct flaws. She shared it with another member, and both said they found it useful and encouraged me to post to everyone.

Last weekend I went on our local BMW CCA chapter spring drive, and when I washed the car on return I found a chip on the A-pillar on the drivers side. I figured taking photos as I fixed it and the information below would go together with the wetsanding tips, so here goes. Hopefully will help folks who are trying to remove fine scratches (not all the way through the clearcoat), or to wetsand touch-up paint.

Also note, I am a fan of Dr. Colorchip, and use it for small nicks and roadrash. One problem I have with it, though, is that it doesn't really fill the spot level, so for larger chips they remain visible. It (and Langka, which I haven't tried yet) are both valuable tools to use in addition to traditional touchup paint and wetsanding.

I'll start with the "quick tips" I sent, and then show some photos from the chip repair, along with brief narratives. As always, if you take on this as a DIY, you're on your own, there are risks. if you aren't comfortable doing it, don't!

First, if you haven't yet, check out the wetsanding tips article on AutoGeek. In it, they are wetsanding a much larger surface to level paint, but the ideas/techniques are the same. And there are some photos to show what to expect to see. AutoGeek: how to remove scratches

There are also lots of threads about wetsanding and chip repair in the AG forum if you search.

One suggestion they make is to use your finger with smaller pieces of paper (1"x1") for limited areas. I've actually done (and still do) this. While a small piece of paper on a small rubber surface (one tip is to use a hole punch to create little tiny disks, and affix them to pencil erasers) seems appealing, you lose the touch and sensitiveity (at least, I do). And I think it's easier to press too hard with a smaller surface than you would with your fingertip. The trick is keeping the surface pretty level and the pressure light.

So, follow all the tips about soaking the paper (overnight is not an exaggeration, the bodyshop where I've had work done constantly has buckets with fresh paper soaking so it is always ready to use). I'd suggest experimenting with a small piece of paper and your fingertip on a test panel if you have one (or an inconspicuous place in the trunk or under the hood), to get a feel for how the paper grabs and glides depending on pressure and the amont of water. Just remember, if it's not a test panel, you'll have to buff out the sanding marks.

If you *EVER* see color in the "slurry" of water that gets worked up, STOP MMEDIATELY. It means you may be through the clear into the color base. I've never had this happen. Just go slow and light and easy. Might be interesting to intentionally sand through the paint on a test panel, just to see how it feels/looks.

Another thing I use is a pink rubber eraser (the kind you had in grade school, about 1.5"x2"x.5") as a sanding block. I also have a small 1"x2"x1/2" wood block (was part of some kit my son got years ago, and is machine made, smooth, and true) that I use. This is about the largest I use, since I don't like sanding large areas.

The trick with the eraser or block is to make sure to feather the edges of where you are sanding so you don't end up with a visible low spot (straight lines) in the clear. I did this once, thus the switch to the fingertip method. I fixed the error by resanding outward to feather the edges and then repolishing.

Folks will tell you using your finger is no good, since it's not perfectly level and flat. But you can *feel* the bump of the paint, and can make sure you apply pressure on it, and feather out from it. Experiment, and see what works for you. I tend to use it more often than not.

Not much I can say I do that isn't in that link. Don't sand parallel or perpendicular to the scratch (if doing a chip repair, I pick one direction for each paper I use, alternating 90 degrees with each one). Go at an angle. For chips, make sure to feather out, so the marks get lighter further away from the chip/scratch, and so you don't create a visible "dip". Wipe with a MF towel to check your work and then respray frequently. With a chip repair, if you're doing it right, you'll see the top of the blob get opaque (being sanded down) and the area around it should be as untouched as possible (although I've never been able to get *only* the blob). As it gets close to the level of the paint, sometimes I'll then switch to the eraser, and go very, very lightly over the whole area. Doing this, you'll see the high and low spots in the paint. The trick is to let the fine grit of the paper do it's job without much pressure (like using clay, or using sharp tools on a athe - let the tool do the work, don't push it).

