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Old 09-05-2002, 08:15 PM
4 Jaw Chuck's Avatar
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Question Rock chip repair

My daily driver has numerous small (1/8" diameter or smaller) rock chips all over the car. The factory white paint is pristine except for these blemishes. I have a glass fiber brush to use to clean the light corrosion out of the pits and can use it to feather the edges but I need to know what kind of methods of paint application would work best to fix these imperfections.

Should I prime the pit and then put a small drop of paint on after to color or should I just apply the paint directly. My main concern is getting the car ready for winter and since it is a base clear coat I would reclear coat the car next year. I just want to prevent any more corrosion from occuring over the winter months without it looking real hoky up close. I am willing to devote an entire weekend to this project and I am wondering if it will be possible using that color melt technique to blend in the imperfections without a respray.

All opinions are welcome.

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Old 09-05-2002, 08:40 PM
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my advice is to get a little cheap airbrush if you don't have one already and clean the areas needing a touchup feather the edge use those little 3M notebook paper ring repair things aroud the whole id it smalll enough, spray with primer and then the paint, you could even use spraycans or match book match ends to apply the paint then buff. I'd also use a #7 meguires buffing compound and go over the entire car to try and see if some of the scratches and nicks will buff out, plus the clear from the rest of the car will destract from the repair spots. Whites a good color for this since shiny white vehicles are hard to look at. White is a low maintanance color, it always looks good on other peoples cars...just never mine. Let me know if you need anything else or help or an air mailed shnouzer perhaps.

HK
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Old 09-06-2002, 06:08 AM
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TKS HK! I don't have an airbrush yet but I do have a small touch up gun-siphon feed. Sounds like a good enough excuse for me to go and buy one. I have never used one so I have no idea what makes a good airbrush? Are there some things I should look out for? I would probably buy a relatively good model just because I don't believe in investing in nonrepairable junk, what are some of the good models? What are some the accessories I should buy while I'm melting the credit card anyway? Tips? What diameters? Needles? As you can see I have been out of the spray game for a long time although I still have my Binks color gun and Devilbiss primer guns. Any recommendations for a paint type? The car is a 91 VW Jetta so I have no idea what it was originally painted with. Urethane maybe?

The ring binder reinforcements are a great idea I never thought of. Should I go over the entire car with buffing compound to prepare it for this? Pretend I am an idiot and have no clue on how to proceed because I have only painted one car in my life and this was way before base/clear was the norm, all my spray experience was with epoxies with a lot of Imron with a few Centauri applications along the way and enough Laquer to kill a horse. I have never sprayed any water based stuff before.

Have you ever had any "color melt" work done on a car? I have seen some quite amazing repairs done to a few friends cars using this method, does it prematurely age the paint? I have heard that they heat the paint and actually move the paint on the car? I am not sure what the truth is.

I want to do this right because like I said the car is pristine and was driven by the proverbial little old lady who only drove it on the highway on Sundays if it was nice out. She never even drove it in the winter and the original factory ink stamps are still on the undercarriage components.

Again, thanks for the input.
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Old 09-06-2002, 08:48 PM
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Wheeew son, hoooooooldon to your lug nutz! Its Tiiiiiiiiiiime for a repaint!

Not quite, but be prepared, this could take a while to read

Alright buying an airbrush like everything else depends on how and what your going to use it for/with/and at what location. Also of course how much you want to spend. Airbrushes come in two basic types single action and double action. single action airbrushes are for the broad one color sprayer because they aren't very adjustable and are just a put the paint in and push the button type. Double action brushes are for the more intricate brushers because they offer a wide range of ability without changing needles or brushes. You can use these as a universal from the hip type brush if your learn to use it properly. Then after you choose that you must choose wether you want siphon feed or a gravity fed brush. Siphon fed guns are harder for manuverability and intricate work, but are good for the high elevation painter, such as painting a mural on the side of a building 12 stories up. These are hard to use for intricate work because they use air presure to move the paint so its difficult to apply the paint lightly if needed. Gravety fed brushes are good for intricate work because they are light and good for manuverability and also don't require high air pressure so paint coverage can be varied. Then you have to decide what your going to be spraying. Different guns are desighned to use different media from ink or colored dyes to laquer paints.

