Paint Chip Touch-up — /DRIVE CLEAN

up, guys? I’m Larry from And one of the most common
questions I receive is how to properly touch up your
car’s paint. In this episode, we’ll discuss
how to resolve chip damage caused by dings and rocks. In addition to resolving the
unsightly chip marks, touch-up primarily protects the paint
from future corrosion. That’s all coming up today on
this episode of “DRIVE CLEAN.” [MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY KOSILLA: Detailing cars is
a very visual skill that I learned by watching talented
artists in their respective fields. Our industry has several methods
for touching up cars. Some techniques work better
than others, and some professionals and weekend
warriors are more precise and patient than others when it
comes to the application. As you can see on the hood of
my car, the previous owner should be commended for taking
time to touch up the rock chips, but the result wasn’t necessarily visually beautiful. Today I’m going to walk you
through the methods I’m most comfortable using. The process typically takes a
couple of days from start to finish, so patience
is required. It involves four steps– assessing, prepping, application
and leveling. But before we get started,
here’s what you need– touch-up sticks, 2000 grit
sandpaper, Carnauba wax, rubbing alcohol, microfiber
towel, heat gun, No. 2 pencils, Crazy Glue, color
coat and clear coat, touch-up paint and hole punch. Step one is assessing the
damage to determine the severity of the impact. Does it need touch-up, or will
wet sanding be enough? Proper touch-up is a long and
sometimes tedious process. And if the impact can be
repaired by simply wet sanding, I would avoid using
touch-up if at all possible. Since these two areas are
missing clear-coat paint and bare metal is exposed, touch-up
is our only option. First I circle the area with a
paint pen to help find the small chip quickly and to show
you the viewers at home where we’re working. Next, it’s important to clean
out the jagged and loose edges of the existing chip
for two reasons. The first one is you don’t
want to put touch-up over unsecure paint, because
it’ll simply fall off, defeating the purpose. It’s much like scraping flaky
paint off an old house before the painting process begins. The second is that by scuffing
up the bottom of the chip, the touch-up that you will soon
apply will have better adhesion because it’s not a
smooth, slippery surface. To do this, you’ll need a pencil
with an unused eraser, one 2000 grit sandpaper,
and a hole punch. Cut out one piece of sandpaper
and remove it from the hole punch reservoir. This tiny perfect circle sits
atop the pencil’s eraser with a drop of Crazy Glue. Be sure to affix the
sandpaper with the gritty side facing outwards. The purpose of this trick is to
only scuff up the chip and not the surrounding area, if
possible, because we only want touch-up within the
chip itself. The number one reason why
touch-up has a tendency to look bad is because it overflows
into the surrounding areas that don’t actually need
it, causing an uneven or bumpy texture that is obvious
to the eye. However, the pencil trick
focuses the repair precisely where it’s needed most. The next step is a technique
I’ve used for years to help corral the touch-up paint into
the scratch and to avoid the non-chipped areas. First, add a light layer of
Carnauba wax over the entire area, including the chip. Next, use rubbing alcohol on a
touch-up stick to clean out or remove the wax from the chip. You may need to do this several
times to ensure no waxes remain on the exposed
bare metal. The reason we do this is because
any waxed surface will not allow touch-ups to stick
to it, which helps us avoid the number one cause of bad
touch-up jobs, and that, of course, is having touch-up
in the wrong area. It also helps with the cleanup
process, because misplaced drips can be wiped
away easily. Now that the chip is clean and
ready to accept the touch-up, we need to mix the paint and
clear-coat prior to the application. Add an even amount of color
and clear-coat. Then mix in a small cup until
it becomes slightly thicker, or more viscous than water, but
less viscous than syrup. This can be very tricky, because
there’s usually an optimal 10 to 20-minute window
of time before the paint becomes too clumpy. Now, traditionally, color-coat
was added, dried, then clear-coat was added
on top afterwards. But from a practical standpoint,
this is not as effective if your goal is to
have it look good as well. I prefer to mix the color-coat
and the clear-coat together prior to adding it to the chip,
because it’s a healthy balance between protection,
looks, and ease of application. To apply this new mixture of
paint and clear, I remove the fibers from the touch-up stick
so that it’s bare plastic. You can use a razor blade or
simply bite off the end. Next, dip the touch-up stick
into the paint so that there’s a small collection
at the very tip. Your goal is to allow the paint
to flow into the chip and to fill up the
cavity slowly. The most common misconception
is that a painting motion is needed. It’s best to actually dab and
push the paint around to help it settle into the chip. To speed up the drying process,
use a heat gun on low for two to three minutes. Keep touching the panel to make
sure it doesn’t get too hot during this process. As the touch-up dries, it will
shrink, so additional layers of paint will most
likely be needed. This will take time, a
steady hand, and a good deal of patience. Next, wet sand the area with
2500 grit to blend the surrounding paint, and notice if
it needs additional layers of touch-up. Use even pressure with a foam
or rubber sanding block. This process will help expose
anything you may have missed during the original touch up. To remove the wet sand marks,
I’m using a microfiber cutting pad, leveling fluid, and a
3-inch Rupes polisher. Our goal is to see if we filled
in the chip or if it needs additional layers. Now, as expected, more touch-up
is needed to build up the layers within the chip until
it’s perfectly flat. Repeat this process until you’re
completely satisfied. The touch-up process can take
one hour or one week, depending on your tools,
skills, and level of perfection required for
you to be satisfied. The very last step, of course,
is to wax your car for additional protection. But always keep in the back of
your mind that touch-up is designed to help prevent
premature corrosion and with a bit of patience can make it
look much better, too. The small chips on the front
of my car have been filled, leveled and polished, all for
significantly less money than if I had repainted it, and
I’m feeling pretty good. For a PDF download of our
step-by-step tips on how to touch up your paint, be sure
to visit Well, that’s if for me, guys. Thanks again for watching
another episode of “DRIVE CLEAN” right here on
the DRIVE network. -Like this, and rip this
thing off, right? OK, good. See how it came off? -Yeah, that’s great. [INAUDIBLE] put it in your mouth
and bite it off. -I have to put it in my
mouth and bite it off? -All right, hang on. Any second. -There you go. -If you ask me. -There, bro, now you got it. -Can you hold it up
just real quick? -Now you’re bad ass.

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