Once you've done it with 2000 paper, go over the whole area lightly with 2500 or 3000 paper (if you have it). This is the time to use the block, you want it to be level. Sometimes I'll skip the second sanding, but I have compounds that will remove 1500-2000 grit sanding marks.

Speaking of polishing compounds, you need something that will take out the marks left by the finest paper you use. In the example I post below, I used Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. I chose this because the area doesn't lend itself to machine buffing, and I knew I'd have to do it by hand. A side benefit is that it's readily avaialble and reletively inexpensive for folks who don't have a whole shelf full of different compounds and polishes like I do. Meguiars Ultimate Compound (followed by Ultimate Polish, if you need/want) can be used by hand to get 2000 and 2500 grit marks out. They work well.

If you a dual action (DA) polisher (like a porter Cable or Griots), that helps the buffing side. If not, definitely put one on your list for birthday/Christmas/whatever if you are serious about keeping swirl marks out of your finish. They really make quick work of swirl and Random Isolated Deeper Scratches (RIDS) removal.

That's pretty much it for tips - on to the photos and chip removal!

These first two are photos of the chip itself. This is on the top part of the drivers side A-pillar, near where it bends around to go across the top of the windshield. You can see the chip is all the way through the color layers, into the white primer layer. My BMW paint has seven layers (if I recall), so this one is pretty deep.





This is a photos to give an idea of scale. That is a 0.5mm mechanical pencil lead pointing at the chip.




This is the BMW touch-up paint kit. It comes with both color and clear. You can use both, or just the color. I've also used just the clear to fill in nicks that didn't go through the color layer.




Here I've applied the touch up paint, after shaking it well for 1 minute. I used an artists brush with a very fine tip. You can also use the included brush (pretty wide) or a toothpick (for very tiny spots), in addition to regular paint brushes. You can see I tried to keep the paint inside the chip, but note that you want it to go over the edges somewhat.




Here's the spot after the paint has had a chance to dry for about 30 minutes. Note that it contracts significantly. This is why you want to be sure to cover the edges of the chip.




This is after drying overnight. Note the paint has contracted even more, and is now below the level of the surrounding paint. It needs another couples coats, so I repeated the above process, making sure to cover the edges of the current touch-up spot.




This is the next day, after the next 2 coats dried. Note the center - this is a tiny air bubble, which can potentially cause a problem if it's within the level of the existing paint, since it might cause a tiny pinhole in the finished/level surface. At this point, I'll just keep going to see. Even if it is, I think it's easier to fix the pinhole than to try and remove this paint that's already dry.




This is the first light pass. I started out with 2000 paper on my red eraser, and quickly realized the area was going to be hard to do with the paper on the eraser (should have opened the top - duh!). You can also see that the area is drying quickly (I'm out in the sun, since it's bright but not warm/hot).




Here is the spot wiped clean after a bit more sanding. In addition to ditching the rubber eraser as a sanding block, I changed direction to make it easier to sand. You can also see the pinhole caused by the air bubble.



More sanding passes






Final pass. I think I did a couple very light passes with the paper back on the eraser block after this, but you can see it's level with the surface.




After checking the level closely, I buffed the area using the Meguiar's Ultimate Compound on a general purpose (medium weight) MF towel. You could also use soft terry cloth or a terry applicator, but the area was so small it didn't take much compound. This photo is after 3 or 4 buff/wipe off/check cycles. You can see this is still just a touch of haziness around in a couple spots.




Here it is after a few more cycles using the Ultimate Compound. You can see that it finishes quite well (no marring or swirls) by hand. You can see the spot - it's a bit darker than the surrounding area - but that is highly dependant on the light, and this was near noon on a very bright day. At many angles, the spot was exactly the same color.




After buffing and checking for swirls/holograms/marring, it's time to put a last stage protectant (LSP) back on. Right now I've got Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant on the whole car, so it got a quick treatment of that. It just wipes on with a foam applicator, dries, and buffs (very easily) off.

The final product. The spot you see in one image is a metallic flake catching the sun. Also, the paint will lighten up some in the next few days as it cures.





