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  1. #1

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    Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Hello everyone, I did a search on this, but it seems most results are pretty old and may not apply to the newer water-based paints that I understand are used on cars.

    I bought a 2016 Toyota. Colour is 070 Blizzard Pearl Tricoat. I have already ordered the correct paints on PaintScratch.com.

    But the previous owner had used the wrong touch-up paint in 2 places. It looks like a flat white.

    So, I want to use the correct, safe approach to remove these bits, so I can re-do these spots with the correct paint. This car is a daily driver and I`m not going for absolute perfection. Perfection on a 4-Season car is simply impossible due to the climate here in Ontario.

    1. What is the least aggresive method? Solvents? One of those really fine sanding pencils?
    1. For solvents, is the right thing a laquer thinner? Or mineral spirits on a q-tip to remove the old stuff? Can I just dab the solvent on really carefully, or is there a `procedure` for it?
    2. Will using these products cause any damage to the original paint / clear coat? Any particular warnings for water-based paints?
    3. Is there a waiting time or anything before I can apply the correct touch-up paints?

    If `doing it right` requires wet-sanding, I will just live with it, because I am afraid of wet-sanding. I messed up wet-sanding on another car and I won`t risk it again.

  2. #2

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by DownFlyer View Post
    1. What is the least aggresive method? Solvents? One of those really fine sanding pencils?
    1. For solvents, is the right thing a laquer thinner? Or mineral spirits on a q-tip to remove the old stuff? Can I just dab the solvent on really carefully, or is there a `procedure` for it?
    Use a solvent. I`d use Langka (that`s what I *do* use) but lacquer thinner oughta work fine. I`ve never tried Mineral Spirits for this. Try just dabbing it, but you might need a longer dwell-time (soak something with solvent, hold/prop in place until effective.
    2. Will using these products cause any damage to the original paint / clear coat? Any particular warnings for water-based paints?
    They *SHOULDN`T*, and I wouldn`t expect any problems, but you just never really know until you try it. If it was a factory/point-of-import/other touchup/repaint it might bite you. Those caveats said (to assuage my conscience), I`ll say that I`ve never had any problems like that on modern cars.

    3. Is there a waiting time or anything before I can apply the correct touch-up paints?
    No, but you should let the touchup paint cure for a while before doing much to it. While that`s going on (I give it a good six weeks at least and usually longer), you can use Optimum Car Wax, which was tested/approved by Ford for "Post-production Paintwork".

    If `doing it right` requires wet-sanding, I will just live with it, because I am afraid of wet-sanding. I messed up wet-sanding on another car and I won`t risk it again.


    That`s probably smart. I suspect that more people cause problems with wetsanding than *fix* problems with it.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Something like Goof Off (Mineral Spirits is not strong enough and Lacquer Thinner is too strong) should be able to remove the old touch up, IME any single bottle touch up paint for Lexus or Toyota is easy to remove, no matter what the age of the single bottle touch up paint. Lexus says that the clear is "built in" to the single bottle touch up paints, BS!. IF clear was built in, it wouldn`t be so easy to remove. On the other hand, any touch up paint that comes in a color coat and clear coat is almost impossible to remove without degrading the surrounding area, because the top coat clear has actually been applied.

    I wouldn`t wet sand to make a touch up on any of the Asian vehicles, the paint systems are too soft, you could go right through the clear coat. On the other hand, I would wet sand any German vehicle, any day of the week, but to level the paint.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    Something like Goof Off (Mineral Spirits is not strong enough and Lacquer Thinner is too strong) should be able to remove the old touch up, IME any single bottle touch up paint for Lexus or Toyota is easy to remove, no matter what the age of the single bottle touch up paint. Lexus says that the clear is "built in" to the single bottle touch up paints, BS!. IF clear was built in, it wouldn`t be so easy to remove. On the other hand, any touch up paint that comes in a color coat and clear coat is almost impossible to remove without degrading the surrounding area, because the top coat clear has actually been applied.

