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  1. #1
    Dan's Avatar
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    Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    I`ve had my fair share of touchup repair. I can get things pretty good with the help of Langka and patience, but I`ve been car shopping for the past couple of months and keep seeing touchup repairs that blow mine away. What has me super curious is how a few of them have zero lines or edges, the repair melts into the paint. With just the base coat I can get a pretty subtle repair, but as soon as I use clear (and I have at least 4 or 5 different bottles from generic to OEM touchup), I always see the edge of where the touchup repair is. What I`m talking about looks almost like a poorly sanded run, you can see a bit of a bulge on close inspection but it doesn`t look like different paint!

    Is anyone else doing touchups perfectly blended into the OEM paint? If, so, how are you doing it?

  2. #2

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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Dan- Only way I can do it is to either *really* luck out with the Langka/DrColorchip approach or to wetsand, and the latter has its own drawbacks (even when it goes well) if there`s oe orangepeel, you get those "areas that are a little too nice" compared to the rest of the vehicle.

    With just the base coat I can get a pretty subtle repair, but as soon as I use clear...
    Maybe you oughta do the DrColorchips thing, which uses a (surprisingly decent IMO) single stage paint. Just use it like conventional touchup paint rather than their "smear it around and then take off the excess" instructions. I`ve had pretty good success with that, but I`m not all that Autopian about touchups, more willing to accept imperfection.

    Or...feeling lucky?... you could find somebody like my once-best painter, who (when on his game, he`s getting older and has health issues now) has done some simply incredible touchups that I could barely spot even knowing where they were. If *he* can do it, and on metallic paint no less, so can somebody else..the trick is to find those guys.
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  3. #3
    RaydiantDetail's Avatar
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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    I recently picked up one of those fine line drawing pens (The one which Larry from AMMO NYC used in one of his paint touch up how to videos) and some of those touch up sticks from Amazon with the fine tips (look like a long stick with a small felt tip and they come in a pack of 25). They make applying the touch up paint much easier and more precise than using the applicator that they come with (usually the nail polish brush like thing).

    Ill usually apply it in lighter layers by dabbing a small amount of paint in the chip and slowly build up the layer and try to get it as level with the surrounding paint as possible and then will do some light feather sanding on the area to blend it all together. I don`t know if I would say my touch up skills are perfect. Probably far from it but its better than when I see blobs of touch up paint on some cars where you can distinctly tell it is there. I recently used this method on a clients car and he was very happy with the outcome. I think the key is really just patience and trying not to do too much at a time and maybe even just expectations lol
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  4. #4

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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    I started a similar thread not seeing this one trying to confirm if my memory was correct on the best process. Basically if I recall when I did this many years ago, I taped off the scratch as close to the edges as possible and then used a hole punch to punch out a circle of sandpaper in various grits 1,500, 2,000, and 2,500 and glued them to the end of a pencil erasure. Then use some water with dawn liquid like a 1 dawn to 5 water ratio (the soap acts as a lubricant to make the sanding a little "safer") and then carefully sand with the pencil eraser. You may want to start at 2,000 instead of 1,500 grit. Basically use the finest grit that will level it. You can wipe it dry repeatedly to keep checking how you`re doing. Baby steps. With it taped off you really don`t risk causing any major damage to the surrounding clear coat except right at the edge of the scratch which is what you are blending anyway.

    I`m no expert but I *think* this is what I did. I think the trick is to apply the paint (assuming the scratch went through the clear coat) in the thinnest layer possible then use one or more layers of clear so that you are leveling the clear, not the touch up paint.

    If someone else wants to chime in, there has to be some "experts" here. I just saw you didn`t get very many replies. Maybe the admin can combine our threads since we are talking about the exact same thing.

    You`ll need to polish the slight haze in the clear created by the wet sanding with probably a medium cut polish, like a Meguiars 105 and then something finer like 205. That`s just my semi-educated guess. (Get more opinions.) People are very wary of wet sanding, as it`s easy to do damage if you don`t know the basic technique. I haven`t found a detail shop yet nearby that would do that, suprisingly. Maybe a body shop would but they probably don`t want to do such a small job and just want to quote a repaint paid for by your Insurance.

