For minor nicks, chips and scratches, you can sometimes polish or buff them out as long as they are shallow enough exposing only paint at their deepest point.
You will have to apply new paint if you can visibly see primer or the bare metal itself.
To repair nicks, the use of auto touch up paint is an easy and inexpensive method. You can easily attain small bottles of stock factory colors at auto paint supply stores and other auto part outlets.
All auto touch up paint will match the paint code on the vehicle's identification tag.
You can use the small brush attached to the bottle to apply the paint with or alternatively any other type of fine paintbrush.
Follow this 11-Step Paint Chip Repair process to perform this procedure successfully:
1. Begin by thoroughly brushing the chip with firm pressure using a PrepPen (Adjustable Sanding Pen).
This will save you time and money by replacing folded sandpaper. It is also great for removing rust from paint chips or tight spots. The glass fibers in the brush won't scratch the surrounding paint but they will de-gloss it. This prepares the surface so the touch up paint will adhere to it better.
2. Use wax and grease remover to clean the damaged, sanded area.
3. Mask off the nick(s) closely.
4. Ensure that the auto touch up paint is thoroughly stirred or shaken up, even more so in the case of metallic colors.
5. Dab the tip of a clean, fine paint brush into the paint to retrieve just a very small amount of paint and apply it to the nick.
Do not attempt to fill-in the entire depth of the nick with auto touch up paint at this stage. Wait a few days between successive applications to allow the first dab of paint to set-up and then simply repeat the process: lightly brush the area to prep it, clean using wax and grease remover and then apply more paint.
6. After the colored paint has completely filled the nick and has dried, apply a coat of clear paint. Build this layer up to just over the height of the main finish, making several applications probably necessary. The paint will shrink down as the solvent evaporates.
Tip: Store your touch up paint or left-over paint upside down. If there are any small air leaks at the cap, the paint will seal it and the remaining paint won't dry out.
7. Allow this new paint to cure; making sure that you do not touch it for approximately 7 to 10 days.
8. After a long drying period, mask the nick again but this time mask to a wider area.
9. Gently smooth down the nick area using 1200-grit wet and dry sandpaper. Use plenty of water to clean the paper and surface after every few strokes. Check to make sure the paint isn't balling up on the sandpaper.
You will want to sand until the surface of the new paint is down to the same level as the surrounding finish. The masking tape protects the surface surrounding the repair area from unnecessary sanding.
Remove the masking tape as soon as you have smoothed down level the newly painted dabs of paint with the surrounding finish.
10. To further blend the repair into its surrounding area; use ultra-fine polishing compound on a soft cloth to bring back the shine. If you can still see very fine scratches or swirl marks, next try using a car cleaner polish that has even finer abrasives.
If there are a number of scratches still noticeable after polishing, you'll probably have to go back a step and lightly sand them out.
Dirt may have blown onto your polishing cloth or the paint may have formed little balls or rolls on the paper during sanding.
Tip: Do each step with strokes only in one direction and change to another direction for the next step. If you discover deep scratches then you can find out in which step the problem lies.
11. Before waxing, allow the repair to cure for a further 21-28 days.
The end result will be a smooth repair that is hard to see, if the touch up color was a close match. By making the repair flush with the surrounding finish, there are no edges to interrupt and distort the reflections on your paint.
It is crucial that you follow this step-by-step system for paint chip repair and to cover nicks and scratches as soon as possible especially where bare metal is exposed.
Oxidation will attack the bare metal where a rust and corrosion process will commence.
This process will continue on regardless under the paint and ultimately cause the paint to peel off.
In earlier times, applying dabs of clear fingernail polish to nicks, chips and scratches in an effort to protect the bare metal from oxidation, rust and corrosion was a common practice.
Long Deep Running Scratches.
Compared to small nicks, long deep scratches are a more serious problem. Although it is possible to use auto touch up paint for auto scratch repair, auto touch up paint is unable to provide effective results when used in long strokes.
Common sense would not permit you to use a full-size spray gun for auto scratch repair or to use a touch up brush to refinish an entire panel.
Depending on the type and color of the paint finish, it may be a better idea to use an aerosol touch-up can or a regular spray paint gun and feather in new layers of fresh paint after carefully sanding scratches smooth.
Safety Disclaimer: Always follow the recommendations of your nearest auto paint supply store or by referring to the manufacturer's application guides and information sheets when dealing with any type of auto paint product or piece of equipment.
Copyright © LearnAutoPainting.com 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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