So you are driving along the road and a suddenly you here that faint clang up your bonnet. You park up and notice you have got a lovely little stone chip. Hopefully this guide will help you perform a repair to restore your paintwork back to its former glory. Most cars have a protective film applied to try and prevent damage by stone chips but it doesn’t prevent larger stones leaving there mark. They look unsightly and could begin to rust.
Clean out the area affected by the stone chip. Use a solvent cleaner such as IPA or similar. This is particularly true if the chip has gone down to the metal work below and could cause rust. All grim, residue and film need to be taken away as the new paint will not stick to this. If the chip has gone down to the bare metal you need to clean inside the metalwork with a small wire brush, a pen with a fibreglass tip or even a sharp metal knife, although be very careful not to make the damage worse.
If you have rust there you need to scrape it all away and include a small area around the rust spot to ensure that no little traces of rust remain. Then that area needs to be coated with a rust inhibitor that kills rust and turns it into a stable surface to paint on and prevents future rust from forming.
It’s time to choose your paint. Typically when manufacturers spray a car there is an undercoat in addition to the main coat and in the case of a metallic finish that is a top coat of clear lacquer. This layering needs to be repeated by us when we are touching up. The thinner the paint the better – we have found that many touch up paints are too blobby and this makes it much harder to get a smooth finish.
Time to apply the base coat; choose a light colour base for light top coats but you can choose any colour for dark paints. Once you have finished wipe away any excess paint from the surrounding area making sure not to smear or smudge. Give it an hour to try.
Begin to apply the main coat. Build this up to 3 – 8 thin layers making sure you leave an hour between coats. As before make sure that any excess paint is wiped away. The area once try should be slightly higher than the surrounding area.
After 3 – 4 hours have passed since applying the paint smooth it over with a fine grit wet and dry paper. You should make sure the paper is wet, start with a fine grade and switch to the finest grade to finish (this will save a bit of time) in a sanding block
You only need to use a tiny block to sand – something like a square piece of chalk or the end of a carpenters pencil should work. Sand down the layer of paint to the same level as the surrounding paintwork.
With a rubbing or cutting paste slowly rub over the area and blend in the new paint with the faded paint on the car in a gentle circular motion
If it is metallic paint then put the final top lacquer coat on and once again smooth with a fine grit wet and dry paper in a sanding block and repeat with a rubbing or cutting paste.