Nice and clean (during our drive, we went past a plant that processes gypsum. It was raining. Couldn't wait to get it off - talk about a mess all over the front and sides of the car...it was almost like paper mache paste. Should have taken a "before" photo of it.



I hope this helps anyone considering touch-up chip repair and wetsanding. It's terribly intimidating to put those kind of scratches into your paint as you're working, but hopefully this shows that with caution (don't go below the clearcoat, don't do the same spot too long/too many times!) it can be safely done with little materials.

Recap on what I used:
- BMW touch-up paint kit
- Artists paintbrush (very very fine tip)
- 3M 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper, soaked for about 3 hours. One little piece (about 1"x3")
- red rubber eraser for sanding block
- Water bottle to spray area
- multipurpose MF towel
- Meguiar's Ultimate Compound
- Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant (whatever LSP you use goes here)
- CAUTION, ATTENTION TO DETAIL, AND A SLOW AND STEADY PACE

Last edited by andrew b; 04-26-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:27 PM
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Excellent. Thank you for posting this. I have a bunch of spots to address.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:29 PM
DrSeuss99 DrSeuss99 is offline
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Great writeup!

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

Curious, what's your back ground? Have you done this before? Looking at the early stages of sanding scares me. There's no need to clear coat?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:53 PM
07335i_sport 07335i_sport is offline
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Awesome. Thank you! I have at least two spots on my hood that I will try this on!
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:05 PM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSeuss99 View Post
Great writeup!

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

Curious, what's your back ground? Have you done this before? Looking at the early stages of sanding scares me. There's no need to clear coat?
I just detail as a hobby - kind of a zen thing, it relaxes me. I spent quite a few years on the Autopia carcare forum (the original one) and was lucky to have a professional detailer here in town that ran a site and small store as well, he helped me learn quite a few things.

yes, the first time I did it and I wiped it off, I had a lump in my throat....but I had seen photos and knew it should look like that, and would buff out. That's why I figured this might help a few folks, especially with the photos.

I don't typically use the clearcoat unless the spot is larger, or sometimes as a followup if the paint contracts more after I've sanded (which can happen). Touch up paint typically dries faster that regular paint, and isn't as hard. It polishes to a very shiny finish. I've also used just clear to fix "sanding divots". The car I have now had 2, where someone sanded into the clearcoat far enough that if you looked at it from an angle, it looks like a very shallow dent. I just clearcoated the spot with a few layesr, then used a large block to sand level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
Excellent. Thank you for posting this. I have a bunch of spots to address.
My pleasure. I tried to do it in spirit with lots of photos just like yours

If you have lots of little tiny spots, like road rash, you will be better off with somethign like dr. Colorchip, although it doesn't fill the spots level. I saw a front bumper that was covered with tiny spots (literally hundreds) get fixed in one pass - the paint on a small rag wiped on, let it dry, wipe it off with that special chemical, and boom it was done. It would have taken tens of hours to touch them all up and then wetsand the whole area, although that can be done - you just have to touch all of them up, and wetsand the whole thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07335i_sport View Post
Awesome. Thank you! I have at least two spots on my hood that I will try this on!
My pleasure. Before you do the ones on your hood, though, try the whole routine in an inconspicuous place (trunk, doorjamb, under hood). You can even just dab some paint on a good spot then sand/polish it off to get the feel. Every paint and clearcoat is different - I would never start on the hood with a car I hadn't done before.

Last edited by andrew b; 04-26-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:06 PM
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Great writeup, thanks for taking time to post photo's and go the extra mile.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:14 PM
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Excellent!

Thanks for doing the photos. Now I'm emboldened to again tackle the funky thing that happened with the metallic paint on my one hood spot.

Just an aside: I don't know what it is about the aerodynamics of the E93 but I've had more rock chips like the one you fixed on my roof than I have on the front of the car. I even had one where a rock flew over the roof and nicked that narrow panel on the back between the roof and the trunk lid. What I can't figure out is what happens to all those flying rocks when I'm driving top down.

