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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for tips on best way to use OEM touch up paint on a few small paint chips of my hood. Probably from stones or road salt getting kicked up while driving down the highway. I'm always afraid of applying too much paint on past vehicles I've owned or making it more noticeable. Looks like Honda updated the design of these new pens too.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated !!
 

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a few light coats (allowing time to dry in between) is better than thicker coats.
 

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I like to use a toothpick with a small drop of paint that when placed in the middle of the chip, will flow out into the area. Repeat several times to slowly fill the chip.
 

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Looking for tips on best way to use OEM touch up paint on a few small paint chips of my hood. Probably from stones or road salt getting kicked up while driving down the highway. I'm always afraid of applying too much paint on past vehicles I've owned or making it more noticeable. Looks like Honda updated the design of these new pens too.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated !!

Just an FYI my past experience with honda touch up paints are I've needed to re-apply every year or so. They don't include the clear coat in the base so it wears off fairly quickly without protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How do you guys handle the "micro-pits" or very tiny impact chips on the front bumper? Almost looks like sand blasted it. I tried using a clay bar thinking it was insect debris etc but it's just not smooth anymore. The color is ok etc.. just looking at it close up you can notice.

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How do you guys handle the "micro-pits" or very tiny impact chips on the front bumper? Almost looks like sand blasted it. I tried using a clay bar thinking it was insect debris etc but it's just not smooth anymore. The color is ok etc.. just looking at it close up you can notice.

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A few years ago I had used the Dr ColorChip "Road Rash" kit on my Ford F150. The truck was a dark blue and had a lot of chips on the leading edge of the hood and front end. The kit actually worked pretty well and didn't look bad at all. Not as good as a complete respray of course, but a heck of a lot cheaper! I see they have a new product "Squirt 'n Squeegee" which I watched the video on their website. Not too sold on that but it did improve the looks of the hood from 10 feet away I bet. Up close, still saw where some of the chips were.

All Products - Dr. ColorChip: Automotive Paint Chip Repair Systems
 

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Just an FYI my past experience with honda touch up paints are I've needed to re-apply every year or so. They don't include the clear coat in the base so it wears off fairly quickly without protection.
Its a two step process. Paint pens include paint and clear coat in pen at opposite ends.
 

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I have time and I'm patient, so my approach is a little different...

1. Go to a real auto body paint store. Buy a spray can of etching primer and the smallest amount of body color they will mix for you. Get their 2-part, single-stage paint, so you have to buy the urethane hardener, too. While you're there, pick up some micro-applicators , some small mixing cups, 600-grit wet sandpaper, and some good buffing compound if you don't have any. This will be around $100.

2. Clean any loose edges from your chips. A small dental pick works great. Clean with rubbing alcohol.

3. Spray a puddle of primer on a flat, smooth surface (glass, laminate, metal) that's clean. Dab some up with a micro-applicator. Start filling in chips. Go very light - limit the amount of primer that gets on the good paint as much as you can.

4. Let it dry 24 hours or more. Wet sand very gently with the 600, using something like a rubber eraser as a sanding block. All you're trying to do is to get the primer off the good paint. Clean with alcohol again when you're done.

5. Mix your paint and hardener as accurately as possible. This will usually be limited by the smallest portion of hardener you can measure accurately. Stir gently. Avoid inhaling this stuff. Using a small mixing cup is handy, because you can put it in a disposable cup full of ice to slow down its dry time. Use your micro-applicators to dab tiny drops into your chips. You'll get 30-40 minutes from your mix if you measured the hardener correctly.

6. Let it dry 24 hours or more. Sand again with 600, until the drop you applied is invisible.

7. Buff with compound to restore the shine.

This is slow, but produces great results. If you're planning to keep the vehicle, I would at least consider this approach.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the tips. I now understand the paint part but have no experience at all with wet sanding after the touch up paint has been applied and dried for a few days. What's the trick to avoid creating new micro scratches and swirl marks? These paint chips I'm looking at fixing are pretty small and it seems the area I would be using the wet sand would be much larger.

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>>What's the trick to avoid creating new micro scratches and swirl marks? These paint chips I'm looking at fixing are pretty small and it seems the area I would be using the wet sand would be much larger.

This is a great question, and the key to success.

With "micro pitting" on the bumper like you describe in your post above, the best place to start is with a good buffing compound and a random orbit sander fitted with a foam pad. Meguiar's "Ultimate Compound" works great for DIY - great results with minimal risk of self-inflicted wounds. You may not remove all of the damage, but you might reduce the surface variation enough to make the damage almost invisible.

For pinhead size chips and larger like you often find on the hood and fenders, wet sanding after the primer step is very quick. Primer is soft, clear coat is hard, and you'll quickly learn to keep the primer in the chip. A few light touches with the 600 grit paper will be enough to remove the overflow in each chip. You're only sanding the chip, not the general surface.

The drop of finish paint will dry slightly higher than the rest of the surface. Wet sanding levels it out. 600 grit paper used wet cuts very, very slowly. By backing up the paper with the edge or corner of an eraser and going slowly, you can easily limit the contact with existing finish. Keep the paper in a cup of water, and rinse every 30 seconds or so. Again, you're only trying to wet sand the single drop of new paint, not the general surface.

Note that "limit the contact" doesn't mean "prevent. Expect to see an area of reduced gloss smaller than a dime. It will look like light haze, not swirl. If the car is a dark color, the haze will make you nervous. What you want to see is smooth haze, with no trace of the edges of the new paint drop.

The final compound step takes the haze out and leaves you with a consistent gloss. I find that I don't need to use a separate swirl remover step after the Meguiar's compound on the Pilot, but my standards aren't very high because its an old daily driver. If you want to get closer to perfect, swirl remover will get you there.

This is definitely worth practicing in a less obvious spot before you do the hood.

For me, the biggest breakthrough was abandoning OEM touch up paint and using a quality automotive finish with the micro applicators. Good paint made everything much easier, and works a lot better. Its way more expensive, but the real cost of a quality touch-up job is the time required to do it. For me, getting better results from my effort justified the cost. It will seem very tedious at first, but once you learn the feel you can move fairly quickly.
 
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