Now if your just begining at airbrush work you don't need anything too exspensive so I would recommend Badger, they have a variety of brushes to choose from at afordable prices. Thayer and Chandler make a pretty good brush as well for an afordable price and all their brushes are universal for any type of sprayble media. I myself use an Iwata LPH-100 I so luckity snagged from a going out of business sale for half off...and I still didn't eat for a week, hehe. The Iwata was or detail work, witch is being waisted on me, but I'm learning.

I'm not sure of what a "color melt" technique is, but I will ask someone to bring me up on the process. It must be a new technique because either I've never heard of it or it goes by a different name. Not sure, but i will indeed find out.

Are you intending to just fix the spots for rust prevention or for looks as well? If you want to get the job back to a fatory look a wider area would be recomended to paint. Depending on the size of the chips anything bigger than the O on the keyboard should be feather at least an 1/8th of and inch fom the chip sides then repaired and sprayed. Let me know what kind of brush your looking for price range etc and how you intent to do the chips and I will tell you all you need to know.

HK
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Old 09-06-2002, 10:53 PM
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TKS HK, I did a little searching and it looks like what they call "paintless body repair" or "color melt" here in Canada is really a type of paint you wipe on and then wipe the excess off. Sounds like a quick buck industry now that I have looked into it (correct me if I'm wrong). I like the airbrush idea and I can buff out the overspray and blend the repair in myself, I think the old fashion method is the most durable. I intend to do my best and have the car look like it was never touched up if possible. There is a lot of life left in that old diesel yet and the car is absolutely perfect in every other respect, the only problem is it was always driven on the highway and the rock chips go right to base metal. I want to stop the inevitable rust staining and bubbling that is sure to occur if I don't do something about it now.

Could you recommend something on this <a href="http://www.dixieart.com/Airbrushes.html" target="_blank">page?</a>


I was kind of considering this <a href="http://www.dixieart.com/Eclipse.html" target="_blank">one.</a>

The selection seems unlimited and I don't have a clue what is good or necessary to have etc. I don't care how much it costs because I will always have it and just might find more uses for it once it is in the tool arsenal. My main concern is buying something and not being able to get parts for it 2 years from now. There seems to be some convertible type guns that go from siphon to gravity feed quite easily and now that you have explained the differences of the two I think this might be a wise option. Are they any good? or is it a compromise thing and they don't work all that great in either mode?

Thanks for the help.

[ September 07, 2002: Message edited by: 4 Jaw Chuck ]</p>
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Old 09-06-2002, 11:35 PM
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Anytime, anytime. Thats rub in paint is carnuba wax based, some is colored and some is clear, it hardens, but it is a quick money making ploy. We used to do the same thing with soap for a quick fix for shows and things, then repair it later. As for the airbrush you chose, Iwata makes goos stuff and they have been around for a while so I doubt they are going anywhere. That brush is good for a few different perposes, and would work fine with automotive touchups and possibly even added graphics. Before you buy I would look into Thayer and Chandler, they are more of a universal brush and they have been bought by Badger so getting parts shouldn't be a problem. Badger was the first spray gun I ever used, and is a very nice company to work with. My Iwata is a convertable brush and it works just as well either way. Mine is a double action convertable fine line version of the one you are looking at, I'm not sure how much they would be in Canada, but here they are $850 retail here and the best of the best use this brush(its too much gun for ya son) (I hear that often, hehe). Its not very good for automotive touchups but could throw on a mean mural. The one your looking at is made for a bigger area so its good for the use your going to use for.

