Auto Body and Paint Questions and Answers

Can You Touch-Up Paint Just A Spot

Question: Can you touch-up a small spot without clear coating the entire panel?

Many paint companies do not recommend performing a spot repair.  PPG recommends to clear to the nearest break line such as the edge of a panel or clean break line.  However, PPG also provide direction of how to perform this, if the painter chooses to do so.  Their direction are for blending into a small area such as the sail panel. 

This kind of dances around the question of a spot repair.  So I am going to give you a method to perform this.  This may not be a recommended way, but it will work for a touch-up job. 

How To Touch Up A Small Area

  1. Clean the repair area with soap and water.
  2. Clean area with wax and grease remover.
  3. Sand the small area with 600 grit sandpaper.  Try to keep the area small to for a smaller blending area. 
  4. Extend the sanded area using 1500 grit sandpaper. 
  5. Using a compound, compound the area sanded and around the area that is sanded.  This will provide additional adhesion for the clear to bite too.
  6. Clean the repair area with soap and water again.
  7. Clean with wax and grease remover again.
  8. Mask any moldings, chrome or anything you do not want painted.  Do not mask on the panel itself.  This will leave a hard edge. 
  9. Spray self etching primer is you sanded to bare metal.  Keep the primer area small.  Tip: Cut a small hole in a peice of cardboard and hold between the spray gun and the panel.  This will help keep the primer area small without leaving a hard edge.
  10. Spray the basecoat until hiding.  You do not need to use the cardboard for this, but keep paint small.  Just extend the paint past the primer.  This may take 2 to 3 coats to acheive hiding.  (Be sure to wait recommended flash times between coats.) 
  11. Apply the first coat of clear and lightly dust Fade Out to the edges of the clear coat.  This will help metl the edges.
  12. Apply the second coat extending the first coat of clear. 
  13. Dust another coat of Fade Out to clear edges to help blend edges.  
  14. Once dry,  lightly polish the edge to remove any haze.  Care should be taken not to polish too hard, as this may result in removing the blend clear coat edge. 

This has worked for me and is a fairly simple process.  However, if you have never done this, I recommend you practice on a spare panel to get your technique down before attempting repairs on a live project. 


Wax and Grease Remover

Self Etching Primer

Fade Out