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Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
Wondering what wax is best? Can I really fix tiny scratches myself? Post your exterior questions and answers here!

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  • They aren't true waxes but Blackfire and Zaino are some of the best polishes you'll find for a reasonable price.
  • renzorenzo Posts: 6
    I just bought a new Solara, and I HATE having to park in the lot at my condo. There are a lot of people there that really don't care if they hit your car with their doors, or they have kids and don't watch the kids with the doors.

    Here's a question for ya - I have a choice of the lot, or along the loop road that goes around the condo complex. In the parking lot, the car could get dinged. On the loop road, someone could sideswipe it. Where would you park, given the choice?
  • We live in an apartment too ! We park outside in the complex, but we have accumulated two dents in only 6 months. We have a carport too, but the sprinkler gets the hood wet everyday which was leaving water spots on the paint. So its a tough decision. I would have to park on the side loop if i were you, but it's a matter of opinion, rigt?
    Good Luck though !
  • I use Mother's Gold California stage I, II, and III. Bought these plus applicator pads, cotton cloths, etc for about $36 and did at least 6 clean/polish/wax jobs out of it, which would have cost me more than $500 at a car wash!!

    I followed the procedure from one of the articles on this website, and it works out real good.

  • Has anybody used this product ...or have any opinions about it? It is supposed to remove the "blob" that's left after using touch-up paint. Do car dealers really use it?


  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I don't know whether car dealers use it or not, but I have used it and it works very well.

    The deal is that the touch up paint is different from the type of paint applied at the factory, and the Langka is a creamy solvent for the touch up paint. So you put a dab of the touch up paint in the nick (using a toothpick works well), then let that dry for anywhere from a half-hour to a day or two, then use the Langka on a soft cloth to wipe it gradually down to the level of the original paint. The kit comes with a flexible plastic holder for the soft cotton cloth, and I have found that it is much better than any other method I have used to touch up nicks in the front of my car.

    Sometimes, however, I will take too much of the touch up paint off, and so I have to start over again, so sometimes you have to be patient and do it all over again, but when you get it right it gives a great result.

    I have used it on my new black Lexus SC430, and several dings I picked up on the front of the hood from highway stones are now undetectible.

    I'd say buy some and try it out. It will not make anything worse, and I have found that it helps make the touch up job easier and with a very good result.
  • Thanx for your comments! I might give it a try although I've read on another board that a glaze such as 3M Imperial Hand Glaze works just as well if used in the same manner for less price per ounce so I may do a bit more research.

  • I have little/no patience/skill when it comes to painting. I just purchased an '84 Town Car with a pretty good paint job. It's not faded or oxidized but it does have a few chips and scratches in it. My question is: Am I better off having the entire care re-painted or can I just get the blemishes taken care of and have the finish still look good?

    Thanks in advance,

    Land Yacht
  • scotianscotian Posts: 1,064

    Lots of other good stuff at this site as well!

  • ochizonochizon Posts: 25
    I have some rust on my bumper from a small accident. I was planning on simply sanding down the rusted areas, covering up the rest of the car with plastic, and repainting the bumper with some flat black paint that i bought at the store. Is there anything wrong with my plan of action? Do I need to put primer first? Or is the flat paint enough?

    Thank you,

  • ochizonochizon Posts: 25
  • mookie14mookie14 Posts: 252
    one morning i was waxing my explorer and not knowing someone was watching me well sunday night into monday morning i got up went to the truck low and behold some one keyed the driver side door and the rear door question do i really need a body shop or a ??????? can some one help me with this one?? body shop said 511.00 i might getmy deduct lowered and get it fixed would that be smart or fraud help.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    If you take the bumper to bare metal you will need a primer...if not you can just go with the flat black
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You need a good paint for bumpers. Don't just spray it with any old thing. Buy good paint made for the purpose.
  • i was egged last night and after washing today, i found what i think is the point of impact. can an egg be thrown hard enough to cause visible scratches by the broken shell? or am i just seeing residue from the egg? i tried some bug/tar remover to no avail
  • I have a 95 Acura Integra LS that has severe paint oxidation on the entire hood and roof. This car has spent the majority of its life in the garage and has been well taken care of. Does anyone out there have any suggestions for dealing with Acura? Or has anyone else had problems like this with their Acura. Or have any suggestions on how to fix it, we've tried several products to no avail, they just seem to be making the problem worse. It looks downright awful and is embarrassing to drive around because it looks so bad.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    A seven year old car will be tough to get any relief from the manufacturer. Have you tried to polish the oxidation off using abrasive compounds and an orbital buffer? These can be found at most car part stores and range in grit from the rubbing compounds which are fairly abrasive, down to polishes and glazes which are for the most part pretty mild. Normally you would start with a less abrasive compound and move towards the more abrasive until you remove the offending oxidation, then go back until you use the least abrasive ones to remove any scratches or dullness from the more abrasive compounds. If you need to you can even go to 1500-3000 grit sandpaper which you can find in a store selling body shop supplies. This would be more abrasive than rubbing compound. If you do it yourself, 3M and Meguires makes a whole line of rubbing compounds, polishes and glazes for the consumer. Use a good quality buffer with the appropriate pad or bonnet. Be careful at the corners and edges, especially when using the more abrasive compounds and rubbing compound bonnets. Many of the better detailers will also polish a car, as will some body shops. The problem comes when the oxidation goes though the paint. When that happens, the only option you really have is to sand, prime and paint. But if the car is in good shape inside and mechanically, a litle money spent on paint might be worth it. Good luck.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 628
    A faulty garage door caused three deep scratches on the top rear of my brand new car, each scratch about eight inches long. A body shop estimate to repair was $540 (they were going to remove rear window, remove side moldings, repaint entire top, etc.). My new car dealer suggested using a "air brush" craftsman who comes to their place once every week. He did the job for $40. Under certain lighting you can just make out where the scratches were, but you almost need to know where to look. If the repair lasts, I will be well satisfied. Look for info on this at