Two Questions:

1) Regarding the air bubble, would you ever entertain filling it back in with clear coat?
2) Do you ever use clear coat to finish filling a spot in? Not so noticeable (or so it seems) on the Monaco Blue, but Space Gray changes dramatically (for the better) with the addition of the clear coat. It seems almost a requirement to use the clear coat to get the chip to really match.

Thanks much for making this a formal DIY.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:20 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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I'm happy for everyone else that gets to see this tutorial as well now, and it was too well done not to be shared.

This DIY will be the first thing I'll look up when I revisit wetsanding.

Yes, I'll try that Dr. Colorchip for my hood scatter spot, someday. Maybe this summer. I do have Langka and 3M, but I gotta see what that Dr. is all about, thanks again.

Dr. Seuss, if you see yourself doing this kind of thing a lot, and you're scared, you might consider getting a paint thickness gauge, a good one can be had new just for $200. (However this one will only read on metal panels.) Then you always know exactly how much you're taking off, no matter how blurry/slurry the area gets. (The way I try to justify the expenditure on certain tools is by saying something like, "well if I do this myself, it's like I get the tool for free . . ".) The AG link that Andrew provided also recommends this tool, see line #6. That said, I don't think it's totally necessary, but yeah it does provide peace of mind and some understanding of your paint.

Also just FYI, the UV protection is in about the first half of the clearcoat; once removed all UV protection will be from your LSP (and sealant > wax for this, but no reason not to use both.)
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:39 PM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
<>
Two Questions:

1) Regarding the air bubble, would you ever entertain filling it back in with clear coat?
2) Do you ever use clear coat to finish filling a spot in? Not so noticeable (or so it seems) on the Monaco Blue, but Space Gray changes dramatically (for the better) with the addition of the clear coat. It seems almost a requirement to use the clear coat to get the chip to really match.

Thanks much for making this a formal DIY.
You're welcome! Glad I can give back a little - I've gotten a lot out of the community.

1) I would be more likely to fill the air buble with color, for a couple reasons. First, it's really, really small. Go back to the image of the 0.5 mm pencil for reference. To fix that one, if it had been deeper and not been sanded out, I'd have just put a tiny drop of color base on a toothpick, smeared it across the hole, and wiped it and let it dry. Odds are, even if you have to do that twice, you won't have to sand again - just a quick compound will do it, it's so small. Second reason is refraction of the light. Even though the clear would fill it, you'd see the dimple in the color base underneath.

2) I haven't used the clearcoat for smaller spots like this, because of the light refraction mentioned above. My experience doing that is that you wind up with a perfectly flat reflective surface from some angles, but from other angles you can see the edges of the color base under the clearcoat. It ends up looking kind of like a what's commonly referred to as a Type II water spot - one that is etched into the clearcoat slightly.

For larger spots, I'll get the paint level and then clearcoat, then do a final sand with a finer paper - like 2500 or 3000. The clear lacquer behaves differently than the color base - it goes on the same, but dries very thin and, to some extent, self-levels leaving a smooth finish.

It might be worth a shot with your silver metallic paint - what you would want to do is, to the extent possible, bevel the edges of the chip so they aren't at a 90 degree angle to the base. It sounds super scary, but an exacto knife with a new, small tip blade and a magnifying glass can do it. I've done the opposite (given a chip a more defined edge) a couple times when the chip repair paint kept "popping" out every tiem I went to give it the final polish.

Last edited by andrew b; 04-26-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:04 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew b View Post
You're welcome! Glad I can give back a little - I've gotten a lot out of the community.

1) I would be more likely to fill the air buble with color, for a couple reasons. First, it's really, really small. Go back to the image of the 0.5 mm pencil for reference. To fix that one, if it had been deeper and not been sanded out, I'd have just put a tiny drop of color base on a toothpick, smeared it across the hole, and wiped it and let it dry. Odds are, even if you have to do that twice, you won't have to sand again - just a quick compound will do it, it's so small. Second reason is refraction of the light. Even though the clear would fill it, you'd see the dimple in the color base underneath.

2) I haven't used the clearcoat for smaller spots like this, because of the light refraction mentioned above. My experience doing that is that you wind up with a perfectly flat reflective surface from some angles, but from other angles you can see the edges of the color base under the clearcoat. It ends up looking kind of like a what's commonly referred to as a Type II water spot - one that is etched into the clearcoat slightly.

