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DIY paint chip repair step by step

Not a detailer and this is my first time trying it, comments welcome but please don't roast me :)

Had 5 rather noticeable rock chips on the front right fender, was able to get it 90-95% fixed going the DYI way. All of the materials I was able to source on Amazon. Over all took 2-3 days, mainly because of waiting to dry, and each "step" took about 5-10 minutes.

1. Cleaned the fender, wiped with rubbing alcohol, and wet sanded around the rock chip with 3000 grit sandpaper.


2. Purchased paint matched base coat + clear coat pen. Dabbed 2-3 tiny layers of base coat, waiting about 20 minutes in between. Then dabbed 2-3 layers of clear coat until a "dome" formed. Let sit overnight.


3. Wet sand again with 2000 grit until the "dome/pimple" is flush with the immediate area. Then wet sand with 3000 grit sandpaper to smooth out.

4. Took a 3" polishing pad mounted onto a cordless drill with 2-3 drops of "cutting polish" compound and hit it for 20-30 seconds each time (repeated 1-2 times until the sanding marks disappeared)

5. The sanding marks will be replaced by swirls from the cutting pad. I then took a 3" finishing pad with 2-3 drops of "final polish" compound and polished the area 20-30 seconds at a time, repeated a couple of times until swirls were gone.

Final pic below - overall I was fairly pleased with the result and went from a rock chip visible from 6ft away to barely visible from 2-3 inches away.


One final note - Clearcoat - was not able to notice any noticeable amount of clear coat "removed"... Meaning that, consistent amounts of "orange peeling" were still present after the task was finished.


Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
Nice work! And THIS is why I dont spend thousands on PPF, especially to protect the front. (Although I did PPF my own hood myself, but not attempting the curvy bumper as I dont have that level of skill). If you take your time, you can make the small nicks/chips almost disappear. (my wife has a total of 3 that are TINY on her front bumper cover of her Y after 19k miles of driving. So glad I didnt spend hundreds to PPF that bumper cover).

Couple of notes:
- The remaining paint will not last (no matter how tightly you seal the container) more than a couple months or so after opened, as its acrylic based. Regardless of brand.
- Place the dab of touch up to the side of the chip, then smooth into the chip with a gloved finger. Let dry (heat gun or hair dryer is great) and repeat several times until you build up the paint to same level as surrounding area. This reduces the amount of sanding thats needed.
-Small piece of sandpaper taped to a pencil eraser can reduce the amount of area on the car that gets/needs sanding
- Be VERY careful with drills and the small foam attachments as they can burn through the clearcoat easily (you may be surprised at the amount of heat that builds up QUICKLY with non orbital rotation action) since the drill head isnt doing orbital movements. I'd almost recommend hand polishing to be safe.

But nice work in the end
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