    Does anyone else have experience with this process? Is there a downside I don't know about?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The only dowside I can think of is that this is essentially a cosmetic repair as dealers often do themselves, and being such, may not last all that long.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaPosts: 628
    Mr Shiftright: Can you put a time estimate on that "may not last all that long" for me? And what will cause it to have a short life? Thank you.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Blending paint has its limitations. Generally, paints these days need to "wrap" around an edge so they don't peel and also need a clear coat of some sort.

    I think if your repair is going to deteriorate at all, you'll first notice dullness setting in to that particular spot. Maybe it'll be okay, who knows?
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    But for $40 it sounds like it would be worthwhile to see how long it lasts. You can always go back to the body shop. The dealer I bought my last car from has an airbrush guy come out once a week to touch up the newly acquired used cars. They do this with a dent remover as well. If a customer needs any touch up, you just bring it in on the specific day of the week. I would think this must work pretty well or pretty soon there would be a line of dissatisfied people.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I made sure to find an apartment with individual garages. they usually do exist. I did this for the obvious reason, I didn't want a bunch of trash beating up or ripping off my car. complete and total satisfaction in practice. thugs only have succeeded in messing up the hasp and staple that locked the garage door, which was easily replaced. they don't work well on doors that aren't metal because those doors are usually scuzwood or honeycomb paper. all things to think about when you rent.

    for the related questions, I don't believe there is an option unless you are driving an ugly pig and don't care. if you carry collision insurance and the insurance company will reimburse factory parts, I'd rather park on the street than in the apartment lot as the lesser of the evils, except in snow and ice weather.

    repairs of a keyed panel don't work out of a bottle of touch-up paint, I tried it. you have to fill the damaged area, level it to the paint, and repaint the panel to have a quality repair. that generally means a professional.
  • I am posting this because I could not get a clear picture from the above discussion on how to work on it myself. So please give me some clear advice.

    I had this car for only 200 miles and was unlucky enough to have a small rock bounced right onto the front to create a small and deep scratch point (0.2 x 0.1 inches). The paint color is midlight blue metallic (almost black) and the scratch point reveals white/silver color underneath.

    I have taken the advice and tried to remove it with alcohol but it failed. I am guessing now the white/silver is metal. The question now is how to protect it from further damage such as rust.

    I am kind of guy who like to learn stuff and do most of the thing myself. But I am total newbie and this is my first car. I have read about touch up paint but it is really unclear how to do this. Could anyone please help me out with detailed how-to (hopefully, there is some webpage about it)?

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if the "color didn't come back" under a drop of water or alcohol, you are probably right, it is down to the metal. ain't fatal yet.

    just for grins, I would start with a Q-tip and pure alcohol of the isopropyl or ethyl variety, and work it gently around in the hole with a spin to be sure there is no wax there and that it is dehumidified. use both ends of the Q-tip, and when it's dry, use another one to be sure there is no wax in there.

    next, get a 3M "rust remover pen" at the CSK, AutoZone, or whatever... also get a Dupli-Color primer brush-in-cap bottle, and one of clear topcoat, and one of the color code of your body paint. on the door label of the car, where the cryptic codes from Hell are all listed, is one probably near the middle-bottom that says BODY COLOR or something similar. it will have some nutty code number like 4XC. that in the Dupli-Color catalog for the right year and model of car will usually yield a stock number for the right color of paint.

