Paint Touch Ups

Paint Touch Ups (Non-Metallic Solid Colors)
Randy Sottile/Kathy Kennel

Randy Sottile wrote:

Take a camel hair fine tip artists brush, apply 2-3 "coats" to the nicked
area, with final coat slightly ABOVE the surface level of paint. When dry,
bring to a European familiar paint shop for them to "wet color sand & polish" out.

Kathy Kennel additionally responded:

This is excellent advice, but I'd like to add something to it. Once you've
carefully applied the thin layers of touch-up paint, you don't have to take
the car to a body shop. You can finish the job yourself. (Trust me, I've done it many times and so can you!)

Start by using some 600-grit wet & dry sandpaper, carefully rubbed over the
paint "lump" until it has been smoothed off level with the original paint.

For flat surfaces, you may want to use a sanding block, but I prefer to use just
my fingers on the sandpaper so that I can control the pressure more
accurately. Hold your fingertips very "flat" and even, because you don't want
to create a hollow spot. You merely want to cut the lump down to the level of the surrounding paint.

BTW, make sure that the filled-in paint is *completely* dry before you begin
to sand, or you'll just end up pulling the lump out. Let it dry well between
paint coats, too. (The time to start touching up a nick is *not* 15 minutes
before a car show begins.

When the lump is smoothed away, follow up with rubbing compound to remove the tiny sandpaper scratches, and then use polishing compound to remove the rubbing compound marks. Finish it off by giving the area a good coat of wax.

Done carefully, with touch-up paint that's an exact match, the repair will be invisible. I've not attempted any repairs to metallic or clear-coated paint, but this technique works extremely well on non-metallic enamel. With all of that exposed and vulnerable paint on the "face" of a W108 (280SE, etc.) car, I've had more than enough gravel nicks on which to practice.

Note:  Don't wax over fresh paint for at least thirty days. At least in large areas, the paint needs to cure.