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#1 Mark

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 10:28 PM

Mark: I recently got a 2003 Toyota Tundra. I don't use it very often, and thought it would be safe to park it in one or two of my reserved parking spaces (my property). Yet sometime last week, someone apparently tried to park in my vacant spot, and decided my nearly perfect-looking truck was in their way. The left a long scrape down the passenger side, with a large dent in the middle!! They didn't leave a note or insurance information...but they did leave quite a bit of yellow paint embedded in my truck's dark grey paint.

So, like anyone concerned with making it look better, I went to the automotive stores looking for touch-up paint, scratch remover, rubbing compounds, and waxes that may help part of the blemishes. There was a dizzying array of products, each promising the same scratch-removing results. Guess what? There is no such thing as a product that can give professional results with someone on a shoe-string budget.

I ended up just buying inexpensive TurtleWax heavy duty rubbing compound and cleaner, and NuFinish car polish. I also bought Dupli-Color Scratch Fix Allin 1 touch-up paint. It's the only brand offering tested and approved colors by car manufacturers. My color is Toyota 1E3, Phantom Grey Pearl. Of course what they don't tell you is grey is a very hard color to match, and given the natural paint variances, the color was only barely passable by my standards. You're supposed to paint on the clear coat that comes in the same bottle with the paint after the paint dries for a period. I followed all the instructions, but it was more like, DEstruction. I didn't want to put the clear-coat on because the paint either over-filled the scratches, or under filled the scratches...leaving a noticeable flaw. So, I tried using the buffing compound on the paint (but before the clear-coat) in a spot. Again, the rubbing compound failed me, as it didn't even out the paint at all. The NuFinish is a polish, not a wax, so it really doesn't cover scratches in the clear coat. I know it lasts a long time, I've used it in the past, but it's not made to give a miracle shine to scratched clear-coats.

I understand there are supposed to be products that will even out the over-filled touch-up paint, and perhaps even smooth out the clear-coat, but again, those products are very expensive.
I also give the Turtle Wax rubbing compound poor scores for not being able to cover, or remove some of the blemishes the way I've seen more expensive products like, Maguire's Ultra Finishing Polish, and other products by that company.

Now, instead of looking like a scratch with no paint or primer I've got a truck that looks "touched-up" by an amateur. I'm not sure which is worse, not having the touch-up paint, or having it.

Why am I posting all this in such detail? Because I don't want any of you to make the same mistakes I made when I went to buy an advertised remedy that really doesn't give the results promised.

I plan to adjust my strategy and product choice in my next attempt at a better looking result. I know I can succeed, because I've had quite a bit of experience in restoring car finishes. This time I didn't buy the products I KNEW to work because of lack of money. I WON'T make that mistake again.

If any of you auto-detail mavens have any good recommendations (other than taking it to a professional body-shop), please post and let me hear some good things.
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#2 FnlPrblm

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Posted 24 October 2014 - 05:47 AM

Not a auto detailing guy by far, but I've bought the official touchup paint from my dealer for my silver VW Golf.  After just under 190k miles, it's got a lot of rock knicks on the front, amongst other things.  I barely did anything for a long time, but after thinking it might rust, I decided to touch things up on the bumper and grill.  From afar, it does look better and the car is probably somewhat protected.  However, up close, it does look quite $hitt ee. :yucky:

My experience is basically what I surmised before I did anything.  If you want a great looking car (in respect to this situation) take it to a detailing/dealer.  If you're like me and not wanting to spend $600 on a paint job, but don't want it to look like you took a shotgun to the front, buy the primer and official paint from the dealer (mine was $9 a couple of years ago for actual paint in bottles, but something like $30 this past year for paint markers which they've changed to. :p [Which actually didn't do nearly as bad of a job as I'd thought, but don't really even the paint out either.  It doesn't look as bad on the touch up surroundings either though.])
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#3 Lover of Purple

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 02:41 AM

When touching up clear coat, apply the base color and then "color" sand it with a 600 grit wet/dry automotive sandpaper(wet). Then apply the clear coat and do the same to it to level out the paint. Polish the clear coat until shiny and then wax.

That is how bod shops do it ( My Dad was a body repairman who I worked for until  turned 26) and my cousin and brother own a restoration body shop in Oregon and that s still the preferred way.

Good luck!

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