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Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair



  • I use the hose to pre-soak the car and float off dirt before I even touch it with a wash mitt.
  • I got some scratches on my car. One of them is quite deep, I can see the black color (my car is blue). Is it primer layer or metal layer? Others are just light scratches. It is still blue, only lighter than the original color, you can feel the toughness in that area (wax?)

    I did some research and here is the list of what I'm going to get for the touchup
    1. microfiber cloth (to clean the surface first)
    2. sandpaper with different grit
    3. primer
    4 basecoat with the correct color (spray can)
    5. clearcoat.
    6. mask tape
    7. Rubbing compound

    My questions are:
    1. do primer and clearcoat have color? If so should I get the same color as the basecoat?
    2. For the deep scratch, should I apply primer first then basecoat and clearcoat at last?
    3. For the lighter ones, I don't need the primer, right?
    4. what does rubbing compound do? Do I apply it after the clearcoat. Does it fix minor scratches without any paint?
    5. What grit sandpaper to use for deep scratch and light scratches ?
    6. Do I need any wax or polish for the final touch?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    edited November 2010
    Just curious what kind of car and what do you expect to achieve?
    0. use claybar to clean the paint
    1. primer can be different colors though most of the time it''s grey. Clearcoat is exactly that. clear.
    2. start with 600 grit sand light then prime, paint, clearcoat.
    3.lighter scratches I would recommend 3M rubbign compound used with a random orbital buffer.
    4. depends on which brand of rubbing compound that you use, you could strip the paint to bare metal.
    5. deep scratch start with 600. light scratch use 3M rubbing compound with random orbital buffer.
    6. wax and polish would be good to protect the time and effort you are about to spend.

    Are you sure you want to try this?
  • It is a blue 2010 Subaru Forester. Got some scratches lately. See pictures below. Can anyone give me some suggestions on how to fix them respectively
    The first and second pics shows a long scratch. Not very deep, probably only clearcoat is damaged. Can feel the toughness of wax by touching
    This one is kind of deep, can see the metal.

    Also there is a long thin key scratch.

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,004
    Just bought a 17 year old car which has had a really cheap re-paint. On a sunny day you can see all sorts of sanding marks under the paint. Looks like the car went through a briar patch and has faint scratches all over.

    My question is if there is any cheap way of making the cheap paint job less noticeable. I know that short of a proper re-paint there is no way to make it perfect.

    This is a $1200 car and not worth a lot of expense. Am I on a fool's errand or do the pros have some magic?

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Save your time and money. Other than polishing it out, there's not much you can do to a cheap paint job.
  • Er.....the problem with cheap paint jobs is that they use CHEAP PAINT. So it just doesn't respond to most techniques.

    You could try "color sanding" if you want to read up on it, but it's a fair amount of work.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Dont waste your time or money on trying to fix the paint. Once someone screws it up with a cheap paint job its pretty well over. Best thing you can do is to keep it clean and hope it lasts as long as the car runs.
  • httobyhttoby Posts: 1
    Mazda CX7
    rear door has been hit.
    I want to save a little money by getting the dent out.
    How do I remove the inside the door panel?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,628
    You might consider having one of those mobile dent repair guys come take a look. It really depends on the dent you have. If the metal has been stretched out in any way, you won't be able to push it back out from the inside.

    so I'd suggest that before you take the panel off and maybe even make it look worse (unless you are prepared to do bodywork and paint the door), have a "dent pro" look at it, and for a lot less than a bodyshop, he might be able to make it look a lot better.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,270
    This a timely post stream. I have an old but beloved Mercedes ('85 380SE). It very much needs a paint job. I live in a place fairly remote from a major city. Could I trust Maaco to do a reasonable job if I choose their best one? The car is a driver, but it is one of the iconic body styles and I want it to look good.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I'm not sure how "timely" this is since the post you are replying to is 7 months old but I don't think Maaco has a very good reputation for quality. You might want to do a bit of research before taking your car there.

    You get what you pay for.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,628
    No I wouldn't use that kind of paint on a car. To give you an idea, just the cans of quality paint you should use on the car would cost more than the entire Maaco paint job. I suppose if you regard the car as basically worth nothing, and you're going to dispose of it soon, , then maybe from 10 feet away it would look okay for 6 months.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,270
    I suppose if you regard the car as basically worth nothing, and you're going to dispose of it soon, , then maybe from 10 feet away it would look okay for 6 months.

    That is so not what I had in mind. I plan to be buried in that car. It looks like I need to do further research. Shifty, I live in Santa Rosa, so if you can recommend anyone nearby it would be muchly appreciated.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,628
    Gee this is such a tough question, because painting a car is SOOOOOO labor intensive, and labor rates so high in California, that it is difficult to find a paint job that is reasonably priced vis a vis the car. If I were in Santa Rosa (which is better, labor wise, than the SF Bay Area), I'd snoop around hot rod shops and see if anyone wants a side job or if their shop is slow. These guys know how to use a spray gun. I'm thinking that a really decent job has got to cost you at least $3,000 bucks, and most of that is in the masking and prepping, with only maybe $500--$600 in materials. Where I live, $12000 is not unusual to strip and paint a classic car PROFESSIONALLY, and that's to "look real good", (no overspray, no peel, no drips, no tape lines, with engine bay, jambs, trunk, etc) but not for Pebble Beach. If you want Pebble, you're looking at $20,000 easy. :surprise:
  • Hello. I wrecked my car and now I'm told the frame can't be straightened. I just ran off the road. It didn't seem to hit that hard. I didn't get hurt and the airbag didn't activate. I just can't believe it can't be fixed. I love that car. I'm heartbroken.

    Do I have any options? Can the frame be replaced? It's the front passenger side. They originally said it was the suspension but found the bent frame when they went to fix the suspension.

    It's a 2001 Olds Bravada. I've only had it two years.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • What they mean is either that it's not worth fixing or they don't know how to fix it...but any frame can be straightened using the modern equipment they have now. It's possible that it's way too much work and the advice you're getting is good. It wouldn't take much to total this car, as it doesn't have too much value anymore.

    in any event you have the option of trying another body shop.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    If you bend the frame on just about ANY 10 year old car its gonna be totalled. Keeping in mind to total a vehical the repairs must reach 75% of the value of the vehical. After a quick search and seeing that the top value of the car would be about does not take alot of time in a body shop especially on a frame rack to push that up to the totalled point.
  • Straightening the frame is sometimes the easiest part of the job--but all the body panels, doors, fasteners, don't automatically line up once the frame is pulled, and if there are cracks anywhere well then there's welding, lots of disassembly, etc.

    so yeah, at $100+ an hour labor, shop time in a body shop adds up quickly.

    But there is a difference between "can't" and "don't want to" and "not worth it".
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,004
    When you see an older car with clear coat failure it shows as dull patches with whiteish edges. I was wondering would a new layer of clear coat cover that all up or would you have to sand all the old clear coat off before applying the new layer?

    I think I know the answer but hey, I'm cheap.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

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