Baby, You Can Drive My Car?

1 2012 Cadillac SRX Premium

OOH man, that guy just dinged my door! It’s not a new car but it’s a pseudo classic or soon will be. There’s not too much rust and mostly the paint is in good condition, but now there a ding on the door and paint came off leaving a quarter sized nugget of primer gleaming like a black eye after a fight with a better boxer than you.

Since most of the other paint problems are unseen and the overall look of the car is good, this particular gouge needs to be repaired. You’re a handy kinda guy and so you think it’ll be child’s play to make the needed touch up’s, but don’t get too cocky. The process of applying car touch-up paint has its problems and if you want a good match there are a few steps you need to take to ensure that the paint you buy matches the paint on your soon to be classic ride.

The first step is to not only inspect the obvious damaged area but to take a close look at the overall paint on the car to see if any other spots need to be painted. You might as well fix them at the same time.

The next step is to do a thorough search for available paint suppliers with a specific emphasis on your make and model car. Finding the right paint is perhaps the most important factor in getting good results.

After you found the paint it’s very important to read the directions, let me repeat this …read the directions. Each paint manufacturer has differing techniques designed for their specific paint; failure to follow those directions will result in a substandard touch up.
Once you actually read the direction and committed them to memory, you will need to clean the effected spot and give plenty of time for that spot to completely dry. Remember, paint and water do not mix well, so let it dry completely.

Most products require you to do some light sanding and many will provide the proper sand paper. Sand slowly and lightly allowing the paper to do the work. This is not a time to show off your muscles, this is a finesse job, not a job for the hulk.

After the sanding apply a clear coat layer and again follow the direction, you may want to experiment on an unexposed area first to gauge the amount of clear coat to use. When applying the paint, use straight, even, spray patterns with a back and forth motion. Overlap the first spray and the edge of the second spray by about one-half of the original width. There are videos online to help you with this stage.

Again let the paint dry completely and then complete the project by applying wax and buffing the area. One reminder: your product of choice may have certain waxes they recommend, so use what they recommend.

This is a very satisfying project, but it’s important to take your time and follow the rules. When you’re done you’ll be able to stand back and wonder if that ding really happened or was it all a dream.