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I spent the Saturday before Fathers Day doing some touch-up paint work on the 1978 VW convertible that my wife has. It has hundreds of tiny paint chips in the front (even though it has less than 20,000 miles on it) and I was dreading doing the job. But I bought a pint of paint (no since in running out with a typical touch up bottle) and waded in.

First I cleaned the area with a good wax remover that won't leave residue. 3M makes some, and I sell Wurth Clean Solve that is a mild solvent that won't hurt cured paint, but will also take off soft brand new paint if I make a mistake.

Usually I lay in paint till the chip is filled, let it dry and maybe lightly try to sand just the new paint.

But I wanted something better and quicker. I made a mistake on one chip and got way too much on so I just used my finger to wipe off the fresh paint and noticed that the chip stayed filled. I had noticed this before but never made the connection to a better way for the entire job.

That way is to lay in paint, no need to be neat, and then wipe off the paint with a cloth (so my fingers would not be red permanently). But the cloth left smears that were tough to get out before they dried. So I used the Wurth Clean Solve to clean up, and this worked great.

So I did a few dozen chips in a small area (2-3 square inches maybe on this car) and wiped the area down with the solvent. Wow. For the most part the chips stayed filled in and were almost invisible.

I won't go into the entire story, I posted it on my Car Care Tips pages so you car go there if you want to read my complete ramblings.

But take a look at this picture of the VW at about 1/2 way through the job:

The left side of the picture is where I have been. (the slight color shift from one side to the other is just the way the picture was taken, it isn't there in real life) It isn't done yet, but you can tell that about 98% of the chips are gone and I have avoided the typical Measles look of most touch-up jobs. Check the right side where it looks like a shotgun blast aftermath. Note on the bottom lip of the hood I have started going into the right side and there is a dramatic difference.

I will finish up by using glaze and then waxing. This method may be old news to some, but I just taught myself (an old dog) a new trick, and if you haven't tried this, you will be amazed. It is much quicker than other methods, doesn't require ANY sanding (which brings its own big problems) and doesn't even need a steady hand, you can be sloppy and get away with it. Note how many chips are on this hood. I did the one side in about an hour. Try that with any other method!

NOte that any "outie" dings or chips with raised paint won't get completed with this method and it doesn't work on really big scrapes or chips, but try it and it will fill in some, and then just lay paint into the bigger chips as best you can. Keep the paint thinned down a little, but not too thin or the solvent will just wipe it all away, buy the right thinner for your paint and keep it on hand, even if you buy touch-up bottles.

Oh and happy Fathers Day to everyone. My two sons and I will chow down on a steak and watch the F1 race later today (Sunday 6-19). My father is gone, but we will remember him and the good times we had. May your day be a good one.


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