For larger spots, I'll get the paint level and then clearcoat, then do a final sand with a finer paper - like 2500 or 3000. The clear lacquer behaves differently than the color base - it goes on the same, but dries very thin and, to some extent, self-levels leaving a smooth finish.

It might be worth a shot with your silver metallic paint - what you would want to do is, to the extent possible, bevel the edges of the chip so they aren't at a 90 degree angle to the base. It sounds super scary, but an exacto knife with a new, small tip blade and a magnifying glass can do it. I've done the opposite (given a chip a more defined edge) a couple times when the chip repair paint kept "popping" out every tiem I went to give it the final polish.
Thanks for clarifying this and the suggestion to bevel the paint. I think I have a perfect tool left from my dental days that could accomplish this. Your explanation about the clear coat resolves a lot of things.

One of the things I did when I jumped into this per your help was to tape off the area I wanted to concentrate on with blue painters tape so I wouldn't inadvertently mar the area further afield of where I needed to concentrate. I noticed you weren't afraid to extend your arena a bit. Is that just because you have gained the confidence with regard to your technique?
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:48 PM
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Taping off immediately around probably isn't a bad idea. Just be careful not to end up with "divots" in the paint where the tape protects.

Or maybe I'm picturing your approach wrong.

The expanded area, while scuffed, is really not heavily sanded, and is mostly a result of the smallest paper I could use (about an inch square) and making sure to feathersand out from the chip.

Regarding edge shaping, a more vertical (steep) angle will hold the paint better, but might result in a more visible color line from the paint/metallics not matching perfectly (and unless you're spraying, I don't think you'll ever get it perfect). A more bevelled edge will reduce the refraction and maybe allow the clear to work on top of the base color layer a little better.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:58 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Looks good Andrew, make me want to try.

I wonder if OEM paint in the aerosol can would be better option. Like tape the entire area but the scratch then overlap a few layer by spray can instead of tooth-pick/artist-brush.

This is the place I am thinking of ordering it from. Anyone try ordering BMW OEM paint in the sparya can?
http://www.automotivetouchup.com/spr...t_matched.aspx
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by HPIA4v2 View Post
Looks good Andrew, make me want to try.

I wonder if OEM paint in the aerosol can would be better option. Like tape the entire area but the scratch then overlap a few layer by spray can instead of tooth-pick/artist-brush.

This is the place I am thinking of ordering it from. Anyone try ordering BMW OEM paint in the sparya can?
http://www.automotivetouchup.com/spr...t_matched.aspx
Never tried it. But I think that if you use it, you'll have to wetsand the area first, to get rid of the ridge around the chip. Then you'll have no paint on a larger area, and have to match/blend more.

If you don't wetsand a chip prior to a respray, you end up with little dimples in the paint. I know, I rejected the respray on the hood of my wifes car (she got hit by a drunk driver in her Lexus RX) because it dimpled in several places. They only had to blend the paint on one corner, but then sprayed clear on the whole hood so it would match, and the clear dimpled in a couple tiny rock chips that hadn't been fixed yet.

Turns out the insurance specs cover the repaint, blending, and clear respray, but NOT the hourly time to wetsand all the chips out in areas that weren't affected by the collision. The shop manager looked at it, explained, said he typically will tell the customer that and offer them a discounted rate to wetsand (with the discount, typically under $100), but they did her car before he could get to me.

He wetsanded the whole hood and resprayed a layer of clear for me, no charge

But anyway, unless you have to fix a large area, the spray may be harder than touch up. Also be *very* careful about overspray - the paint will end up on everything you don't cover, even the diagonal opposite corner of the car. Mask/tape off very well, then cover the rest of the car with an old sheet or similar.

Last edited by andrew b; 04-27-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:27 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Originally Posted by andrew b View Post
Never tried it. But I think that if you use it, you'll have to wetsand the area first, to get rid of the ridge around the chip. Then you'll have no paint on a larger area, and have to match/blend more.

