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How To Correctly Use 'touch-Up Paint' On Scratches.


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Hi folks,

So as the title says, I'm looking for any helpful advice on how to correctly do a good scratch repair job on my Fiesta Zetec Panther Black Metallic.

The scratches are only minor (please see attached photos) which I believe don't go far past the primer stage but are felt when rubbing my fingernail across them gently. I have ordered from Ford, a set of touch-up paint which has the metallic and clear coat paint separately. I am also looking to buy some 3000 grit sandpaper or polish/rubbing compounds (if needed).

The problems I am having so far with this:

1. I don't find the instructions that come with the touch up set very helpful, someone please explain.

"Apply an initial coat of Basecot 1 for 3-coat paints and allow to dry for 45 minutes. The damaged area is repaired with a base coat (base coat 2 for 3-coat paints). Allow approx 45 minutes and paint a second layer of clear coat."

2. With the scratch repair itself, am I right in thinking with metallic paints, you do not sand between base coat and clear because it ruins the metallic paint properties. But only sand after the clear coat has been applied on the base coat which has had time to dry properly? There is a lot of conflicting information about this on the internet.

I'm just going to leave this with the two questions so far and hopefully expand upon this with your answers because I'd rather sit back and be patient and get the right advice beforehand then rushing in and cocking everything up!

Cheers guys, I will sit and wait for your advice.

Anthony.

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OK so basically with scratch repairs like that, it would be a case of delicate strokes, I would personally suggest that you might find it easier to use spray paint (hear me out!)

Its easier for you to cover up the area around the scratches in pictures 1,2 and 3, you could mask them off, paper around it, and apply a layer of spray primer, let it dry, then apply spray paint over the top until its a close match. Then, when you have got the match close, give it a couple of layers of lacquer.

Once done, you can then use T cut or a similar rubbing compound to buff the new paint into the surrounding paint and leave barely a trace.

The problem with touch up pens is that it leaves so many traces, its like applying toothpaste to the car, its risen, its obvious and its very hard to get it from its risen state to a blend in state...

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I use a spray can and an small artist brush.

Spray the paint into the lid then use the artist brush to apply it. I find its so much easier with a smaller brush to do the small stone chips and a damn sight cheaper than the touch up brushes.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its easier for you to cover up the area around the scratches in pictures 1,2 and 3, you could mask them off, paper around it, and apply a layer of spray primer, let it dry, then apply spray paint over the top until its a close match. Then, when you have got the match close, give it a couple of layers of lacquer.

Hey thanks for the reply! I can see using the brush that comes with the pens would be too thick to cover some of these scratches. But how about those really small artist brushes with thin ends to try covering them up with? Would that not offer the same/better result then the spray can? i.e. slowly building up the layers with thin strokes.

Once done, you can then use T cut or a similar rubbing compound to buff the new paint into the surrounding paint and leave barely a trace.

I'm confused what method is the best to create a smooth finish with the repaired painted surface. I understand that the repaired area will now be higher then the original paint, so would using (mild) wet-sanding be better to smooth the area, making it more level then applying the t-cut or a rubbing compound first?

Thanks!

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Wet and dry super de duper thin grade would be needed, something like the 2800 should do the job, it sands it down and then you polish it out basically. Rubbing compound or T cut will do the same job, but start with rubbing compound as its less abrasive.

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Rubbing compound or T cut will do the same job, but start with rubbing compound as its less abrasive.

If I used rubbing compound to smooth the painted surface after doing the touch-up scratch repair, wouldn't it also be removing small layers of clear from the rest of the body? For instance, as I am rubbing the elevated repaired paint back down to match the surround body.. wouldn't it also be taking more and more layers off from other areas?

But If I used wet-sanding first, wouldn't I have more control where I want to smooth the effected area, thus only taking the layers off where I want it to compared to effecting a larger area? I hope what I said makes sense.. thanks for the help!

My first tip is to make sure the paint is thin! Touch up paint has a habit of being far too thick. A little thinners may be required

Would using thinner effect the metallic properties of the original paint? Thanks for the help!

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No it won't have any effect. Sometimes touch up paints can sit around on the shelf for a long time so they do tend to thicken up a little. Then it becomes pointless trying to use them as it goes on more like jam!

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Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate the feedback.. I really do!

I've just found this company online, www.chipex.co.uk and they seem legit and I stumbled across many many happy reviews. Even though there a little pricey, they match the exact car colour paint and there lacquer is already mixed into the paint. The repairs are predominately done on stone chips but you can use them for small deep scratches too.

Even though I already have the ford touch-up paint set, I still feel I don't really know what I'm doing with it, as in terms of trying to blend the thing in well after being repaired. I'm a little worried using compounds and/or wet-sanding due to the cars delicate clear coat. Knowing me I'll probably end up taking too much off or applying too much paint.

I may try chipex, the whole thing seems much more easier.

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