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22,730 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First off, forgive me for before pics, when your mind gets on a project, you tend to forget to get pics! So, description/prognosis was this:
Deep scratch to the primer (turns white), could feel it easily with a fingernail
Cause: Unknown. Nearby old broken fishing pole and 3 yr old suspect.
Length: about 12", in two spots, too low for a possible "Keyed" scenario.

First I prepped the area by using rubbing alcohol to clean off any wax. Then I carefully (I thought!) apply 3 coats of touch up paint with a "Frayed toothpick" to ensure I didn't have to do too much sanding. After I was finished, I had a lumpy 1/8 inch x 12" long area with too much paint.

Next, I tried what in-d-haus, Mark Greene (the number 2 guy at Griots)and others suggested, as well as asked questions on various boards (always get consistent information from various sources, cross posting several boards is always a good idea when trying something for the first time) Using 1500 grit sandpaper, , distilled water, in combination with a Porter Cable, and Griots Machine polish #1,2 and 3...I began a scary, yet successful journey.

The supplies consisted of the aforementioned plus a pencil eraser end with 1500 grit wrapped around the end and taped on below the work surface of the sandpaper.

A close up of the pencil shows why one chooses this method, it confines the area you are about to sand to a minimal area. Using distilled water, I constantly dipped the end to free any particles, particularly the excess paint that is removed.

about 75% finished, you can see that by this time, I'm thinking I made a BIG mistake! Its tough to understand this picture, but try to focus on the surface, rather than the "P21s" Reflection ;)

Another angle of the work during the 1500 grit sanding.. almost complete, its again a close up so the actual area I worked on looks larger, its actually only slightly larger than the width of an eraser head. Be SURE to constantly dip the end into water to loosen any particulate that sticks to the sandpaper (excess paint, and dust)

After finishing up, I tried Griots #2 machine polish, middle of the road for grit...not much result, but some progress could be seen, so I changed pads (I have 3 pads for each grit type) and went to the #3 Machine polish, then worked up to #2, then finally #1 Machine polish. After that, I applied some P21S Paint cleaner. No wax for 30 days to allow the paint to completely dry. I did not chance clear coat due to the thin scratch it was..had it been a thicker scratch, or large chip, I would have used clear coat over the area when finished.

Now for the Money Shot:

And again The other angle..

Don't be afraid to tackle touch ups on areas you used touch up paint on! If you have the right tools, you can *almost* restore it to its orginal look. I say *almost* because even though the pics don't reveal it well (640 res) there is still a slight hairline crack-looking of a scratch left from the touch up, I have to point it out to someone to see, but its definately not like it came out of the paint booth at BMW.
Given the choice of:
A) A deep white (down to primer) scratch susceptible to rust, or
B) A blotchy, rough area where excess paint inevitably dries after a careful touch up...or
C) A thin black line blending in with the finish...

you will obvious pick C.

Good luck on your touch ups!

6,836 Posts
Ripsnort said:
Thanks guys! Glad someone reads these boring things! :) :D
Some scantily clad women in that paint reflection would liven it up (j/k) :thumb: Nice write up. ;)

9,932 Posts
Great job Rip :thumb:

Is that the likely suspect in the 4th picture?? :D
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