Now TO THE REPAIIIR! Wash the car with some dawn in a bucket like normal to get all the gunk off and show the chips for what they really are. clean the chips out to bare metal and feather the outlying paint to the primer, its either red or gray. tape off the area and spray it with some primer or sealer, take off the tape, scuff that with some red scotch brite real well untill the primer sealer edge feels nearly gone, you can also use 220 grit sand paper. After you get the area scuffed with your airbrush lightly spray the area with the paint surpassing the area by about 1/4" a few light coats untill its totally coverd. Do these steps with the rest of the chips and after you can suff the entire area and put on a coat of clear or spot clear, let that cure and buff the entire car with Meguires #7 and yu'll be good to go.

HK

[ September 07, 2002: Message edited by: Halloweenking ]</p>
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Old 09-07-2002, 06:18 AM
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Here is an alternative way that you may want to consider also. I use this method at the shop I work at from time to time on solid color cars like your white car. First clean the area with some fine compound. Clean the chip area and then fill the chip with a drop of catylized color. Even though your car is base clear I would use a single stage white for this. Build up the paint in the chip until it is filled and let it dry. After it dries completely carefully wet sand the excess paint in the chip down with some 1500 grit paper then compound the area. This can give you some good results and is really a simple repair to do.
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Old 09-07-2002, 09:52 AM
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Great info guys, thanks. Your technique JW is similar to what I had in mind in the beginning but I wasn't sure it would work. Thanks for the heads up on the brush HK, I'll see what I can swing for cash. Does anyone have a clue what type of paint they would put on this type of vehicle from the factory? Might be a good idea to stay with one type, no?
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Old 09-07-2002, 08:35 PM
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Chuck, try this

HK
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Old 09-09-2002, 05:53 PM
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Yo Chuck !Moe here.I'd go the Single Stage route and wet sand.Doing a clear blend is not the easiest thing,you have to be careful not to lift the clear when buffing. The edge is really weak since the clear has to be applied past the sanded edge.Don't ask me how I know this.I've done my share of buffing at the shop so if you need help?
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Old 09-09-2002, 08:51 PM
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Here's the technique I tried and used this weekend with excellent results.
  • Small fiberoptic brush used to get bare metal with a lightly beveled edge.
  • One artist finelines brush for application.
  • Patience and plenty of experimentation with viscosity of paint mix.
  • A few well placed heat lamps speeded things along and I soon had the entire hood done in a couple of hours. Looks good so far.

Wet sanding is next and I will let everything cure up a little more before proceeding. I think it will work out well. Any recommendations for fine wet sanding this? 1000 grit leading to a 1500 grit? What do you think works well?

[ September 09, 2002: Message edited by: 4 Jaw Chuck ]</p>
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Old 09-09-2002, 09:16 PM
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That sounds good, hand rubbing with a clean soft cloth and some rubbing compound will help at the end as well.

You should check out that stuff ford came out with a few years ago to put on 4x4's. Its a artist type rubber coating that you spray on like paint but you can peel it off whenever you want to keep the paint clean and prevent small chips and scratches. A simular thing was used back in the late 60 early 70's for a masking technique for airbrushers, not sure of the name, but you can still buy the art stuff in stores. The stuff ford came up with is a primer gray color when wet and dries clear. Not sure if they even make it anymore, but they used to. It would help keep that V-dub pristein.

HK
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Old 09-14-2002, 04:47 PM
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Hey 4 Jaw,
As far as airbrushes I would go for the Badger or Paasche and go for the upper end. If you notice Iwata has already discontinued one model. Both the Badger and Paasche have been around for quite awhile abd parts are relitively easy to find. Just my $.02 worth.

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Old 09-16-2002, 01:22 PM
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Old 09-19-2002, 10:02 AM
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I know you're done already but for 1/8 inch chips i've just filled in the chip with paint with a toothpick or a pin, let dry, do again if need be. when dry, paint with clear nail polish. a year later they're not invisible one foot away, but after that they are. and I'm SURE white is more forgiving than turquoise!
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