If you don't wetsand a chip prior to a respray, you end up with little dimples in the paint. I know, I rejected the respray on the hood of my wifes car (she got hit by a drunk driver in her Lexus RX) because it dimpled in several places. They only had to blend the paint on one corner, but then sprayed clear on the whole hood so it would match, and the clear dimpled in a couple tiny rock chips that hadn't been fixed yet.

Turns out the insurance specs cover the repaint, blending, and clear respray, but NOT the hourly time to wetsand all the chips out in areas that weren't affected by the collision. The shop manager looked at it, explained, said he typically will tell the customer that and offer them a discounted rate to wetsand (with the discount, typically under $100), but they did her car before he could get to me.

He wetsanded the whole hood and resprayed a layer of clear for me, no charge

But anyway, unless you have to fix a large area, the spray may be harder than touch up. Also be *very* careful about overspray - the paint will end up on everything you don't cover, even the diagonal opposite corner of the car. Mask/tape off very well, then cover the rest of the car with an old sheet or similar.
Good point about taping and cover up the car.
My logic is I think it's easier to put thin layer of paint with spray than touch-up, but in practice maybe not good.

Mine is a dent with scratch, the body shop want to spray over the door but I would rather not. So I am thinking fixing the dent on dentless repair then do the touch up myself.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:40 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPIA4v2 View Post
Good point about taping and cover up the car.
My logic is I think it's easier to put thin layer of paint with spray than touch-up, but in practice maybe not good.

Mine is a dent with scratch, the body shop want to spray over the door but I would rather not. So I am thinking fixing the dent on dentless repair then do the touch up myself.
Oh absolutely do the PDR first. The pro will polish it a bit afterward, but it probably (my guess/experience) won't be up to a "pro detailer's" standards. Also, in my experience, once the dent is ironed out, that's when the full extent of the damage of the paint at the impact point is revealed. Not before.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:46 PM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPIA4v2 View Post
Good point about taping and cover up the car.
My logic is I think it's easier to put thin layer of paint with spray than touch-up, but in practice maybe not good.

Mine is a dent with scratch, the body shop want to spray over the door but I would rather not. So I am thinking fixing the dent on dentless repair then do the touch up myself.
+1 on doing PDR first.

Found another tip. Dr. Colorchip has these great little microbrushes that come with their kits - you get three, each a different size. They are like tiny (really tiny), plastic Q-tips.

Just discovered you can buy 10 of them at a time. They work great with regular touch-up paint. $3.95, and $1.70 for shipping in the US. Under $6.00 to your door. I just ordered a package.

https://www.drcolorchip.com/shop-products.php

Last edited by andrew b; 04-27-2012 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:01 PM
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ProfessorCook ProfessorCook is offline
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Dr. Colorchip is definitely in my future. Glad you posted about the package of microbrushes. Thanks.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:41 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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What do you all use for buffing?
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:34 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew b View Post
+1 on doing PDR first.

Found another tip. Dr. Colorchip has these great little microbrushes that come with their kits - you get three, each a different size. They are like tiny (really tiny), plastic Q-tips.

Just discovered you can buy 10 of them at a time. They work great with regular touch-up paint. $3.95, and $1.70 for shipping in the US. Under $6.00 to your door. I just ordered a package.

https://www.drcolorchip.com/shop-products.php
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorCook View Post
Dr. Colorchip is definitely in my future. Glad you posted about the package of microbrushes. Thanks.
There is absolutely no such thing as too many brushes or applicators to my way of thinking.



The super fine paint brushes from the local art supply store (Not the Craft shop) are some of my favorite implements. I've had no trouble adding teensy paint applications.

