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DIY: Repairing Paint Chips

The moment you have been dreading has arrived. You have to go to the mall in your beautiful, expensive, brand new car.
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» Part 1: Getting It Fixed
» Part 2: Let's Start Painting
» Part 3: Chipped Off
 

The moment you have been dreading has arrived. You have to go to the mall in your beautiful, expensive, brand new car. You just know that the nit wit who parks next to you is going to slam his door into the side of your car as he gets out. So to prevent this, you park way out in the boonies with nary a car in sight. You hike the 200 meters to the mall entrance happy with the fact your new car is safe from harm.

But, when you come out with those new items from Victorias Secret you bought for your wife, you see a 1969 Chevy Malibu with more rust spots than a scrap yard has parked right next to you. As you get closer to your car you see two paint chips that match the door of the Malibu.

Getting It Fixed
Okay, so you head on over to the body shop to get an estimate for repairing the damage. The estimate is for $429.62 to repair the paint chips. And to add insult to injury, he says he can't guarantee an exact paint match for your white pearlescent paint.

Sad to say, but it is very difficult for anyone to match many modern paint finishes if you do an entire body panel. If the chip is small but goes through the clear coat and deep into the paint, the best thing may be a simple touchup. It won't be an exact match, but no one might notice it unless you point it out. I know, I know, you will still know it's there but chances are you will be the only one who knows.

Paint By The Numbers
This is the best technique for small chips or scratches, like near the edges of trunk and door openings. If it is about 70 degrees or less outside, you should do this in a heated garage. If you live in Yuma, Arizona or Reno, Nevada work early in the day so the paint doesn't dry out too quickly.

The dealers parts department will have the color for your car and that will get you as close as possible to the correct color. Then get some clear coat and primer if the chip goes down to the metal. Make sure you use an automotive primer, not the spray primer you get at the hardware store or home center. If your dealer has the clear coat and primer that would be the best way to go since it will usually be by the same manufacturer.

If you follow these directions carefully, and have some patience, you will get a quality repair that will last for years.

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»
Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3

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