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post #2 of (permalink) Old 8th December 2006
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Hi Mick, I carry out many such small repairs to cars. What I would suggest is to leave the casing on the car, and not to try to separate it (I've never found it necessary to do so, and sure as fate - you will break/lose a plastic clip).

I would suggest the following;
1. Has the plastic been damaged? Most of the time, the scraping has came from the other car/object, so if the plastic hasn't been gouged - give the casing a light rub with an abrasive such as rubbing compound or 'T'-cut.
2. If the plastic has been gouged, then it is not always necessary to fill it - a sanding block (or orbital sander if you have one) and using progressively finer paper will level the surface. If it is necessary to fill, then a fibreglass filler (such as Plastic Padding) is best for this type of repair.
3. Lightly key (or Scotch pad) the remainder of the casing.
4. Wipe area with a soft cloth to remove all loose debris.
5. Mask off areas that you don't want to paint - using newspaper to cover the doors/windows.
6. Lightly dust the casing with primer - don't spray too close or heavy to avoid runs (allow 20-30 mins between coats).
7. Lightly rub primed area with fine wet & dry (800 grit or higher), then wipe with a soft cloth.
8. Again, using a similar method as with the primer - spray the colour on the casing - lightly covering the casing spraying left-right or right-left (whichever is easiest). I say similar, because you will want the paint to be applied slightly heavier than the primer, so either spray from a little nearer or use a slightly slower sweeping motion (do not use both!) otherwise you will get runs.
9. If the paintwork is metallic, then you will need to apply lacquer - 2 coats work best, the first coat is nothing more than a light dusting, then after 20 mins or so, a second heavier, glossy coat is applied, again, as with stage 8, a similar method for painting is recommended.
10. If it is a non-metallic (solid) colour miss out stage 9, and after a day, give the casing a light rub with 'T'-cut, then a polish.

Needless to say, I would only recommend painting indoors. You will find using a hairdrier useful for drying the paint off between coats - but only use it from a distance in a sweeping motion.

Hope this helps you - sorry if I have gone into an unnecessary amount of detail.


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