Touch-in paint - John Regin
I've searched the forum on every key word combination I can think of and no joy, so at the risk of getting a slap for starting an unnecessary thread - here goes!

Can anyone tell me how to get anything better than a mess when using touch-in paint to repair a stone chip?

Without exception all cars I've had in the last 15 years or so have been either metallic or lacquer coated. There seem to be hardly any flat colours available nowadays.

All the vehicle manufacturers I've used supply 2 pots of paint with integral brushes in the lid. There are never any instructions!

Apply the base colour, if you're lucky it won't look too bad from 25 yards, don't even bother applying the lacquer as it will be dry on the brush before you get it to the car! If you do manage to get lacquer onto the area will be a different colour to the rest.

Any suggestions gratefully received, Jack
Touch-in paint skills. - David Woollard

This is quite spooky. After posting on the subject of fading red paint a couple of threads back I carried out a delivery of parts and dropped the knife I'd used to open the box down the rear wing of my own car.

Can't bear to leave anything like that so I got out the touch-up kit and sorted the 1" scratch.

When I'd finished I thought "must add my own method of using touch up to the thread, may help someone".

And there was you query when I brought up the site!

So (not in any particular order).....

1. If you want a good paint match and quality of paint go to the dealers parts counter.

2. Never use a spray can on a car worth more than £500. If the area needing repair needs spray have it done by a bodyshop properly. Reason being that blending in the overspray is near impossible on a DIY basis (metallic in particular) and a spray will multiply the repired area a hundredfold.

3. Never use the supplied brush in the top of the touch up pencil, it is usually at least four times thicker than the scratch which gives you a ridge of paint. Also because you pull it out of the paint after shaking it is loaded with far too much paint that can run.

4.Go to an artists shop and buy a brush that comes to a point like a needle and use that.

5. Going a little against comment no.1, if you have a very narrow scratch to paint, then a Halfords type paint pencil might be better as the paint is often thinner to start.

6. Remember you are trying to paint in the scratch/chip not over it. Use just enough paint to bring it level to the paint surface and give colour.

7. When this is dry use the lacquer if supplied, same methods as above just overlapping the existing paint edges.

8. Before you start t-cut the area to see if any of the damage is actually paint from something else that may come off on yours, rather than your own undercoat showing through.

9. After t-cut wash out the scratch with squeezy/water, rinse and dry properly. This is because t-cut can leave a residue that stops the paint adhering properly.

10. Don't wash or polish the repai for a few days.

I am only a DIY merchant where paint is concerned but these methods have often helped repair chips and scratches to a standard that makes them virtually vanish. And that is all that we need on the older cars we run.

Re: Touch-in paint skills. - honest john
The blokes at the Ford Direct refurbishment plant on Tilbury Docks use their fingers to squidge the paint into the scratches and chips. They leave the polish in place so that the squidged in paint only adhers to the undercoat and the residue polishes off.

Re: Touch-in paint - Roger Jones
How timely! I have to tackle a touch-in job this weekend. Somewhere else (this board?) I saw a tip about using a paper clip as the application tool, letting the paint flow into the scratch or chip. Also, perhaps obvious, stick some rust inhibitor onto any bare metal. Any further do's and don't's would be much appreciated.
Re: Touch-in paint - Malcolm
Here is my method:
First of all get hold of a magnifying glass to see exactly what you are doing.
If the metal is bared and you are not fortunate enough to have a fully galvanised body use the tip of a miniature screwdriver to gently scrape the surface to bright metal. Use the same tool to feather the edge of the paint.(it has to be sharp for this so you need a good quality tool). No matter how small the area is use a primer. Ensure you do not get too close to the affected area as the moisture from your breath will start the rusting process all over again-keep the area warm with a hairdryer. I prefer to use cocktail sticks to first apply the primer to the bare metal only,leave to dry then apply the finished colour in as many carefull layers over it and the feathered edge of the original paint untill it is proud of the surrounding area.Leave for a few day then level the surface with the finest grade of wet&dry covered in t-cut using your finger end and finish off with t-cut then car polish.
Good luck,
Regards, Malcolm.
Re: Touch-in paint - Michael Thomas
I also like to thank you all for these tips they made my weekend of touch-in activity more productive and effective.

As an aside, it seems that the roads have more stones and grit on them these days.

Finally, I find that T-cut can be a bit too harsh for the feathering in. Try Auto-Glym Paint Restorer initially as this seems to be less coarse.

All the best,

Value my car