JTBob's Paint Repair Process

Well I finally took the time to track down and fill all of the rock dings scattered about my car. I have a red '92 that had 36 rock dings and other marks. A year and a half and I had 36. Soft paint is an understatement.

I used the eraser end on new pencils and glued 1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper. I used a hole punch to punch out the sandpaper circles, which makes the perfect size for the eraser tip. I made up six pencils: 3 using 1500 and 3 using 2000 (and I made sure to mark the pencils so I'd know what grit I was using). After doing the whole thing, I should have made 6 1500 and 6 2000. After washing the car, I used Avery round labels and used the hold punch to put a hole in the center of the label and placed the label so that the ding was in the center of the label. I did this so that I could find all 36 the next day when I was going to do the sanding.

After all of the labels were on the car, very lightly sand each ding to get it ready for the paint. I took a match from a matchbook and cut a fine point on the end of the match. I then dipped the match tip into the touchup paint and lightly dabbed the tip into the middle of the ding. My biggest mistake was that I used too little paint. What happened on a few of the dings was that a dimple would form in the middle of the drop, which sometimes dried lower that the surrounding paint. When I sanded them down to paint level, a very small pin hole would still be there.

The next day I went out and sanded them down. I'd remove a label and start with the 1500 grit pencil. The eraser acts as a small cushion and the small sandpaper circle limits the area of work/damage. I'd carefully work the paint blob down close to paint level. I'd then finish up with the 2000 grit pencil to get the touch-up paint down to paint level (but no further). I then use Meguiar's #9 Swirl Remover and use a back and forth motion, with differing directions and blend the final part in with the original paint. The hardest part is to know when to stop using the 2000 grit sandpaper. Too much sanding and you'll create a very shallow crater. I'd switch back and forth from 2000 grit to #9 Swirl Remover till I got the desired results.

All in all, I got about 90% of my expectations. One problem is the white undercoating. When I touched up a ding that reached metal, the touch-up paint would look a little darker than the surrounding paint without the white undercoat. To put in the white undercoat would require more precision than I could do. I then used #9 on the hood and trunk to remove oxidized paint. Followed by #7 all over the car. Then ##26 Yellow wax. Showroom finish once again and no more white dots all over the hood. Now time to go out and get some fresh rock dings!