What are the limits of touch up paint?

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Cadillac Detailing and Bodywork - Interior and Exterior including Body and Wheels Discussion, What are the limits of touch up paint? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; I've got an area on the door of the Concours about the size of an orange, with random fairly deep ...
  1. #1
    hueterm's Avatar
    hueterm is offline Moderator
    Automobile(s): See my sig...
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Bentonville, AR

    What are the limits of touch up paint?

    I've got an area on the door of the Concours about the size of an orange, with random fairly deep scratches on it.

    They either happened at the dealer while it was getting worked on (no proof) -- or in a parking lot, where I parked next to a woody shrub that was pretty close to the car. The wind either knocked one of the branches into the door, or while I had the door open, it was scratched.

    I'm usually pretty anal about anything wrong w/the car, so if it had happened at the dealer, I would think I would have seen it.

    Anyway, they're deep enough to feel -- is touch up even worth trying, or should I try having it wet sanded or whatever it's called....?

    There's a pic of the car in my profile, but it's the light gold color. (At least it's not Crimson Pearl or Black...)
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  3. #2
    caddolicious's Avatar
    caddolicious is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2009 CTS DI AWD
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: What are the limits of touch up paint?

    Hello Amigo,

    Sorry about the paint issue, they are always stressful.

    I find it hard to believe that a blowing bush could cause deep scratches down to the primer. However, after thoroughly cleaning the area, drag your finger nail along the surface. If your nail catches, the scratch could be through the colour coat. I'm not sure if your model and year received a clearcoat however.

    Of course the obvious "first step" is to gently apply a few coats of a scratch remover like "Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0". See if each gentle application can reduce the visibility. If after 2-3 gentle applications it does not diminish, you could be looking at a deep scratch.

    Deeper scratches can benefit from a thorough rotory compound polish. However, get this done by a professional because you can easily destroy the paint integrity of the surrounding area. It's not cheap, but still cheaper than a new paint job.

    After these steps, apply atleast two coats of a synthetic sealant wax over the area. The appearance should be greatly improved.

    Good luck.

  4. #3
    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): 93 Sedan Deville 4.9L
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Re: What are the limits of touch up paint?

    Try non abrasive things first like the scratch remover, If you think a new paint job in that area is needed and you are willing to take it to a pro, then look for a touch up pen in your color first, they sell them quite a few places and the pen is only a few dollars, If you can fill in the scratches yourself congrats, If it doesnt match or look good you really haven't done any additional damage.

    I had a deep scratch next to my trunk lid, I got a pen and unfortunately it doesnt match to well, but even the slightly wrong color blue looks better then the white it was.

  5. #4
    oldworld is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalde, 2007 DTS
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Lancaster County, PA

    Re: What are the limits of touch up paint?

    I had my black 03 escalade keyed recently from drivers door, all the way around back to the passenger front door. $3500 insurance claim. I took the truck to a detail guy in my town. He got the exact paint from a detail collision shop. He then penned in the deeper scratches, and then airbrushed in the tiny scratches. Then he wet sanded and buffed, and the vehicle looks brand new. Cost to do all that, plus total detail $400.00
    I did see here that someone suggested at least two coats of synthetic sealer. Can you give more info on that???

  6. #5
    caddolicious's Avatar
    caddolicious is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2009 CTS DI AWD
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Re: What are the limits of touch up paint?


    The deal behind the synthetic sealers is that it fills in minor paint abrasion marks. In this context, sealants are better than plain-old carnuba for 3 reasons. 1) Due to their synthetic polymer construction, they last longer and adhere to clearcoats very well. 2) Acrylic polymer sealants have a similar density and optic properties as the clear coates applied to modern cars. Thus they reflect/refract light more similar to the clear coat and thus stand out less when they fill in grooves. 3) Again due to the polymer properties, they bond well in layers. So every successive layer reduces the depth of imperfections. It's not a miracle cure, but it makes a helpfull improvement after you have taken mechanical paint correction to its max.

    Such common products are Klasse AIO + Klasse Sealant Glaze, Wolfgang Sealant Glaze and Crystal Glo (I have used this one and liked it). They are essentially all the same thing, however, their polymers may differ slightly.


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