    if the corner parts store doesn't have yours yet, go to the dealer's parts department and get the primer, clear, and color brush-in-cap bottles there to be sure, S U R E, that the chemistry is the same and this won't pop out in a day.

    if you can't find the 3M rust remover pen, shame on that store... but you can use the (formerly duco) Loctite rust binder and a toothpick instead. the 3M variant has the equivalent of a toothpick fractional-drop dispenser built into the tip (and yes, they are locally based and help pay friends, thanks.)

    put enough of either anti-rust product in the chip to color the metal and let it dry real well, several minutes. if there was any rust starting, it will turn to black polymer and stick, and the surrounding product will probably remain a brown or beige color.

    now put a little drop of well-shaken primer in the chip the same way. you want a nice, smooth, even grey but don't try to fill the whole chip. you will just want primer to bond the paint to the polymer anti-rust.

    slowly build the chip up near level with repeated small applications of extremely-well shaken (actually, tipped end-over-end is better to avoid bubbles) color paint coat. there are probably 6 layers of paint and clear coat in a factory finish, all extremely thin except for the top clear coat. which should tip you to what's coming.

    when it's time for the clear coat, if the chip is really large, you could try the brush... if you gob or glop the stuff all over, quickly take a good lint-free cloth like a well-washed T-shirt rag that has been pre-soaked in the alcohol and wipe the whole gob off. if you take up the paint in the chip, do that over... if it has really set, you won't.

    once the chip is filled in with the clear coat (it will tend to be high at the edges and thin in the center, or vice versa, depending on how you applied it), let it set without washing or waxing for a week or so.

    then gently wash with water and a soft cloth, see where it is too high, and if you are really fussy, and feeling well in control of fine strokes, make another trip to the parts store for some fine grade polishing compound. NOT polish, "polishing compound." there is a coarser stuff called "rubbing compound" that will leave big gouges when you buff the repaired area unless you are really, really good. if you're asking > ME < about how to do this, you ain't. and I ain't.

    on a very nicely soaked cloth, pick up a wee little bit of polishing compound, say the size of a pea, flick off half of it, and gently, ever so gently, rub the repaired area and the area around it occasionally with the compound. try this first on a piece of scrap plastic of some sort to get a feel for how to lightly smooth a surface without having it look like it was levelled with swings of an axe. clear is best, because you ARE working with a thin piece of clear plastic in the car's clear coat.

    and that's how it's done. will it match excellently? alas, no. will it look like it was smoothed with a sledge? hopefully if you're careful and play with a piece of scrap plastic first, it shouldn't. there's a craft in the work that you will have to develop... pity the first hack in the car wasn't down by the rear fender, so your training wouldn't be noticeable... but doing the job first on junk hard plastic should get you cautious enough.

    good luck!
  • I will head to Pepboy this weekend and follow your instruction.
  • acelinkacelink Posts: 106
    Somebody hit my car (parked) and took off. There are now several spots where the paint has been completely peeled off. I went to a part shop to get some sand papers and spray paint cans.
    As I tried to sand away the areas with loose paint, the damaged areas got bigger because the outer edge continued to crumble away. What should I do? I have had my bumper repainted and baked before. After a while, I got tired and just sprayed the bumper (paint surface unmatched).
    Later, I got myself a putty. Can I use this product on a plastic (rubber?) bumper? Its instruction says to wet sand it to match the paint depth. Your suggestions would be very much appreciated.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you are not going to be real pleased, I don't think, but the flexible plastic bumpers are not going to respond like steel panels. in particular, body putty will fall right out, and your paint is going to come off in big flat sheets, or in little shards with crazing, because the surface underneath flexes. that's what you are seeing from the previous repair; obviously, it was not done right.

    anything that goes onto that bumper cover will have to have a flexible base, which can either be met by special chemistry with a long MSDS, or a flexible plasticizer additive that is similarly too ugly on the regulatory front to be sold in the baby-food aisle at the supermarket.

    I personally don't think this can be fixed outside a properly equipped body shop... and they won't try to fix the cover if it has any damage, they will order a replacement and repaint to match with a diddled paint.

    another triumph for longevity and value, these plastic bumpers that won't take bumping.
  • glo22glo22 Posts: 7
    I just brought a new mini van. I want to add this new coating on the car. The dealer calls it "touch of class or glass". I just want to find out if it is really that good. I was told by someone that if you put that coating on. The car only need to be washed but not waxed.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    = dealer profits and little value to the consumer. There is nothing the dealer is going to put on your car that will last for more than 6-12 months. You are better off applying a polymer based product yourself 1x or 2x a year and pocketing the $500 or so the dealer will charge you for a glorified wax job.
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