  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    I did hundreds of touch ups to automotive paint way back when I was an Apprentice Painter, and then a Journeyman Painter..
    The only brush used back then was made by Mack and looks very close to this one --- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RLNPMM...v_ov_lig_dp_it
    You have to - learn - how to use it, so practice first..

    What I like about this brush is that once you get it wet with lacquer thinner, it really gets even sharper, all the way down to the tip where you want it that way..
    With this brush, once you learn how to use it correctly, you can put a little paint into the chip very precisely.

    What is good about product like Dr. Colorchip is that it is a lacquer based touch up, so it won`t have an issue with today`s paint which is probably all water-based..
    So, if you accidently put too much paint in there you can quickly blot it out and start over..

    I still have the swordbrush I bought around 45 years ago and it still works great.. It looks just like the one in the Link I provided above..

    Dan you mentioned - Blending - there is no way to ever really Blend a touch up with the rest of the paintwork without first - feather edging - all the paint around the chip just enough to remove the edge, and then spraying paint back into the area, overlapping the chip, and then coming back later and carefully compounding the area all flat..

    And then, if you really want to go to all that work, you must understand how to BackTape with tape and paper, all around the area/s so when you spray the paint, you dont leave paint build up - edge/edges - on the panel where you tape and papered it off...


    So, getting back to using the correct brush, it is the only accurate method in my experiences of putting just enough paint into chips.. The rest of the work afterwards to try to smooth them down, (because sometimes the object that caused the chip raises the paint all around it when the whatever it was hit that spot), may or may not work perfectly.. Sometimes, if the chip itself was not cleaned good enough so the paint can hold better, or the paint was not applied in layers and allowed to dry properly, etc., one can actually remove the chip paint repair, by compounding over it..

    In the days of acrylic lacquer and acrylic enamels, whenever you used the appropriate paint for them with the appropriate thinner or reducer, it actually - melted - down into the paint (because it was the same kind of paint), and that always helped the chip to adhere tighter and not come out.. But those days are gone..

    I don`t know what today`s water based Painters do for this ; perhaps, stop by a good automotive paint shop and see if you can talk to the oldest Painter there and see how he does it??

    Dan F
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  6. #6
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Stokdgs, you caputured exactly what I was trying to state, the touchup paint melting into the factory paint. That is what I`m after. No matter what sort of sanding/smearing/buffing I do, there is alway an edge. The two paints are separate, it is hard to see, but it is there. But I`ve seen repairs on modern clearcoat paint that defy that! As I said, it looks like a paint drip that has been sanded. The paint looks like a part of the original paint.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Stokdgs- I really oughta try one of those, uhm...(I`d call it a pinstriping)... sword brushes some time. I`ve always uses small artists brushes, sizes around 1-00 for metallics and sometimes even smaller (down to 00000) for nonmetallics.

    The waterborne paints my Audi guys use do *NOT* do the "melt in" thing, at least not like the old pre-VOC Spies Hecker paint did, that stuff was simply great and allowed for mid-panel blending with zero issues even after many years.
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  8. #8
    RaydiantDetail's Avatar
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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Apparently my YouTube recommendations knew we were discussing scratch/ chip repair. Scary.

    https://youtu.be/9GzoycIdX2w

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Quote Originally Posted by RaydiantDetail View Post
    Apparently my YouTube recommendations knew we were discussing scratch/ chip repair. Scary.

    https://youtu.be/9GzoycIdX2w

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    I would have liked to see them polish it out to really see the results. Kind of like a cliff hanger - he says it works but I didn`t see it happen. I can`t buy it until I see it.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Touchup paint, how to blend without edges/lines

    Oh, and if your vision is anything like mine, consider doing all this stuff under magnification. I *DO NOT* like the high-power magnifiers that some others advocate, but a lighted magnifying visor makes it very easy for me to see what I`m (really) doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    I don`t know what today`s water based Painters do for this ; perhaps, stop by a good automotive paint shop and see if you can talk to the oldest Painter there and see how he does it??
    My "modern-tech painters" don`t like to do that unless they`ve already mixed up the paint for spraying, then they just do it the regular way. The big hassle apparently has to do with how today`s paints get mixed so they cure/catalyze/whatever they do.

 

 

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