    I wouldn`t wet sand to make a touch up on any of the Asian vehicles, the paint systems are too soft, you could go right through the clear coat. On the other hand, I would wet sand any German vehicle, any day of the week, but to level the paint.
    Thanks this is very helpful. Even for my car with tricoat paint, the OEM paint pen has colour and clear, although it dosn`t have separate midcoat and topcoat.

    Regarding Goof Off, is this interchangeable with Goo Gone for this purpose? I believe I`ve got some Goo Gone rattling around here somewhere...

    Do you recommend the Q-Tip method, or something else?

  5. #5

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by DownFlyer View Post
    Thanks this is very helpful. Even for my car with tricoat paint, the OEM paint pen has colour and clear, although it dosn`t have separate midcoat and topcoat.

    Regarding Goof Off, is this interchangeable with Goo Gone for this purpose? I believe I`ve got some Goo Gone rattling around here somewhere...

    Do you recommend the Q-Tip method, or something else?
    My mother`s RX350 is a Tricoat color and gets a separate color and clear, is that what you`re saying?

    Goo Gone is a bit stronger than I would personally use, I have seen damage to clear coats from too much exposure to Goo Gone, something I have yet to experience with Goof Off. The Q-Tip method works great, just make sure that when you are done cleaning out the old paint, neutralize the Goof Off with a glass cleaner, onr, or the like, and then come in with some isopropyl alcohol to rid any residues from the glass cleaner. With strong cleaners, I always make sure to neutralize residues, especially in the case of the Goof Off. The dragon is already missing a scale in its armour, meaning that it is easy to cause the surrounding scales to come off easily, if we are not careful by leaving relatively corrosive chemicals on/in the surface. Meaning, there is a hole in the paint, layer dependent, the right cleaner can cause the exposed layers of paint to delaminate, at the outer edges of the hole.

  6. #6

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    TheMeanGreen- reading your latest posts on this subject, I`m thinking that 1) I`m probably a lucky guy in this regard too as I`ve never damages oe clear with an solvent, and 2) I`m just gonna stick with Langka, which works perfectly for me when it comes to starting touchups over.

    One of these days I`m gonna fix `em on the Crown Vic...those look like the guy did it with his elbow

  7. #7

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    My mother`s RX350 is a Tricoat color and gets a separate color and clear, is that what you`re saying?
    I`m saying that there`s midcoat and topcoat colours that should be applied in sequence, before the clear.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    The Q-Tip method works great, just make sure that when you are done cleaning out the old paint, neutralize the Goof Off with a glass cleaner, onr, or the like, and then come in with some isopropyl alcohol to rid any residues from the glass cleaner. With strong cleaners, I always make sure to neutralize residues, especially in the case of the Goof Off.
    Could you please elaborate a bit on this neutralizing process? Do you mean in terms of acidity? For glass cleaner, can I use Windex?

    I also have Stoner`s Invisible Glass, and IPA in 3 strengths (99, 70, 50%.)

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    I didn`t read this whole thing that closely, but I always just wipe out touch-up I don`t like with a paper towel and lacquer thinner, and like Accumulator, I`ve never had any kind of solvent (lacquer thinner, IPA, mineral spirits, methanol) damage factory clear. Now, I will qualify this by saying that I think when I have wiped out touch-up like this, it`s stuff that I had just done (or within a day or two), I`m not sure that I ever did it on an old repair.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Making a separate response here in case anyone else wants to chime in...

    My paranoid brain has realised that I don`t absolutely know that the `wrong` paint is actually automotive touch-up paint. People are stupid, and it could be anything. (The colour is like a flat white.)

    Any tips on confirming that it is indeed normal automotive touch-up paint?