Professor: Andrew is very correct in his comments about Dr. Colorchip. I have both it and Langka and while each one seems to have its place, it still leaves me wanting more which is what sparked my interest in learning how to wet sand. Our MB got rock showered and needs some serious attention - IMHO, only wetsanding after meticulous paint application is going to be sufficient remedy. Dr. Colorchip for me works best on those little teeny tiny spots generally on the bumper that are just barely nicks into the clearcoat.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:41 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Acting on what Wihelm G did for the E93 top maintenance sticky - I've turned the original post into a *pdf to make sure the pics and text don't get lost. Plus, I wanted a copy I could print and take out into the garage as reference.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DIY- Westanding paint chip repair- andrewb.pdf (1.81 MB, 245 views)
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:05 PM
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Chop362 Chop362 is offline
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Great write up and detail but this takes BIG BALLS!! Think I'll just dab it with the touch-up and run..lol
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:25 AM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Acting on what Wihelm G did for the E93 top maintenance sticky - I've turned the original post into a *pdf to make sure the pics and text don't get lost. Plus, I wanted a copy I could print and take out into the garage as reference.
Woohoo, I'm published! Thanks Kat!
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Old 04-28-2012, 09:30 AM
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andrew b andrew b is offline
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Originally Posted by Chop362 View Post
Great write up and detail but this takes BIG BALLS!! Think I'll just dab it with the touch-up and run..lol
Actually, if you are really, really meticulous and have a very fine brush/applicator, you can fill a chip without wetsanding and get almost perfect results. But you have to put just a tiny bit of paint in the chip, and let it spread out - if you get any on the surrounding paint, you'll end up with a noticible blob.

If you check the photo of the paint after it dried overnight (the first layer), you'll see the paint is level and shiny inside the chip. I knew I was going to sand, so the second and third layers intentionally went outside. If you just gradually build up inside the chip, you can get pretty good results. But it takes patience, a small applicator, and a very steady hand. And sometimes those repairs are more likely to "pop" out when buffing/polishing/waxing the area.

If you have access to an old panel (something you don't care about messing up), one thing I highly recommend is intentionally sanding throguh the clearcoat to see what is like, and how much it takes. Don't just sand like crazy, but sand a bit then wipe like you would if you were repairing. This will give you an idea of how far is too far - but beware, all paint is different thickness (thus the excellent recommendation by ILoveMyCar to invest in a paint guage, if you can afford it and think you'll be doing this much).

Another tip to ease into it is to begin compounding out scratches and scuffs you find. You'll begin to get a feel for how deep a scratch you can buff out, and you'll start to see that the everyday RIDS (random isolated deeper scratches) you get from day to day driving are actually much deeper than 2500 or 3000 grit sandpaper.

Last edited by andrew b; 04-28-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:41 PM
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Chop362 Chop362 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew b View Post
Actually, if you are really, really meticulous and have a very fine brush/applicator, you can fill a chip without wetsanding and get almost perfect results. But you have to put just a tiny bit of paint in the chip, and let it spread out - if you get any on the surrounding paint, you'll end up with a noticible blob.

If you check the photo of the paint after it dried overnight (the first layer), you'll see the paint is level and shiny inside the chip. I knew I was going to sand, so the second and third layers intentionally went outside. If you just gradually build up inside the chip, you can get pretty good results. But it takes patience, a small applicator, and a very steady hand. And sometimes those repairs are more likely to "pop" out when buffing/polishing/waxing the area.

If you have access to an old panel (something you don't care about messing up), one thing I highly recommend is intentionally sanding throguh the clearcoat to see what is like, and how much it takes. Don't just sand like crazy, but sand a bit then wipe like you would if you were repairing. This will give you an idea of how far is too far - but beware, all paint is different thickness (thus the excellent recommendation by ILoveMyCar to invest in a paint guage, if you can afford it and think you'll be doing this much).

Another tip to ease into it is to begin compounding out scratches and scuffs you find. You'll begin to get a feel for how deep a scratch you can buff out, and you'll start to see that the everyday RIDS (random isolated deeper scratches) you get from day to day driving are actually much deeper than 2500 or 3000 grit sandpaper.
Thanks so much for the feedback...Think I'll try the Artist brush with a steady hand and do the build up like you suggested.Thanks again!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 01:57 PM
Max328i Max328i is offline
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This post came just in time as my wife's Subaru Outback requires some minor paint correction. One question for Andrew, would the same methodology also apply to the painted plastic facia (bumper cover)?
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