A healing touch
It is a fact that assembling a vehicle, installing the interior … even just driving it … causes bumps and scrapes in the paint. No matter how careful you are, there seems to be no way to completely prevent them.
The owner of the truck is finally finished building the truck and having the interior installed, and sure enough, there were a few scuff marks and a couple of chips in the paint that need a little touching up. I know I just said driving it is going to mark it up, and that is true, but you want to start out as near perfect as possible.
The first seven pictures show me wet sanding and buffing the running boards where people have stepped on the paint getting in and out of the truck. The scuff marks were only in the clear coat so I was able to sand then buff them out.
Wet sanding is using very fine sandpaper, 2000 grit in this case, to carefully remove a thin layer of the clear coat. This brings the surrounding area down to the level of the scratch, in effect removing the scratch from the clear. This is done wet so the sandpaper is lubricated by the water causing only the tiniest amount of clear coat to be removed. It also washes away the sanding dust so you can see when the scratch has been removed.
After the scratch is sanded out the paint will obviously be dull from the sanding. That is where using the high-speed buffer comes in. Using a polishing compound the buffer removes the sanding marks and restores the luster to the paint. The polishing compound work in the same way the sandpaper does, removing the clear and smoothing the paint, but it works at a much finer scale than the sandpaper does.
After the running boards are polished, I hosed them down with water to remove the compound then dried the paint to make sure the scratches were removed.
Next, I mixed up some paint and proceeded to touch up the bumps that had not scratched, but actually chipped the paint. You can see me touching up the various places in pictures 8 and 9. There were other places besides these two, but the technique is the same.
Using the touch up brush in the container, paint is carefully applied to the damaged areas. The trick to doing a quality touch up is to not apply too much paint at once. Scrape the paint off the brush until the brush is nearly dry and apply the paint in several layers to build up the paint thickness until it matches the surrounding paint.
The last four pictures, numbers 10-13, show the finished truck. The only part of this build I was involved in was the painting. There is a lot of custom fabrication from the Murphy Rod & Custom shop in the truck, so I can only partially take credit for the way it looks … but my goodness it looks good.