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk

  10. #10

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    I don`t know that really matters, if you`re concerned try IPA first, that`s probably the most mild. If you think it`s house paint or something, you could also try some mineral spirits, I would suggest the odorless kind. Also, re-reading your original post, your concerns about "water-based" paint are unfounded, the finished product is (essentially) identical, the difference is "water-borne" paints use water to replace some of the solvents to reduce VOC emissions. The resins that are left after cure are essentially the same.

    I understand your trepidation, I hate doing touchup even though I have done it tons of times, it never seems to come out the way I would like.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    I don`t get the use of IPA/Glass Cleaners for this...any of this. Bodyshops don`t use them for this and neither do I.

  12. #12

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    Something like Goof Off (Mineral Spirits is not strong enough and Lacquer Thinner is too strong) should be able to remove the old touch up, IME any single bottle touch up paint for Lexus or Toyota is easy to remove, no matter what the age of the single bottle touch up paint.
    I need a little more info here...
    I was out today looking for products and I find "Goof Off Pro" and "Goof Off" are different things.
    Do you have any opinion on which one is better / safer for this application?

    I can get both, but the `Pro` version is more convenient in a 6 oz can with a screw lid. The `non-Pro` version comes in spray bottles.

  13. #13

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    DownFlyer- If I didn`t want to avoid beating you over the head with my opinion, I`d maybe point out that you could`ve ordered the Langka, removed that [crap], and put this behind you by now And you`d have the rest of that little bottle on the shelf (probably a lifetime supply; it doesn`t seem to go bad as long as the cap is on right).

    Sorry, sorry...guess I coudn`t resist beating you over the head with my opinion after all

    I`m glad you`re at least holding off on choosing between those two Goof Off products lest you risk some terrible oops. I tend to think of oe paint as being *really* tough stuff, but I also try to avoid testing that theory out.

  14. #14

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    DownFlyer- If I didn`t want to avoid beating you over the head with my opinion, I`d maybe point out that you could`ve ordered the Langka, removed that [crap], and put this behind you by now And you`d have the rest of that little bottle on the shelf (probably a lifetime supply; it doesn`t seem to go bad as long as the cap is on right).

    Sorry, sorry...guess I coudn`t resist beating you over the head with my opinion after all

    I`m glad you`re at least holding off on choosing between those two Goof Off products lest you risk some terrible oops. I tend to think of oe paint as being *really* tough stuff, but I also try to avoid testing that theory out.
    Thanks, that Langka stuff is really hard to find where I live, every place is out of stock. It is quite expensive to ship out of the USA due to being a `hazardous` product. I might have to bite the bullet on this one and just order it.

    EDIT: So it seems Langka has an eBay store and their international shipping costs via eBay are not murder (i.e. 200% of the product`s price). Maybe now it`s only a slap on the wrist... or the backside... ... or something. I`ve ordered it. That said, I have a pre-planned vacation starting 2 weeks from now, and I wanted to get all of this done before I left. Looks like I may have to put it off until I get back.


    Aside from that, I realised I don`t know if it needs primer under the wrong touch-up paint. So I won`t remove the wrong paint until I have all supplies in hand. I am still waiting for 2 weeks now for my order from PaintScratch.com (including primer) to arrive. Probably stuck in customs somewhere.. (I realise you can get primer anywhere, but I am still waiting for the actual colour-matched paints.)

    For posterity, this is what I`m up against. It looks really disgusting up close, but as you can see, the scale is tiny.

    Spot #1:


    Spot #2:

  15. #15

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    Re: Doing it Right: Removing and fixing old, incorrect touch-up paint?

    Look at the bright side, whatever that is, at least it kept the chip from rusting. Did you order some thinner from Paint Sctratch? Unlike (apparently from what Accumulator says) the Langka, Paint Scratch uses plastic bottles and their thinner seems to be gone by the time you turn around (at least on the geologic time scale at my house, which is using it once every couple-three years, at which point I realize the bottle is dry...I don`t know if it`s a cap issue or if the plastic bottles are just permeable--or both).

 

 
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