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Old 05-21-2005, 02:57 PM
RealShakaZulu's Avatar
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Paint Chip Repair

Placing this post where it belongs...

It is never better to just leave the chips as they are... a little chip can turn into a larger problem over time. It's like having a gash in your arm and saying the wound looks better than disinfectant and a flesh colored band-aid. Secondly, do not go to langka.com or any other automotive paint store unless you are touching up a Chevy, Ford, Buick or something else from Detroit. You are driving an X - let's do this proper'like.

BMW sources their paint exclusively, so if you want to match it go to the source and spend the $30 dollars at your local dealership for the real deal. They will give you a stick of OEM paint and a stick of clear coat. From there goto your local arts and crafts store (i.e. Michaels, etc.). Get the finest short tipped brush they have. NOTE: Do not use a toothpick, matchstick and DEFINITELY NOT the applicator brush that comes in the touch up. I personally like Loew-Cornell 7000 Round 18/0 brushes as they can get into the smallest of chips/scratches. Next goto Kragens, Pep Boys, ect and buy 3M Adhesive, Tar and Wax Remover. Then pull your car into the garage and start.

I assume you care for your X like I do and have not let the chips fill with rust... RIGHT? If you have neglected her, sell the car immediately your are not ready for German precision... SIKE. Goto to http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog..._1500&SKU=50875 and get a $8 spot sanding tool. Some use a small disk of sand paper Emler glued to the eraser of a pencil... that just makes a larger chip in my opinion. clean the chip (not the area) with 3M. Add a few drops of acetone to the paint mixture and shake the touch up paint for at least 2 minutes. Put only enough paint on the brush to coat in, not to create a huge blob on the end. Place the tip of the brush into the the chip and wait for the capillary effect - the paint will draw itself in the chip. Remove the brush and as long as it is not freezing cold the paint will spread with only a slight bump into the chip. Wait 30 minutes and repeat the painting process until the chip is full.

Larry Reynolds (http://www.unofficialbmw.com/repair_faqs/paint.html), whose method I am perfecting/improving, adds the following clear coat note:

"The question was also asked if clear touchup should be used as a final coat to repair chips on a clear coat paint. There are two view points to this question.

1. The purist will say yes, the paint has a clear coat and thus, the repair should also. The process is the same as previously described, except the clear coat is substituted for the last 2-3 coats or paint.

2. The practical world says no. The touchup paint is different from the original paint and is formulated only as a touchup paint. Once it is applied it should, according to the manufacturer, match well enough to be all but invisible. I have found this to be the case with the numerous repairs on the many cars/colors, I have completed. If you are using the original paint as a touchup (I have not done this with a clear coated car), then my understanding is that you should use the clear as a topcoat. The color coat of some paints will any times be relatively dull in appearance. These paints rely on the clear coat to provide the "shine."

Try one chip in an area that is not that visible. If the process works, then continue with the rest. If not try the clear coat top layer."

Now some sand at this point. Since I am patient and don't have a big glob of paint to "file" down, the most I ever have to use is polishing compound, followed by Meguiar's Fine Scratch remover (READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON BOTH). However if you end up with a glob, Larry says:

"The object is to remove the mound and make the surface of the paint one continuous flat plane. The Meguiar Finesse Sanding Block 2000 offers the ability to gently remove only the high spot of the repair. Unlike sandpaper or polish on a rag, the five usable sides of the block are flat and act like a "wood plane" to remove only the elevated areas of the repair. The 2000 grit will not leave scratches.

Soak the Finesse Block in clean water for 24 hours prior to use. Then gently "plane" the high spot on the paint. I prefer to "plane" in one direction (usually back to front - drawing the block towards me). If the block dries out, re-wet and continue use. When the new and existing paints are blended (smoothed to the flat plane) to your satisfaction, clean the area with a quality car wash and then use a quality glaze to restore the high gloss finish. I prefer 3M Imperial Hand Glaze. Don't use a machine on your car, as it deserves to be caressed by hand. Use the machine on your SO."

After that polish, wax and enjoy the return of your flawless X.
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